Dana Canedy never wanted to win a Pulitzer Prize.
“I just wanted to do really good work, groundbreaking journalism that makes a difference.”
On Wednesday as news broke that she’d be filling the role soon to be vacated by Mike Pride, Canedy sat with her predecessor at a French restaurant in New York for lunch. They talked about nuts and bolts of the work, the logistics, but also the importance of the role, “particularly now, at this time when American journalism is seemingly under siege.”
Canedy, who previously worked as a senior editor at the Times, is also the author of “A Journal for Jordan: A Story of Love and Honor,” a memoir about her partner who was killed in the first Iraq war in 2006.
Canedy is the first woman, the first person of color and the youngest to serve in the role of Pulitzer administrator.
“I think you’re going to see the evolution of the prizes continue, just as the industry evolves,” she said.
She can’t yet say what that’s going to look like, but she expects more changes to categories and eligibility requirements. Canedy is mindful that the Pulitzers are a storied brand and predicts changes will be conservative. But, she told the Pulitzer board as they searched for the next administrator, “in choosing me, you’ll get somebody who’s going to push you in new ways.”
And while she didn’t aim for a Pulitzer as a reporter, she does have at least one expectation about what the work of the Pulitzer administrator will be like.
“I’m looking forward to reading a lot of good journalism over the next year.”