Pulitzer board’s no-award in feature writing goes unexplained

International Business Times When the Pulitzer board on Monday announced the 2014 recipients of journalism's highest honor, a major category lacked a winner. No one had won for feature writing.

Since three finalists were chosen by the nominating jury for that category, why was one not selected by the board? Pulitzer Prizes administrator Sig Gissler told IBT's Christopher Zara:
“It’s not a statement on the quality of feature writing in America,” he said in a phone interview. “They were thoroughly discussed and carefully considered.”
But that doesn't explain the reason for the decision not to award the prize, and Gissler was not providing an answer: “We don’t get into explaining what the deliberations entail,” he said. (more...)
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Monday, Apr. 14, 2014

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Cartoonist brings the Charlotte Observer its first win in 26 years

Siers' self-drawn Twitter picture.
Kevin Siers daydreamed and drew through school, doodling as he listened. Then, in the fifth grade, he and his teacher had a talk.

"And he just took me aside and said, look, I want you to make me some comic books," Siers said in a phone interview with Poynter.

So Siers created a superhero knockoff. The winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartooning didn't launch into the local newspaper from there, though. Siers went to work in the ore mines after high school in Biwabik, Minn. But while there, Mark Washburn wrote on Monday for the Observer, he submitted a cartoon to The Biwabik Times. From the Observer:
“So I said, I guess I could do this,” Siers said. When he returned to the university, he began doing editorial cartoons for the campus newspaper, the Minnesota Daily. He got to know Steve Sack, political cartoonist for the Minneapolis Star Tribune and last year’s Pulitzer winner for editorial cartoons. “Sack was my mentor,” Siers said. “He’d take me out to lunch and show me grown-up cartoonist tricks.”


Siers has been with the Observer since 1987, said Taylor Batten, editorial page editor, in a phone interview with Poynter. Batten said Siers is a voracious reader who doesn't just read headlines and throw something together, but he approaches his work with knowledge and background.

"He's a journalist first and a journalist who expresses his ideas through cartoons," Batten said. (more...)
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Pulitzers

Gellman: Baron’s editing ‘made me feel like it was still The Washington Post I’d grown up with’

Bart Gellman is by no means done with reporting on the NSA. His stories for The Washington Post won a Public Service Pulitzer today, a prize he and collaborators, including Ashkan Soltani and Laura Poitras, shared with The Guardian for their reporting on Edward Snowden's revelations. "Look, there are more great stories to do, and I have a book to write, so I will be on this subject for time to come," Gellman said by phone.
Gellman speaks to The Washington Post newsroom after the Pulitzer announcement Monday. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Gellman speaks to The Washington Post newsroom after the Pulitzer announcement Monday. Asked whether he'd changed his methodology in the course of reporting these stories, Gellman said "I've had to become much more careful to protect my reporting materials and my confidential sources." Whereas he used to worry about keeping stuff only from the U.S. government, "Now I have to worry about foreign intelligence services."

Gellman said he's "even more conscious than I was before about putting sources at risk." At times, he's worried about asking even "fairly innocent questions" he feared might put sources under scrutiny. "There are times I don't make the call or don't make the visit I want to make" because of such concerns, he said.

Post Executive Editor Marty Baron "did not know me from Adam when I came to him with a really high risk" story, Gellman said, saying he's "genuinely, no bullshit, immensely grateful to this paper and its leadership." Baron "made every decision with guts and good judgment," he said. "It made me feel like it was still The Washington Post I'd grown up with."

"We are enormously grateful that Bart Gellman brought this story to the Post, where he had worked for so many years," Baron said in an email to Poynter. "His experience and expertise in the realm of national security and intelligence are unequaled. That allowed him to navigate some especially sensitive and difficult terrain. Throughout this story, he showed persistence, great care, and no small measure of wisdom."
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Newsrooms celebrate Pulitzer wins

Monday's Pulitzer-winners announcement was eagerly anticipated in newsrooms. Guardian US:   Boston Globe: Tampa Bay Times:   New York Times: The Philadelphia Inquirer: The Charlotte Observer: The Washington Post: The Center for Public Integrity: The Gazette:
Reuters breaks out the bubbly.
The Detroit Free Press:
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Pulitzer Prizes 2014: Winners announced

