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No journalism awards are awaited with as much anticipation as the Pulitzer Prizes. And among 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. No journalism awards are awaited with as much anticipation as the Pulitzer Prizes. And among 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.


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No journalism awards are awaited with as much anticipation as the Pulitzer Prizes. And among 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. No journalism awards are awaited with as much anticipation as the Pulitzer Prizes. And among 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.

30 review for Pulitzer's Gold: Behind the Prize for Public Service Journalism

  1. 4 out of 5

    Martha

    This book is a history of the Pulitzer Public Service Gold Medal for Journalism -- the prize the Washington Post won for its Watergate coverage in the '70s and the New York Times for publishing the Pentagon Papers in the same decade. More recently, the prize has been won by The Wall Street Journal for its reporting on the manipulation of stock-options for business executives and The Times-Picayune in New Orleans and the Sun-Herald of Biloxi-Gulfport, dual winners in 2006 for their reportage on H This book is a history of the Pulitzer Public Service Gold Medal for Journalism -- the prize the Washington Post won for its Watergate coverage in the '70s and the New York Times for publishing the Pentagon Papers in the same decade. More recently, the prize has been won by The Wall Street Journal for its reporting on the manipulation of stock-options for business executives and The Times-Picayune in New Orleans and the Sun-Herald of Biloxi-Gulfport, dual winners in 2006 for their reportage on Hurricane Katrina). The book covers the basic history of the Pulitzers in general -- when and why Joseph Pulitzer established them, the reaction from other journalists and newspaper publishers, how the awards process changed over the decades. But the main meat of the book consists of mini-case studies of some of the papers and stories that have won the prize throughout the years -- including some surprisingly small papers that you might not think had a chance at a Pulitzer. I found it fascinating reading, like opening a window onto the workings of daily newspapers. You get an insight into some of the problems that come up in the reporting process and the sheer volume of work and number of hours that's involved in much of the news gathering. If anyone doubts that the current financial struggles of newspapers might have a negative impact on the news we get to read, they'll see very clearly why that's the case. I especially enjoyed learning about some of the stories I hadn't read or heard of. Some were heartbreaking, like the story of a Texas marine recruit killed during training. On a tip from one of his relatives (the family was simply told that it was an "accidental death"), the tiny Lufkin (Texas) News investigated and uncovered evidence of a coverup, which prompted Congress to hold hearings on recruitment techniques. I'd highly recommend this book to anyone with an interest in journalism.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Liz Nutting

    A fascinating look at the world of newspapers and reporting, as well as an inside glance at the Pulitzer Prize. It made me proud of the things that our nation's investigative reporters have achieved; and it made me despair that this sort of reporting is being lost. A fascinating look at the world of newspapers and reporting, as well as an inside glance at the Pulitzer Prize. It made me proud of the things that our nation's investigative reporters have achieved; and it made me despair that this sort of reporting is being lost.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    As heard on the Diane Rehm show on WAMU.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Marti

  5. 5 out of 5

    Vicki

  6. 5 out of 5

    Martha

  7. 4 out of 5

    Charlie

  8. 4 out of 5

    Pageturner

  9. 5 out of 5

    Gemma

  10. 4 out of 5

    Dale

  11. 4 out of 5

    Patricia

  12. 4 out of 5

    Staci

  13. 4 out of 5

    Ann

  14. 5 out of 5

    Serena

  15. 5 out of 5

    Inithello

  16. 4 out of 5

    Siddartha

  17. 5 out of 5

    Aske Denning

  18. 5 out of 5

    Mwr

  19. 4 out of 5

    K.J. McIntyre

  20. 4 out of 5

    Birdbath Birdbath

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jenny

  22. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jo-Anne

  24. 4 out of 5

    harvey zabala

  25. 5 out of 5

    Matt

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    David Prince

  27. 4 out of 5

    Michael Riess

  28. 4 out of 5

    Csirons

  29. 4 out of 5

    Guy

  30. 5 out of 5

    Debora Rubi

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