2016 Pulitzer Centennial Marquee Events’ Partners and Themes Announced

by: Press Release | Pulitzer

Leaders in American journalism, scholarship and public affairs will join as collaborators with the Pulitzer Board in celebrating the 100th awarding of the prizes in 2016, Columbia University announced today.

Organizations participating in the Pulitzer Centennial Marquee Project include the Newseum; The Poynter Institute; The Dallas Morning News with the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum, the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum, and the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum; the Los Angeles Times with USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism; and the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard.

This collaboration on a series of events will augment the grassroots Campfires Initiative recently announced by Pulitzer and the Federation of State and Territorial Humanities Councils.

“These two programs will give us a chance not only to celebrate Pulitzer history but also to focus on challenges that remain relevant as we begin our second century,” said Paul Gigot, Pulitzer Board chair.

The four signature events will take place in Florida, California, Texas and Massachusetts. Each will focus on a major aspect of Pulitzer history: Social Justice and Equality; War, Migration and the Quest for Peace; Presidents and the Press; and Abuse of Power.

In addition to hosting an opening event for Pulitzer Prize winners, the Newseum in Washington, D.C., will produce a short film on each of the themes. The Newseum’s Pulitzer photography exhibit contains the largest collection of Pulitzer winners ever assembled and remains among its most popular galleries, according to Peter Prichard, the Newseum’s chairman and CEO. The Newseum looks forward to being “part of the anniversary commemoration for an organization that has done so much to recognize and encourage excellence in journalism,” Prichard said.

All marquee events will be free of charge and open to the public. The first will be at The Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, Fla., in late March 2016. Press coverage focusing on social justice and equality – past, present and future – will be the central theme. Poynter plans a two-day event with visual, dramatic and musical performances, workshops and discussions.

“At the same time we honor the path-breaking work of the last century, we will seize this opportunity to explore journalism’s role in addressing inequality in the next century,” said Tim Franklin, the institute’s president.

In May the Los Angeles Times and the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism will explore American coverage of war, migration and the quest for a peaceful world. John Daniszewski, a member of the Pulitzer Board, cited the Times’ long record of distinguished coverage of war and peace, adding:

“The many military families who make their home in Southern California and the refugees from war who have settled there provide a fitting backdrop for an exploration of this theme and its meaning in the contemporary world.”

Plans for the event include photographic exhibitions and panel discussions around the effects of war and social displacement as reflected in Pulitzer-Prize-winning works in journalism and letters, drama and music.

The People, the Presidency and the Press will be the subject of discussion in Dallas, as a consortium of Texas presidential libraries joins with the The Dallas Morning News to present a two-day symposium in early June 2016.

“From the writing of presidential biographies to coverage of the presidency in a digital age, we have a rich opportunity to examine the values that undergird Pulitzer Prize-winning work,” said Keven Ann Willey, member of the Pulitzer Board and chair of its centennial committee.

The Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University will complete the marquee event series in September 2016. Its program will focus on power, accountability and abuse and will include Pulitzer Prize winners in conversation, storytelling and performance.

“This is not just a moment for retrospection,” said Ann Marie Lipinski, the Nieman curator. “Exploring the ways the use and abuse of power have echoed throughout the history of the prize can ignite debate and strengthen both journalism and the arts as we look out to a new era.”

The marquee programs are part of a year-long celebration that includes scores of events to be presented by state and territorial humanities councils and other organizations. The Pulitzer organization is also redesigning its website, Pulitzer.org, to amplify these programs and the values the Pulitzer Prizes represent. This effort is funded by grants from the Pulitzer Board, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

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