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PULITZER PRIZE (PP) Printer Friendly Page

The Pulitzer Prize: No Conservatives Need Apply
By George Shadroui
April 7, 2004

The Political Pulitzers
By Brent Bozell
April 26, 2006

Retire the Disgraced Pulitzer Prize
By Doug MacKinnon
April 30, 2009

Few Pulitzers on the Right Side
By Diana West
April 15, 2010

Hurt America, Win a Prize
Media Research Center
May 8, 2006

Washington Post Honors Plagiarist
By Cliff Kincaid
May 4, 2006

Blowback on the Press
By Michael Barone
May 1, 2006

Loose Lips Win Pulitzers
By Max Boot
April 27, 2006

Of Pulitzers and Treason
By Pat Buchanan
April 25, 2006

Give Back the Tainted Pulitzers
By Cliff Kincaid
April 23, 2006

Politicized Pulitzers
By Andrew C. McCarthy
April 19, 2006


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The Pulitzer Prizes
Columbia University
709 Pulitzer Hall
2950 Broadway
New York, NY
Phone :(212) 854-3841
Fax :(212) 854-3342
Email :
URL: Website
Pulitzer Prize (PP)'s Visual Map

  • Awarded for excellence in journalism and writing
  • Has been dominated by leftists in recent decades

The Pulitzer Prize is an annual award given only to Americans (with one exception) in each of 21 categories, most involving journalism. Winners are chosen by an independent Board whose members are selected by the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

The first Pulitzer Prizes were awarded in 1917 in accord with journalist Joseph Pulitzer's 1911 will, which bequeathed to Columbia University $2 million, one-fourth of which was to be "applied to prizes or scholarships for the encouragement of public service, public morals, American literature, and the advancement of education."

In recent decades, the Pulitzer Prize has come under fire for what some critics have called "ideological correctness." As writer George Shadroui puts it, "[T]he Pulitzer is a political prize bestowed almost exclusively on writers, journalists and thinkers who cater to suitably liberal or left-wing points of view."

Some recent decisions by the Pulitzer Committee have tarnished the Prize. In 1981, the purportedly true story of an eight-year-old heroin addict named "Jimmy" won a Pulitzer Prize for Janet Cooke, a young African American reporter for the Washington Post. But the Post returned the Prize after Cooke admitted that the child—and the story—were wholly fictional. The deeper scandal, however, was that the Prize itself had been rigged. As 1981 Pulitzer jury member Edward Shanahan writes, his panel actually had named someone else to win this Prize, but behind the scenes someone very powerful, presumably from the Washington Post, was able to pull strings, reclassify Cooke's series from a category in which she would have lost, and persuade the Pulitzer Board to give her the Prize. (The secretive Pulitzer Board, more than half of whose members are academics and other non-journalists, retains the power to override what its own hand-picked, predominantly liberal selection juries decide.)

In 2003, in an issue with resonance for the charges that today’s Prizes are dominated by ideology, New York Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger, Jr. refused to return a Pulitzer awarded in 1932 to his newspaper's Soviet correspondent Walter Duranty, whose reportage, the intervening years have shown, deliberately echoed Soviet propaganda about the supposedly good conditions in the Ukraine where Marxist dictator Joseph Stalin in fact was systematically murdering 17 million Kulak farmers by starvation.

In 2012, "senior military correspondent" David Wood of the Huffington Post won a Pulitzer for his reporting on the struggles of military veterans and their families. Another winner (in the feature writing category) was Eli Sanders of The Stranger, a Seattle alternative weekly publication edited by the radical sex columnist Dan Savage. Sanders' winning piece was a story about a horrific double-rape of two local lesbians, one of whom was also  stabbed to death. The Pulitzer history book prize was awarded to the late Manning Marable, for his biography of Malcolm X. The general nonfiction prize went to Harvard University's Stephen Greenblatt for The Swerve: How the World Became Modern, the story of a book hunter named Poggio Bracciolini who had preserved "On The Nature of Things," an anti-religion poem by the atheist Roman poet Lucretius.

The Pulitzer Prize is presently given in 14 separate journalism categories, including Breaking News Reporting, Investigative Reporting, Explanatory Reporting, Beat Reporting, National Reporting, International Reporting, Feature Writing, Commentary, Criticism, Editorial Writing, Editorial Cartooning, Breaking News Photography, Feature Photography, and Public Service. The Prize is also awarded in five "letters" categories: Biography or Autobiography, Fiction, General Non-Fiction, Poetry, and History (the latter being only category in which the winner need not be an American citizen). Finally, the Pulitzer is awarded in two "humanities" categories: Drama and Music.

In 20 of the 21 annual Pulitzer Prize categories, the winner receives a trophy and $10,000 in cash. The only exception is the Public Service category of the Journalism competition, where the prize is a gold medal that is presented not to an individual but to a newspaper.



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