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No Pulitzer for the National Enquirer

Clare Spencer | 15:24 UK time, Tuesday, 13 April 2010

National Enquirer front cover story of John Edwards' affairThe tabloid the National Enquirer missed out on their first ever Pulitzer Prize after controversially being nominated for their investigation into a presidential candidate's affair. Commentators react to the award announcements.

Michael Roston at at True/Slant welcomes the Pulitzer body choosing local news instead of the National Enquirer:

"The madness is at an end. No longer will the American commentariat need to contemplate the possibility that the National Enquirer would win a Pulitzer Prize for revealing an extra-marital affair carried out by John Edwards. Edwards, a one-term senator who inertiaed his way into a vice presidential nomination in 2004 and then worked in 2007-08 as one of the numerous men standing on stage between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, was hardly a newsworthy character, yet the Enquirer saw fit to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars stalking him and his mistress. Of course, this is the same tabloid that ignored the Jonestown story when they had it, so it goes to show how good their news judgment ever was.
So, lest we get lost on what the Pulitzer Committee didn't pick, it's important to look at what they did select: a whole lot of local news."

The Enquirer's executive editor, Barry Levine, told Gawker magazine the results show double standards:

"The heavy lifting that we did on the John Edwards story was more than anything the Times did on [Eliot] Spitzer and they won the prize. In the back of my mind, it's clear to me that if this reporting had been done by the New York Times, or the Washington Post or a big paper like the LA Times, it's almost certain they would have won the prize. The fact that they couldn't give the prize to the National Enquirer? That's their problem not ours."

Mark Fiore's Pulitzer winning cartoonRoy J Harris Jr at the Washington Post notes the significance of the nonprofit ProPublica website being nominated for the investigative journalism award, the same award the National Enquirer was nominated for but ProPublica went on to win:

"Increasingly, the news business needs confirmation that important models of whatever is to become this century's "new journalism"-including models that involve online-based reporting and investigative collaborations-are legitimate, Pulitzer-quality approaches. The Pulitzer Prizes have offered guidance to the profession before. The media, and those who consume it, will be watching today for signals that the Pulitzers are ready to set the tone once again."

In reaction about other Pulitzer winners, Feministing editor Jessica Valenti calls the winner of the commentary award anti-feminist:

"Kathleen Parker, who thinks young women hooking up on college campuses are creating a 'mental health crisis' and that women in the military should expect to be raped (because 'men resent women because they've been forced to pretend that women are equals') has won a Pulitzer prize for commentary. I think I need a drink."

The political editor of the Atlantic, Marc Ambinder says the Pulitzer awards going to the Washington Post show they are back on track:

"For Washington to function properly, we need a functioning, competitive top-flight newspaper. The Washington Times is not that newspaper, and POLITICO plays an entirely different role - it sets metabolic speed and gives us the carbs. The Post ought to provide us with nourishment - the protein."

Links in full

PulitzerPulitzer | 2010 Pulitzer Prize winners
BBC NewsBBC | Pulitzer Prize success for online news websites
True/SlantMichael Roston | True/Slant | Pulitzer Prize disses National Enquirer
Washington PostRoy J. Harris Jr | Washington Post | The Pulitzers and the future of journalism
FeministingJessica Valenti | Feministing | Anti-feminist columnist wins a Pulitzer
National ReviewKathryn Jean Lopez | National Review | Pulitzers today
GakwerHunter Walker | Gawker | Pulitzer Prize or Not, The National Enquirer Will Soldier On
AtlanticMarc Ambinder | Atlantic | Four Cheers for the Washington Post

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