The Pulitzer Prize winners were announced Monday, April 18, 2016. This year marks the 100th year of the Pulitzer Prize being awarded to journalists who embody Joseph Pulitzer’s high standard of reporting. The celebrated stories and journalists truly capture the controversial and complicated moments of current times.
Through the list of Pulitzer Prize categories and its winners, the reported coverage reflects the truth within the current world. These current times may reflect how much has changed, however, there is even more that remains the same.
No matter the category, from public service to breaking news and photography. The current worldview reflects back in every Pulitzer Prize winner’s story. More often than not, it seems this mirror does not reflect a pretty image.
The view of the world may fold across time, as if nothing has changed, besides the names in the reports. Pulitzer Prize-winning stories uncover slave labor that still exists across large parts of the world and shows the repetition of human suffering across periods of time. These reports have brought light and exposure to a world that keeps growing smaller through technology, yet demonstrates how people’s lives are worlds apart.
The theme of these reports is the true reflection of how Pulitzer Prizes document the issues affecting the worldview throughout history. The winners have the same passion in changing the world, as those before them. Looking to uncover stories that change lives. Many of these stories mark how history and the present are not much different.
Reports exposing systematic corruption in the public sectors of the United States is reminiscent of previous periods in history. Under the local reporting category; three reporters Michael LaForgia, Cara Fitzpatrick, and Lisa Gartner won the Pulitzer Prize working for the Tampa Bay Times. The judges chose them for exposing, “a local school board’s culpability in turning some county schools into failure factories.” The reporters discovered that over eight years; five elementary schools, in predominately black areas, became the worst schools in Florida.
The school board took no action while children failed and teachers left the school. The district was accused of “educational malpractice” by the federal education secretary.
While some stories seem to always be in the headlines, focusing on the plight of the people who currently exist, these winners also show an early glimpse of what will grow into bigger stories in the future.
While weather phenomena and tragedies, like hurricanes and earthquakes, have devastated the world time and time again, climate change is a more recent area of reporting. Looking at how these phenomena will be tracked, alongside how the world is physically changing, will be a new reflection on the worldview. The Pulitzer Prize for feature writing was awarded to Kathryn Schulz.
Schulz’s investigation of the Cascadia subduction zone, a fault line that threatens to unleash the worst natural disaster in North American history, of which, would completely destroy the Pacific Northwest with an earthquake and subsequent tsunami.
Stories reflecting how the physical world is changing will be tracked historically through Pulitzer Prize winners. This has the opportunity to slowly replace the human tragedy that separates our world and bring people closer together. The Pulitzer prize can mark the plight of people connecting through the commonality of the world and has the potential to merge worldviews. As natural disasters occur in various areas of the world, those events will have a ripple effect across the world’s entire surface.
When the Pulitzer Prize was created, in the 19th century, it was meant to be an incentive for journalists to excel. The Pulitzer Prize, like the times, has evolved to show the current age. However, the Pulitzer remains timeless in its reflection of the worldview.
By Gichele Cocrelle
Edited by Jeanette Smith
Pulitzer: History of The Pulitzer Prize
Money CNN: 100th Pulitzer Prizes Announced
New York Times: 2016 Pulitzer Prize winners
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