- Paperback: 488 pages
- Publisher: Columbia University Press; revised and updated edition edition (December 22, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0231170297
- ISBN-13: 978-0231170291
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 5 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #740,931 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Pulitzer's Gold: A Century of Public Service Journalism revised and updated edition Edition
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Roy Harris is the master historian of the Pulitzer Prize. He has written the real inside story of the most serious journalism of the last century, and as a result provided a brilliant portrait of America. Know your journalism, and you will know your country and its values.
--Bob Woodward, The Washington Post
Pulitzer's Gold is a deeply researched, richly anecdotal and faithfully inspirational chronicle of how relentless journalists, over the last 100 years, have exposed a remarkable assortment of ills and abuses to make the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service the global standard for excellence. Again and again, Roy Harris's smooth story-behind-the-story technique underscores the indispensable role of journalists in a free society.
--Sig Gissler, Former administrator, The Pulitzer Prizes
At a time when many lament a general decline in watchdog journalism, the centennial of the Pulitzer Prizes is a good time to reflect on the pivotal role the Pulitzer Gold Medal for Meritorious Public Service has played in both celebrating and encouraging public-interest journalism. There is nobody more equipped to tell a century of these riveting tales than Roy Harris Jr., as he takes us deep into some of the most engaging and impactful storytelling that has emerged from many great investigations and a continuing search for the truth.
--Raju Narisetti, Senior Vice President, News Corp
Harris' Pulitzer's Gold recalls some of this nation's best journalism and tells how the stories came to be. A reporter notices an unusual data point, newsrooms publish while storms rage or human threats abound, a journalist "writes like a poet, but (with) the skills of an investigative reporter." Each led to powerful news stories that improved communities. The book provides the lift we need today. It captures the passion of journalism and celebrates great works.
--Karen B. Dunlap, PhD, Poynter Institute President Emerita
Noting that the 2009 and 2010 Pulitzer Prize medals for public service recognized the work of reporters who had yet to turn thirty, Roy Harris Jr. writes: "How inspiring…for the crowds of college students who still see journalism as a way to change society for the better." And how true that is, as well, for this second edition of Harris's book chronicling the history of the public service prize. Harris has done a thorough-going update of his work, adding numerous new case studies of the most recent prize-winning efforts. Using an array of material - from historical archives to oral histories to interviews with current-day practitioners - he provides narratives of all 103 medal winners with in-depth treatments of a couple dozen particularly momentous pieces of journalism that often worked to create change in society and, not incidentally, went on to win journalism's most prestigious prize. The result, for those aforementioned journalism students (and their teachers), is a virtual handbook on how to pursue the big stories. Equally important for those students as well as scholars interested in the place of journalism in society, the revised book will continue to serve as a valuable resource on the development of journalism as a profession and its intersection with institutional power in the twentieth century and beyond.
--Gerry Lanosga, Indiana University
At a time when the business model of the American newspaper lies broken, this book tells us, by vivid examples, why newspapers are essential to our national well-being. It is a sobering yet inspiring message.
--John S. Carroll, former Los Angeles Times editor and 1993-2002 Pulitzer Prize Board member
[A] fine contribution to both scholarship and instruction, a book that can be read for fun, consulted for research, and assigned for class.
--Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly
A gold mine of inspiration for both journalists and non-journalists.... Pulitzer's Gold offers marvelous storytelling, real-life adventures, and absolute proof that journalism can change our world for the better.
--Jeffrey Zaslow, co-author, The Last Lecture, and Wall Street Journal columnist
About the Author
Roy J. Harris Jr. spent over two decades as a Wall Street Journal reporter, including six years as deputy chief of its Los Angeles bureau. He then spent thirteen years as senior editor of The Economist's CFO Magazine. Early in his career, he reported for the Los Angeles Times and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. He lives in Hingham, Massachusetts.
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What Harris manages to do in his book about the history and significance of the Pulitzer Prize is interview the interviewers, which is no mean feat—try to extract a source from your local reporter or think of how hard it is as a layman to interview your local editorial board! The second edition of his book comes out on the hundredth anniversary of the Pulitzer Prize itself and therefore commemorates a hundred years of prize-winning American journalism. (Think of celebrating Super Bowl 50 simultaneously with a Bicentennial and a Grammy Awards ceremony if you need comparables.)
It’s not a book to skim lightly or try to read cover to cover. It’s actually being used as a textbook for journalism students, but Harris’s prose style is top notch Standard American English in readable journalism, so every back story is presented factually, comprehensively, and intriguingly. From the exposé of Ponzi and his 1920s rackets (Chapter 11) to the investigation of Synanon in the 1970s by a tiny local paper (Chapter 17), there is a back story to fit every viewpoint and most American political stances. Although Pulitzer’s Gold might make you nostalgic for the newspapers that have now disappeared, it is more likely that Harris’s book will give you goosebumps of patriotism for the First Amendment and the rational, prize-winning journalists who keep the Fourth Estate functioning. Buy it before you close this website.