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Pulitzer's Gold: Behind the Prize for Public Service Journalism
Synopses & Reviews
No journalism awards are awaited with as much anticipation as the Pulitzer Prizes. Andamong those Pulitzers, none is more revered than the Joseph Pulitzer Gold Medal.
Pulitzer’s Gold is the first book to trace the ninety-year history of the coveted Pulitzer Prize for Public Service, awarded annually to a newspaper rather than to individuals, in the form of that Gold Medal. Exploring this service-journalism legacy, Roy Harris recalls dozens of “stories behind the stories,” often allowing the journalists involved to share their own accounts. Harris takes his Gold Medal saga through two world wars, the Great Depression, the civil rights struggle, and the Vietnam era before bringing public-service journalism into a twenty-first century that includes 9/11, a Catholic Church scandal, and corporate exposés. Pulitzer’s Gold offers a new way of looking at journalism history and practice and a new lens through which to view America’s own story.
Pulitzer’s Gold is the first book to trace the ninety-year history of the coveted Pulitzer Prize for Public Service, awarded annually to a newspaper rather than to individuals. Harris recalls dozens of “stories behind the stories,” often allowing the journalists involved to share their own accounts. Readers will recognize some of the stories, like the New York Times’s Pentagon Papers exclusive and the Watergate scandal that Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein dug out for the Washington Post.But Harris takes his Gold Medal saga through two World Wars, the Great Depression, the Civil Rights struggle, and the Vietnam era before bringing public-service journalism into today’s age of environmental and corporate exposés. Story after story illustrates how for small town papers or metropolitan dailies alike, public-service reporting is a point of pride for the American press.
About the Author
“A gold mine of inspiration for both journalists and non-journalists….Pulitzer's Gold offers marvelous storytelling, real-life adventures, and absolute proof that journalism can change our world for the better.”—Jeffrey Zaslow, co-author, The Last Lecture, and Wall Street Journal columnist
“This well-researched and engrossingly presented study chronicles time-bound cases of award-winning journalism and timeless lessons for news people and citizens who care about reportage with reverberation. Pulitzer’s Gold is first-rate journalism history.”—Philadelphia Inquirer
“It is a must read for those who want an inside look at journalism at its best. There is no higher calling among American newspapers than public service journalism, and Roy Harris delves into it with flair and expertise.”
—Gene Roberts, cowinner of the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for History
“[A] fine contribution to both scholarship and instruction, a book that can be read for fun, consulted for research, and assigned for class.”—Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly
“It is loaded with the Aha! moments that make us, as journalists, glad we passed up the big-bucks MBA track to try to save the world instead.”—Nieman Reports
“At a time when the business model of the American newspaper lies broken, this book tells us, by vivid examples, why newspapers are essential to our national well-being. It is a sobering yet inspiring message.”
—John S. Carroll, former Los Angeles Times editor and 1993–2002 Pulitzer Prize Board member
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