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Wash Post’s Pulitzer Prize-winning business columnist is no expert on newspaper business 4/29/08

Posted by Steve Boriss in BusinessNews.

I’ve long suspected that Academy Awards and Pulitzer Prizes had something fundamental in common. Often, they are bestowed upon those who most loudly voice or exemplify how their industries like to think of themselves, rather than those who most please the people who should matter most — their audiences. This year as Exhibit A, may I present to you Steve Pearlstein, the Washington Post’s Pulitzer Prize-winning business columnist who seems to have a knack for barking-out all the dogma journalists like, but has sent the newspaper business to the dogs.

Pearlstein’s rant that “there’s too many newspapers…too many news organizations…it’s just too fragmented,” is simply laughable in an era when the unstoppable Internet has only just begun to fragment the news business. His concern about needed “economies of scale…to pay for the software necessary to maintain a good web site” shows a stunning ignorance of the ultra-low cost economics of online distribution, not to mention that so many online applications and services are now available free. His insistence that “we will have customers, they will pay more” is questionable at best, given that those who can afford to pay more are also the most attractive targets for advertisers. Then after saying that localizing business news is a bad thing, he qualifies his statement with “I am not saying that local is not important…But too much local news is not sophisticated.” Such is the type of sophisticated business analysis now worthy of a Pulitzer Prize.


1. Kristine - 5/4/08

Hmm… those sentiment puzzled me as well, couldn’t quite make those statements gel with someone awarded such a prestigious prize, the ignorance behind them is really quite absurd, but was too busy to do much more than raise my eyebrows then forget about it, thanks for reminding me…

2. peter - 5/4/08

one big difference between oscars and pullitzers: No-one makes films just to win oscars. A hefty proportion of Pullitzers are won by features written specifically to win them.

Looking back ten years from now I suspect that “award winning journalism” will be seen for the distraction that it is.

The biggest newspaper site in the world – guardian.com
thye fastest growing news site in the US – dailymail.co.uk

not a Pullitzer between them.

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