I’ll admit, I don’t read the newspapers regularly. Mainly because they are never anywhere near me, so I don’t remember to read them. As they say, out of sight, out of mind. However, with many newspapers going online now, every single newspaper around the world is within my reach. It is even possible for a newspaper to set up an online-only platform such as The Huffington Post.
Online journalism has been seen as a threat to the traditional newspapers and The Huffington Post’s recent Pulitzer win might just support that notion. It is the first time that an online news website has won a Pulitzer Prize. The political journalism organization, Politico, which publishes a daily newspaper but is popular for its website, also won a Pulitzer along with HuffPost.
The Huffington Post won the Pulitzer for their 10-part series, Beyond the Battlefield, which focused on the wounded veteran soldiers of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Politico won the Pulitzer for Matt Wuerker’s cartoons that highlighted partisan political divides. Below are some of his cartoons.
However, the HuffPost’s Pulitzer win has received some criticism by some in the newspaper industry. This criticism mainly stems from the uncertainty in the quality of the HuffPost’s content. Some people in the journalism industry expressed their shock at its win. Among them were the founder of Slate, Jacob Weisberg, who wrote on his Twitter, “I admire many things about HuffPo, but its original journalism still of minimal quality and value.”
Weisberg’s concerns are echoed among those who share the same view that there is some doubt in the quality of HuffPost’s content. However, although these concerns are valid, I personally think that the journalism industry should accept these new changes because they are unavoidable. With the Internet, anyone can set up their own news site, by creating a blog, for example. Validity will always be an issue, but let’s face it, validity is an issue even in traditional newspapers (See Jayson Blair and Stephen Glass fabrication scandals). It all boils down to the ethics of the journalist.
I don’t think that online journalism will ever go away, and there is really nothing we can do to make it go away. So all we can do as consumers of the news is to be intelligent readers, and not blindly consume the content that is fed to us from various news sources.
The Pulitzer Prizes