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First Ever Pulitzer For Non-Print Series 16

Posted by Soulskill
from the take-a-lesson-rupert dept.
decora writes "Last year ProPublica won the first Pulitzer for an online news site. This year, they have been awarded the first Pulitzer for a series that did not appear in print. The series was Eisinger and Bernstein's 'The Wall Street Money Machine,' which described how hedge funds and financiers profited from the collapse of the economy. ProPublica publishes under a Creative Commons license and hosts a Nerd Blog where they write about journalism-related hacking and publish open source tools they have developed."
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First Ever Pulitzer For Non-Print Series

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  • Frontline (Score:5, Interesting)

    by pspahn (1175617) on Monday May 02, 2011 @10:11PM (#36006882)

    Aren't they part of many of the Frontline episodes?

    Good for them. From what I've seen, they do a fine job of remaining unbiased about issues which 99% of the people I've ever met in my life get petty and insulting about.

    If civil discourse is a lost art, Pro Publica is... I dunno... some kind of lost artist.

  • by loteck (533317) on Monday May 02, 2011 @10:15PM (#36006900) Homepage

    The non-profit, online-only journalism model is being tested out across the country to some notable success. Granted, the orgs tend to partner with print and TV media to get their stories a wider audience (like ProPublica has done with the NYT, NPR and FrontLine), but the non-profit membership model of news gathering (like your local NPR affiliate or like ProPublica) is gaining steam.

    Freedom of the press doesn't guarantee quality, which is what I think we all want. Put your money where your eyeballs are and throw a few bucks at ProPublica [propublica.org] if you admire their work.

    I don't work for them, btw... just a fan.

    • For going to that whore house in Monrovia, Liberia with a camera.

      The interviews with Gen Buck Naked were classic as well.

      Not to mention N. Korea.

    • by schnell (163007) <me&schnell,net> on Monday May 02, 2011 @11:31PM (#36007184) Homepage

      The non-profit, online-only journalism model is being tested out across the country to some notable success.

      You are right, and Pro Publica is a great exemplar of investigative journalism done right in the service of its audience.They collaborated with This American Life [thisamericanlife.org] to do an audio episode based on the stories that won them the Pulitzer and it was fantastic - you can download the podcast version here [thisamericanlife.org].

      However, before the Slashbot crowd comes out to cite this as proof positive that nobody should have to pay for news, information wants to be free, the establishment is keeping them down, skateboarding is not a crime, etc. - it should be noted that Pro Publica was created specifically to do a certain kind of investigative reporting [propublica.org] and relies on donations and grants from organizations that think the commercial media don't do enough of those stories. i.e., there is something that the commercial press doesn't do, and people are willing to donate in order to fill that particular need.

      Unfortunately, that doesn't necessarily mean that there is a sustainable model in which foundations will give out grants or individuals will donate to have someone cover your local city council meeting, write up the police blotter, ask questions at White House press conferences or report on the scene from the Zimbabwean elections - the kind of thing that the Associated Press and individual for-profit media (TV or newspaper/online) outlets do. So while Pro Publica is a wonderful resource and a great example of how non-profit journalism can work, it is not necessarily a replacement for the existing commercial media industry.

      • by loteck (533317) on Tuesday May 03, 2011 @01:18AM (#36007462) Homepage

        You're right to an extent (the news cannot be free as in beer), but the nation-wide non-profit online only experiment that I was referring to is really more aimed at the kind of reporting you are talking about. See: The Voice of San Diego [voiceofsandiego.org], The MinnPost [minnpost.com], and The St. Louis Beacon [stlbeacon.org] for examples. Non-profit, local newspapers going 100% online and depending on their communities for support (with maybe some ad sales on the side). All of them are doing hard news coverage and in some cases are doing it better than their city's major daily paper.

        Also, your local NPR station has long operated on the model that you just described, providing the kind of coverage that you've described.

        The model may not yet be proven for "print" but it is certainly being tested, and seems to be holding up pretty well.

  • by slashqwerty (1099091) on Monday May 02, 2011 @10:39PM (#36007010)
    For those who actually want to read the Pulitzer prize winning series, The Wall Street Money Machine [propublica.org] is the root. It appears to have four parts:
    1. The Magnetar Trade [propublica.org]
    2. The 'Subsidy' [propublica.org]
    3. Banks' Self-Dealing Super-Charged Financial Crisis [propublica.org]
    4. The Timeline of Magnetar's Deals [propublica.org]
  • by nickovs (115935) on Tuesday May 03, 2011 @12:50AM (#36007402)

    It's worth noting that Mark Fiore [markfiore.com] won a Pulitzer for his excellent satirical cartoons last year, and they are only available on-line as Flash animations. He was the first cartoonist [wikipedia.org] to win an editorial cartooning Pulitzer for an entry of entirely online animations.

  • The best ever I think atleast for the kind of guy I am(Engineer) is "The Soul of a New Machine", it really explained my profession, how we are and how we work.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Soul_of_a_New_Machine

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