Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Irony Runs Deep in Pulitzer Prizes

From Paul Levine...

Why Can’t We (Newspapers and Internet) Just Get Along?

The New York Times won five Pulitzers yesterday. Today, the Times reported a $74 million loss in the first quarter. Before we delve deeper into irony, here are the newspaper’s winning entries:

International Reporting: War coverage in Pakistan and Afghanistan;

Criticism for Holland Cotter’s arts coverage;

Feature Photography for Damon Winter’s images of the Obama campaign;

Breaking News for its coverage of Eliot Spitzer’s public disintegration;

Investigative Reporting for David Barstow’s revelations of the Bush Administration’s use of retired military officers to promote its war policy on television.

You can find those stories, of course, by clicking on the links above. With another click, you can read dozens of archived stories and photos about prior winners.

Because you’re on the Internet...

Not reading a newspaper...

Yes, welcome back to Irony Land.
Last week, I offered the notion that newspaper websites conveyed more information than their inky cousins because of the versatility of the Internet: the ability to instantly send stories; immediate access to related stories, ahem!; updates throughout the day; more extensive use of photos; and, for now, all free. All that depends on the continued existence of newspapers because no one expects newsy websites to maintain staffs that can, say...cover two wars...the way a major newspaper can. Or used to.

More newspapers are going to fold. Others will struggle. Nearly all will shrink. Newspapers need to find a way to make readers subscribe – for pay – on the Internet. It’s their last hope.

Other prize notes:

The New York Times announced its Pulitzer wins on page 23 today.. The wobbly Los Angeles Times – with one win for an excellent series on wildfires in the west – ballyhooed its achievement on page 1.

Many of this year’s winners involved exposing corruption, the prize committee sending a signal: “Here’s what you’re gonna be missing, folks.”

Finally, the prize for poetry went to our own Jim Born. Wait! Strike that. The winner was W.S. Merwin for “The Shadow of Sirius.” Personally, I would not read a poem about a satellite radio network.

And that's the last word from...

Paul Levine, who believes he should have won a Pulitzer Prize during his short, undistinguished career as a reporter for The Miami Herald, specifically a story about the last name in the phone directory, which he recalls to be a gentleman named "Zero Zzyzz." You can look it up.


  1. The newspaper business is an integral part of our culture. I can't imagine an Internet geek replacing the veteran crime reporter hanging out in gloomy cop bars looking for the next big scoop.

  2. James O. Born4/21/2009 9:11 AM

    As son as I read your poetry section I thought about how to work XM into a poem. I feel Siris is the easier route and is not worthy of a Pulitzer Prize.

    Patty, there are no more gloomy cop bars. Tehy hanfg out at Chilis for the all day happy hour.

    It looks like Blogger is now fixed.


  3. It's really hard to wrap the internet or your computer around hot chips with salt and vinegar. :-(


  4. I just don't know what I would do without my NYT on Sunday mornings. I can't see the same level of journalism being maintained online, but that's just me, an old fogey.

  5. Given the tone and timbre of yesterday's and today's blogs, I have decided on pursuing another career, as a moirologist.......I'm taking a certification course this weekend.....

    not sure if there's big bucks in it yet or not......


  6. Next time you're in L.A., AKA noirville, I'll take you to a couple of cop bars that will restore your faith. While there, we can celebrate Jon's PhD in moirology.