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Of Pulitzers and an Epic Poem

Over a decade ago, in 1997, the New York Times nominated a Web site that I had created with photographer Gilles Peress, Bosnia: Uncertain Paths to Peace, for a Pulitzer prize in public service. It was immediately rejected by the Pulitzer committee because the online photo-text-audio-video project was not on paper.

Only last week the Pulitzers were opened to any serious online journalistic enterprise, without a print component. It took eleven years. Today I read about a new Twitter site, The Media is Dying, that updates in messages of 140 characters or less the various grievous wounds being inflicted on contemporary media, including layoffs, firings, publications going out of business, etc. It is a flourishing site that incidentally serves as a digital-era epic poem mourning the visceral illness that has infected journalism.

It is certainly unfortunate that the Pulitzer, with all its prestige, was largely off limits for online publications all this time. One often wonders if the news business sees itself any more clearly than does the automobile business.

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  1. epic poem | hot tags on Wednesday, December 17, 2008 at 5:30 am

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