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Fri - 22.09.2017

The Huffington Post examines a small publication that recently won a Pulitzer

The Huffington Post examines a small publication that recently won a Pulitzer

Among the news outlets to win Pulitzer prizes last week, the Bristol Herald Courier, a rural publication from Bristol, Virginia stood out from the rest. In a feature for The Huffington Post, Jane Podesta praises the publication's determinism while large news outlets such as The New York Times and The Washington Post keep "groaning about cutbacks."

Podesta's examination of the Herald Courier's work ethic and office environment supports growing evidence that quality reporting can be achieved with less. As a "hungry young reporter," Daniel Gilbert's only experience with investigative journalism consisted of a weeklong crash course in the subject. Yet somehow, after being emailed a tip for a story, Gilbert managed to conduct an extensive investigation into a natural gas company taking advantage of local farmers that ended up winning him and the Courier a Pulitzer in public service reporting.

In comparison with its fellow awardees, the Bristol Herald Courier doesn't create any special distinction between reporting and investigative reporting. Without the resources of larger publications, the publication's editor, J. Todd Foster, encourages his staff to pursue investigative stories but "demands daily reporting on hyper local stories." Even after Gilbert's article was nominated he was still required to take on local stories, like interviewing a local man dressed up as the Easter bunny.

Podesta believes that larger publications like The New York Times and The Washington Post could learn some "lessons" from the Couriers' ability to achieve a lot with very little. Publications that became famous for their hard-hitting investigative journalism pieces have continually lamented that budget constraints no longer support the costs of investigative journalism but the validity of this complaint is increasingly coming into question.

The Herald Courier's win in public service reporting and the non-profit organization ProPublica's win for investigative journalism increasingly demonstrates that journalism can be produced at a reasonable cost. Although the recent cutbacks in journalism as a result of the media crisis have burdened the industry, they also force journalists and publications to be more resourceful and efficient with the resources that they do have. Like other publications, the Bristol Herald Courier was forced to reduce their circulation size during the course of the past year, yet this setback did not impede the publication's dedication to good reporting--for which, in the end, it was rewarded a Pulitzer.

Source: The Huffington Post



Robert Eisenhart


2010-04-21 18:33

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