June 20, 2007

Art: Joseph Pulitzer (Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division)

Pulitzers Honor Best in Journalism

Hollywood has the Oscar. Broadway awards the Tony. And in print journalism, every April brings the Pulitzer Prize.

Awards are given in 21 categories, including 14 journalism categories. The winner of the prize for public service, which is awarded to a news organization, receives the prestigious gold medal. All other winners receive $10,000 each.

This year, The Wall Street Journal won the public service award for detailing how corporate executives backdated stock options. The financial newspaper also won the award for international reporting for its reports on the pollution and inequality that China’s capitalistic boom is creating.

The award for breaking news photography went to Oded Balilty of the Associated Press for his photograph of a Jewish woman facing Israeli security forces on the West Bank. Renée C. Byer of The Sacramento Bee was awarded the Pulitzer for feature photography for her series of photographs portraying a single mother and her young son as he battles cancer.

These images will become part of the Newseum’s permanent and traveling exhibits of all Pulitzer Prize–winning photographs. The exhibit catalog, "The Pulitzer Prize Photographs: Capture the Moment," showcases the prize–winning photographs and reveals the stories behind them. For more on the Newseum’s gallery visit Pulitzer Prize Photographs.

Since 1917, Columbia University in New York City has recognized remarkable achievements in journalism, arts and letters, thanks to a bequest from crusading publisher Joseph Pulitzer. In his will, he endowed the university with $2 million for a school of journalism and "prizes or scholarships for the encouragement of public service, public morals, American literature and the advancement of education."

Pulitzer, founder of the St. Louis Post–Dispatch and The (New York) World, hoped the awards would elevate his beloved profession. Journalism, he believed, was "of unequaled importance for its influence upon the minds and morals of the people."

Currently, 77 judges gather at Columbia University every March to review more than 1,300 entries. Top news executives typically nominate stories, though some journalists nominate their own work. Several journalists have won the Pulitzer without the support of their newspapers.

For a complete list of the 2007 winners, visit www.pulitzer.org.

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