By JENNA JOHNSON
In January, the Pulitzer nomination of The Washington Post and the U.S. edition of The Guardian for their reports on Edward Snowden and the NSA leaks caused a controversy. But Monday, the two news organizations actually took home the 2014 Pulitzer award for public service.
The Pulitzer board said The Post and The Guardian U.S. were awarded the prize for “authoritative and insightful reports that helped the public understand how the disclosures fit into the larger framework of national security.”
The Pulitzer Prize is one of the most prestigious and sought-after awards in journalism, literature and photography. Not only is expert reporting and writing involved for journalism, but the story must also be something that matters.
I’ve noticed there is often a discrepancy between stories considered newsworthy and stories that actually matter. For example, CNN.com usually has a few trending topics, most of them national or global topics that are indeed relevant for a few days. Then there are a few feature stories, usually more lighthearted but have that bizarre element to them that makes them newsworthy.
There are also those random stories about the latest developments in a celebrity’s private life that in my opinion really shouldn’t be trending on CNN. Because that kind of story begs the question…
Who cares? Does it matter? Maybe. But does it really?
I don’t care, personally, but I realize that a lot of the nation does care and, in the end, that will likely determine what is newsworthy. Whatever gets hits on the page, or eyes glued to the TV screen.
This is another reason why it is not at all typical to see celebrity gossip on a website for a print newspaper like The New York Times or The Washington Post. They’re trying to focus on stories that have lasting impacts, while CNN is trying to capture the viewership of society on television. Thus is born the divide between print and television journalism. I’m not trying to say that either one of them is wrong or that one of them is more entertaining.
I’m just saying that a television news website probably won’t win a Pulitzer.