LA Times donates Pulitzer winnings to Cal State journalists*

lat-pulitzer-2016.jpgThere won't be any messy fumbling this time. The LA Times announced today that all of the money from the Pulitzer Prize for coverage of last year's San Bernardino terrorist shootings will be donated to support student journalism at Cal State San Bernardino. The gift will be presented Thursday at noon at the Cal State student union. Editor-in-chief and publisher Davan Maharaj will be at a Times-sponsored public forum. Metro desk editor Bob Sipchen will moderate the forum with reporters Joe Mozingo and Paloma Esquivel.

The Pulitzer Prize for breaking news was awarded to the Times staff for coverage of the December 2015 shootings and aftermath. Top editors and selected staffers picked up the prize at a Pulitzer banquet in New York City last week.

The Pulitzers come with a $10,000 prize except in the public service category, where there is no cash award.

The last time the Times staff won a big journalism prize, there was some controversy over the eventual use of $35,000 from the Selden Ring Award at USC. The prize in 2011 was for the paper's investigation into official corruption in the city of Bell. One of the reporters, Jeff Gottlieb, began complaining in 2013 that the cash was being mishandled by Times editors, and when he sued the Times this August for age discrimination he cited the prize money as one of his grievances. The Times replied then that the suit was without merit.

Speaking of prizes, the Pulitzer Prizes organization announced Wednesday that all journalism categories of the prizes will now be open to magazine entries. Once restricted just to newspaper work, the Pulitzers have recently allowed entries from websites and, in selected categories, magazines. "We decided that the time had come to open all categories to magazines,” said Joyce Dehli, co-chair of the Pulitzer board. “The broad expansion of digital journalism has led to a growing overlap in the work and roles of newspapers, digital-only news sites, and magazines.”

The basic eligibility requirements now will be journalism from "regularly published United States newspapers, magazines, and news websites that 'adhere to the highest journalistic principles.'" Broadcast outlets and their websites are still out.

And in case you wondered, the pronunciation of "Pulitzer" is butchered roughly half the time you hear it. The Pulitzer Prizes FAQ page states very clearly:

The correct pronunciation is "PULL it sir."

Thursday afternoon update: The Times issued a press release that adds Cajon High School in San Bernardino as a recipient of some help as well. Here's the flackage:

The Los Angeles Times today announced a youth journalism and community engagement project in collaboration with California State University, San Bernardino and Cajon High School in San Bernardino. The project is intended to encourage public service through journalism and to honor victims of the Dec. 2, 2015 terrorist attack. It will help expand community coverage of San Bernardino through The Times HS Insider student journalism platform, Cajon High School’s Cajon Courier and CSUSB’s Coyote Chronicle.

The Times won the Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Reporting for its coverage of the San Bernardino massacre. A Times delegation went to Columbia University in New York last week to receive the prize and a $10,000 check. Davan Maharaj, Times Editor-in-Chief and Publisher, said that the staff was donating the $10,000 to the journalism project in San Bernardino.

“Our reporting on San Bernardino showed how a community can come together in the face of adversity, find strength in each other and work together to solve problems,” Maharaj said. “We hope to honor the victims and the community as a whole by helping to create more opportunities to spark dialogue, tackle tough questions and tell the stories of San Bernardino.”

The Times’ HS Insider team will partner with Cajon High School’s journalism program to sponsor 14 students for a fall journalism conference, and one for a paid summer internship, and will introduce a “My San Bernardino” feature. In addition, a grant from The Times will fund a dedicated editor and reporter at CSUSB’s Coyote Chronicle to launch a community news section. Cajon High School’s student journalists also will have the opportunity to receive mentoring from the Chronicle staff and pitch stories for the college newspaper.

CSUSB hosted a community event Thursday at which Maharaj announced the youth journalism and community engagement project.

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