Business Magazine

The Virtual Winner: The First Pulitzer to a Distributed News Organization

Posted on the 18 April 2013 by Jlipnack @jlipnack

In a way, all news organizations are distributed, i.e. you can't really get most breaking news stories without showing up. But newsrooms have been the energy drinks for reporters for forever. As previously reported, I started my reporting career at the Pottstown Mercury in a rectange of six steel desks, three facing three. And keys to the newspaper car in order to go on assignment.

But until this year's Pulitzers were awarded, a truly virtual news operation had never received one. Here's a great story from NY Times reporter Brian Stelter on InsideClimateNews's virtual operations. They received the award for national reporting with their journalists in Washington, Boston (dear beloved city), and New York. Here's their "about" and the description of their wild celebration (plus a couple of other lines0 from Stelter's Times story:

'We’re a virtual organization,” said the publisher of the six-year-old Web site, David Sassoon, from his office in New York. So the celebration took place in a telephone conference call; whatever Champagne flowed, flowed in separate locations.

InsideClimate News may be the leanest news start-up ever to be presented with a Pulitzer, journalism’s highest honor, a prize that is typically awarded to regional and national newspapers. It beat out 50 other entrants and two finalists, The Boston Globe and The Washington Post, for the prize.

With a full-time staff of just seven and a nonprofit business model, InsideClimate News exemplifies a new breed of news organization that depends on donations, both from rich charitable foundations and a handful of ordinary readers.


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