The Pulitzer Prize is the most coveted award in the writing world. Given annually since 1917, my earliest recollection of it is Lois Lane constantly professing that “this” would be her Pulitzer for sure. The award is given in two areas—Journalism is one, Letters and Drama the other—across 21 categories. This year The Pulitzer winners are particularly telling not only in who won in what category but also, who didn’t.
According to the New York Times (a paper that nailed two wins this year) both Politico and The Huffington Post both nabbed their first Pulitzers this year. As news media outlets that exist solely on the internet this move is an astounding mark of legitimization of online journalism and is most certainly a mark of the times. Here at Eat Your Serial, it is validating of our recent decision to ramp up our blog content, but also should come as no surprise to anybody in Generation C. I can only speak from my experience, but I gather more than 95% of my news from internet coverage; a trend that many print and television news outlets are rushing to take advantage of.
Equally telling as the Politico and Huffington Post wins is the lack of any winner in the Fiction and Editorial Writing categories. It has long been the assertion that Hollywood is out of ideas, and if movies are any indication then it would seem that the literary world is as well—or at the very least the tap has run dry on fiction and opinion of merit. (Though I’m willing to bet the Prize Board didn’t read Ten Years Gone: Pomp and Circumstance or any of the other 11 Eat Your Serial titles. Shame on them!)
Seriously speaking, though this isn’t the first time the fiction category hasn’t been awarded, it is the first time (according to the Times) in over 30 years. Further, the fact that they couldn’t or wouldn’t award in the category of Editorial Writing is even more surprising given the increased number of pundits and professional political commentators these days.
The Pulitzer is the premiere award in the world of writing. The fact that any editorial commentary or work of fiction in the world wasn’t up to snuff can be read in one of two ways: give up or be inspired. Personally, as a writer, I’m inspired. There’s apparently a void that needs filling; or at the very least a need that was not met in the last year.
The message is clear. Get to thinking and get to writing.Get your voice out on the internet or in print: however you can. And remember you’ll only be recognized if you’re great—apparently the Pulitzer board would rather not give out the award than tarnish it.