Every April we're strongly reminded why journalism matters as Columbia University announces the deserving winners of the Pulitzer Prize.
This year's awards are noteworthy with the inclusion of PolitiFact.com, an online fact-checking news bureau of the St. Petersburg Times. As the story on the winning site notes:
The (Pulitzer) board cited PolitiFact's use of "probing reporters and the power of the World Wide Web to examine more than 750 political claims, separating rhetoric from truth to enlighten voters."
Neil Brown, executive editor of the St. Petersburg Times, which launched PolitiFact in August 2007, said the award was "proof that the Web is not a death sentence for newspapers. In fact, PolitiFact marries the power of old-fashioned shoe-leather journalism with an extraordinarily powerful way to present it."
During the campaign, PolitiFact had a staff of five Times reporters and editors, plus the support of researchers and writers from Congressional Quarterly, a sister company of the Times. PolitiFact re-launched in January to fact-check Congress and the White House, and added the Obameter, a feature that tracks President Barack Obama’s campaign promises.
I couldn't agree more with Neil Brown on the value of journalism. PolitiFact clearly shows there's a future for those who won't be satisfied until the truth is told and the public served.-rp-