Excellence In Journalism? Time For A True Trophy (September 24, 2012)

. . .

J1          “Awards shape behavior.”

J2          “The palette of Pulitzers runs the spectrum from purple prose to yellow journalism.”

J1          “And the Pulitzers for black and white journalism run the route from The New York Times group of writers to The Washington Post Writers Group, with a few side shows.  The trophy could be transported on the Eastern Airlines shuttle between the New York and Washington airports named for political types, with a few side trips.”

J2          “I concede that the Pulitzers generally reward solid work, yet they only consider conventional and narrowly defined writing drawn from an exclusive clique of writers.”

J1          “They are an exclusive group because they exclude not because of excellence.  Then the Online News Association Awards emerged to emphasize ‘high-tech bells and whistles’ rather than quality and integrity.  The corporate sponsors call the shots.  The Googles and the Facebooks buy the beer and balloons and make the party possible.  Gobs of gaudy high-tech gadgets on a screen define journalism.”

J2          “But in the end that is what the readership wants.  Journalists cannot lose sight of the legitimate needs and concerns of the reader.  We need to sell the product without selling out.” 

J1          “Journalism needs a new way of thinking and a new award.  Awards shape behavior.”

. . .

[J1 = Journalist 1; J2 = . . . ]

Bumper stickers of the week:

Here today, gone today

Where’s the tofu?

Too much sizzle, not enough tofu

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