Columbia University named its 2014 Pulitzer Prize winners on Monday. Here's what the announcement looked like in some newsrooms. On Friday, Roy J. Harris Jr. wrote a Pulitzer preview. Public Service Reporting The Pulitzer goes to two organizations for their coverage of the NSA: The Guardian for Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras and Ewen MacAskill's reporting, and The Washington Post for Bart Gellman's work. Both sets of reporters worked from documents leaked to them by Edward Snowden. The Washington Post wrote this about the Public Service Reporting win and the Explanatory Reporting win. "Today's decision is a vindication for everyone who believes that the public has a role in government," Snowden told the Guardian. "We owe it to the efforts of the brave reporters and their colleagues who kept working in the face of extraordinary intimidation, including the forced destruction of journalistic materials, the inappropriate use of terrorism laws, and so many other means of pressure to get them to stop what the world now recognises was work of vital public importance." Breaking News Reporting The Boston Globe Staff won for their coverage of the Boston Marathon bombings. "There’s nobody in this room that wanted to cover this story,” Globe Editor Brian McGrory told the newsroom. (more...)
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Ann Friedman writes about 16 women who’ve launched startups that haven’t gotten Ezra- and Nate-like attention. One of those women is Vox co-founder Melissa Bell.
“The idea is that tech companies have a woman problem and these new startups have a woman problem,” says Melissa Bell, a cofounder of Vox. “But wait a sec, I’m the technologist and a woman.” After a Guardian story framed a series of new startups, including Vox, as boys’ clubs, Bell pushed back. Despite media narratives that have erased her from the equation, Bell is an equal cofounder. “It’s kind of a chicken and egg thing,” she says. “Is it the media’s fault for picking up on Ezra? Is it my fault for not speaking up?”

Ann Friedman, CJR

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Deseret News’ Ten Commandments series: ‘Not just preaching’

The Deseret News inaugurated its launch of a national website Sunday with a series on the Ten Commandments. The series is "emblematic of the type of coverage you're likely to find" on the new site, Allison Pond told me in a phone call Friday. It follows CEO Clark Gilbert's imperative that the news organization be not "the best in our market, but the best in the world" at covering certain topics, including family, faith, culture and money.



Pond is editor of the Deseret News' national edition and was lead editor on the Ten Commandments series. The goal was to show how they related to everyday life, she said. Mark Kellner looks at how terms like "OMG" relate to the prohibition on taking the Lord's name in vain; Lane Anderson writes about how social media drives consumerism and covetousness.
Former Pope Benedict XVI on Jordan's Mount Nebo in 2009, where the Bible says Moses saw the Promised Land. (AP Photo/Pier Paolo Cito)
(more...)
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Joe Zee leaves Elle for Yahoo

Joe Zee, Elle's creative director, is the new editor-in-chief and executive creative officer of Yahoo Fashion, Yahoo announced in a press release Monday.
"I have always embraced technology and innovation in everything I do — from making a magazine, to executive producing and hosting my television shows, to writing my books. So, the chance to combine all of these passions at Yahoo during a period of tremendous innovation and transformation is a dream," says Zee. "I’ve spent more than two decades speaking to women through magazines. What’s so exciting about Yahoo is that I can inspire and connect with hundreds of millions more women, and bring them the magic of the fashion world in ways they haven’t yet experienced."
Zee joins makeup line creator Bobbi Brown, who is the new editor of Yahoo Beauty. (more...)
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On NYT’s front page, a selfie

Newseum
It's actually the making of a selfie that we see on the front of The New York Times, with a spring scene as the backdrop.



Photos of the making of selfies are down-right common at this point. Poynter's Andrew Beaujon included a few in his March 3 story, including one of John Kerry and students in Indonesia and Justin Bieber and fans in L.A. Of course, Ellen brought attention to the group selfie trend at the Oscars, and photos of that selfie, as well as the selfie itself also made big news.

On April 1, photos of the president posing for a selfie with David Ortiz led to the news that that photo, like the Oscar one, was really a stunt by Samsung.

But at least photojournalists are using their skills to add something to these strange, culturally-relevant moments. Via AP Images, here's a recent sampling of what photographers have done when selfies happen. (more...)
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Jennifer Conlin writes about independent student publication The Michigan Daily, which beat local daily The Ann Arbor News on a major story. Since the News underwent several repositionings in the local market, the Daily has been “the only Monday-through-Friday print publication in town”:

The constant changes have muddled The Ann Arbor News’s identity and, according to some residents, eroded its standing as the go-to source of news in the community. That sense was reinforced by the football article, on which The Ann Arbor News played catch-up after student reporters broke the story.

“I feel The Michigan Daily fills an important niche in Ann Arbor and a need that is unmet by our regional newspapers in an era of constrained resources,” said the student paper’s editor in chief, Peter Shahin, sitting with the two reporters who broke the football scandal story, Adam Rubenfire and Matt Slovin, in the Daily’s conference room. …

“We have 200 to 250 staff, and though we are a trade publication first covering the university, we are also trying to fill a void in other areas here, like the arts,” Mr. Shahin said. “I think we truly have the pulse of the town.”

Jennifer Conlin, The New York Times

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