Friday, April 24, 2009

Oldstream media sidesteps coverage of the Tabloid Baby Pulitzer Prize screwing by Sig Gissler-- but the story manages to slip out between the lines

A postscript to the international Pulitzer Prize scandal that began on this site when we revealed that Pulitzer board administrator Sig Gissler decided unilaterally to reject Tabloid Baby's Pulitzer Prize nomination without even giving the Pulitzer board the chance to consider the entry materials:

Not surprisingly, the oldstream media have ignored Tabloid Baby's connection to and authorship of tthe story, which exposed as a sham and charade the Pulitzer board's December 8th announcement that Internet-only news organizations would be considered for the prize.

Chief among the nose-thumbers is the quirky Jim Romenesko, author of the aggregator site that was once called Media Gossip, but which now sports his name and is connected to some kind of journalism "institute" called "Poynter." Romenesko, a former crime reporter, now kisses up caters to the ivory tower j-school handwringers and 20th century print types and ignores our exclusives pointedly (or "poynteredly").

He does however, support the story we broke by linking to oldstream print stories on the subject, like the Christian Science Monitor article, "How e-Pulitzers can elevate journalism" and which Romenesko, who could elevate his own role as a media intermediary by recognizing great online journalists like the crew at TabloidBaby.com, links as "It's time to reinvent the Pulitzer Prizes," which says in part:

"This week's announcement of the journalism Pulitzer Prizes – usually a welcome jolt for the ailing American newspaper business – fell short of delivering the transfusion that is needed to bring the awards into the 21st century. In fact, the Pulitzers spoke hardly at all to the generations that now tap their news from a computer keyboard, or thumb it out of a cellphone.

"It's time to reinvent the Pulitzers... With the first Pulitzers in 1917, reporters and editors suddenly found themselves mentioned alongside celebrated novelists and playwrights. Founder Joseph Pulitzer's idea to elevate the best US newspapers helped usher in an era of excellent journalism.

"Today, if the Pulitzers recognized excellence across a wider range of print and electronic content, they could help lift journalism once more.

"Last December, the Pulitzer organization sought a desperately needed boost – in part, perhaps, to spare the awards from becoming an anachronism... It decided to allow entries in all 14 journalism categories from web-only news organizations. Of the 1,028 total journalism submissions from around the country, there were 65 entries from online enterprises. Thirty-seven online-only news organizations entered. But only one was mentioned by name in the Pulitzer results...

Sig Gissler, the administrator of the Pulitzers, won't speculate what further changes the Pulitzer Board might make at its next meeting. The board 'will continue to monitor online development,' he says, and is likely to consider some changes in future rules and guidelines. But for now, 'I think the board regards this as a successful step forward,' he adds.

"'Good journalism these days increasingly uses many tools, and there is a convergence of sorts that occurs if you're taking full advantage of what you can do online,' says Margaret Wolf Freivogel...a Pulitzer juror this year...

"Dan Gillmor of Arizona State University's Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, caused a stir last year when he made his own recommendations public – among them a strategic expansion of Pulitzer categories to reflect today's converging media. 'Become the top prizes for journalism of any kind. Do away entirely with the distinction between newspapers and other media,' he suggested. 'There's no real alternative.'

"...As it was at the start of Pulitzer's 20th century, its prizes should be the standard of excellence for all American text-based journalism.

"That would once more elevate journalism – and elevate the Pulitzers, too. And it just might make old Joseph Pulitzer smile.

(Was TabloidBaby.com worthy of Pulitzer consideration? Head to our Baseball in Israel archive site to see all our US-Israel baseball coverage and judge for yourself.)

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