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Twitter Snubbed by Pulitzer
By: Andy Weiss
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Tim Tebow’s pass on Sunday may have just set a record for the number of sports tweets per second. But one thing the Denver quarterback can’t overcome is the Pulitzer Prize Board's decision to limit its Breaking News category prize to real-time reporting that appears on a website. There was speculation that Twitter-based coverage would be eligible. However, the recent clarification and distinction effectively eliminated real-time tweets from prize consideration.
 
On the surface, it may not seem like a big deal and there are ways for news organizations to incorporate tweets from their journalists into their coverage of an event and become eligible. However, the news cycle is moving faster and faster and technology and tools like Twitter are enabling traditional and digital journalists to report the news as it happens. The most notable case was Andy Carvin’s use of Twitter to cover the Arab Spring revolutions in Egypt. While many news sources were cut off, Carvin’s tweets provided the rest of the world a glimpse of the events as they unfolded — 140 characters at a time. Sadly, by definition, Carvin’s reporting is not eligible to be honored with a Pulitzer.
 
As consumers' media habits change and news organizations and journalists adjust, the hope is that the publishing’s most distinguished award will eventually catch up, too.


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About the Author
Andy Weiss is a digital direct marketer, consumer evangelist, change agent, and cultural anthropologist.
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