Thursday, April 11, 2019

Journalism Award

The Pulitzer Prize
For over one hundred years, this prize has been awarded to outstanding journalists for achievements in newspaper, magazine, and literature writing and music composition.

The prize, established by Joseph Pulitzer in 1917, seeks to honor those who excel in their field which now includes twenty-nine categories. Each winner receives a certificate and a monetary prize that is now at $15,000.

Pulitzer, born in 1847, became a newspaper publisher and a leading figure in the Democratic Party. The state of New York elected him as a congressman where he crusaded against big business and corruption. He even helped keep the Statue of Liberty in the city of New York.

Pulitzer, a newspaper publisher, willed money to Columbia University to begin a journalism school and to establish the prize. At first, $250,000 was allocated to the prize and scholarships.  He designated four awards in journalism, four awards in letters and drama, one for education, and four scholarships designated as “traveling scholarships.”

The fierce competition between William Randolph Hearst New York Journal and Pulitzer’s New York World led “yellow journalism” with sensationalism, sex, crime, and other graphic horrors. The wide appeal of such journalism eventually led the way for mass-circulation newspapers that depended on advertising revenue rather than the actual price of the paper.

After Pulitzer’s death in 1911, the first prizes were awarded on June 4, 1917. They were considered to be the most notable award that a write could attain. l. At that time, the Chicago Tribune was already a noted newspaper, but Colonel McCormick controlled the newspaper, and he didn’t deem the prize as important or noteworthy, but rather a type of mutual admiration society. The paper didn’t compete for the prize until McCormick’s tenure ended in 1961.

Even the Pulitzer didn’t escape scandal. In 1981, Janet Cooke of The Washington Post won the prize for her story, “Jimmy’s World.” It told the story of a eight-year-old heroin addict. The mayor of D.C. at that time even said they knew who Jimmy was and that he was in treatment for his addiction. When Cooke finally admitted that her story was all fiction, the mayor had to retract the statement much to his embarrassment, and the police called off a citywide search for the boy. The foundation stripped Cooke of her prize.

Almost four decades later, the ramifications of Cooke’s story are still being felt by women in the field of journalism.

Journalists are not the only award winners. Some of the prize winners include names like Charles Lindbergh, Sylvia Plath,
and John F. Kennedy. The most recent winner of the prize for journalism is Caroline Fraser for her story, “Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder in 2018. “Angela’s Ashes: A Memoir” won the prize in 1997 for Frank McCourt and was made into a movie that opened to mixed reviews.

Now, a little over a century later, the prize will once again be awarded this month on Monday, April 14, 2:00 PM – 7:00 PM.

Winning Photography:

Below are pictures that won the award for photography. These pictures became embedded in our culture as iconic symbols of their times. Almost anybody you ask could tell you the significance of the photo.  Can you identify the occasion?

Martha Rogers is a free-lance writer and multi-published author from Realms Fiction of Charisma Media and Winged Publications. She was named Writer of the Year at the Texas Christian Writers Conference in 2009. She is a member of ACFW and writes the weekly Verse of the Week for the ACFW Loop. ACFW awarded her the Volunteer of the Year in 2014. Her first electronic series from Winged Publications, Love in the Bayou City of Texas, debuted in the spring of 2015.  Martha is a frequent speaker for writing workshops and the Texas Christian Writers Conference. She is a retired teacher and lives in Houston with her husband, Rex. Their favorite pastime is spending time with their twelve grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.


  1. Great post! I saw a movie, can't remember the name of it, where it was portrayed that the flag and soldier picture was a staged event, not a random moment of victory. The illusion is better than the actual story behind the picture I guess. But there certainly are iconic moments captured in pictures that we remember forever. The sailor kissing the girl is one. I also think of John Kennedy Jr. saluting at his father's funeral.

  2. Oh yes, that picture of JFK Jr. saluting made me cry as I watched all the events surrounding that awful day. Our students were able to watch it on TV in the classroom or in the auditorium. We didn't get much teaching done for several days. I read somewhere that the Iwo Jima event was staged as well. Other accounts refute the story, so only those involved really know the truth and most of them have passed on to glory now. Thanks for stopping by.