The New York Times prematurely announces its Pulitzer Prize win by mistake

Update: As it turns out, The New York Times won three Pulitzer Prizes today.

The Pulitzer Prizes have been a notoriously leaky affair throughout the years.

But news organizations almost never hint publicly at their wins before the official reveal, even though they sometimes get a wink and a nod before the Pulitzer Board goes public with its announcement.

The New York Times this morning accidentally broke that protocol, publishing an item on page two that seemed to telegraph multiple wins for the Gray Lady:

How does it feel to get a Pulitzer Prize? Ask The Times’s recently announced 2017 winners yourself — they’ll be taking questions live today at 4:30 p.m. E.T.

Here’s the item:



A spokesperson for The New York Times tells Poynter the item was “a mistake, combined with a little bit of hopeful thinking.”

Related Training: Pulitzer Prize-Winning Writers: Secrets of Their Craft

Of course, The New York Times is always a contender for the Prizes and frequently cleans up at the awards. The last time The New York Times did not win a Pulitzer Prize was in 2000, when it had five finalists for the award, according to Pulitzer Prize chronicler and former Wall Street Journal reporter Roy Harris.

Look for a few stories from The Times, including its photographic coverage of the Philippines drug crackdown, to be in contention for journalism’s top prize when the awards are announced at 3 p.m. today.