NBC News’s Selective Pulitzer Reporting

Questions we asked ourselves here in our news meeting earlier:

Does television news — the nightly newscasts, for example— (still) cover or mention the Pulitzer Prizes? And if so, how did, say, NBC Nightly News, last night report on the New York Times’s pack-leading five Pulitzer wins, including the investigative reporting prize for David Barstow’s series that —I’m quoting the Pulitzer board here— “revealed how some retired generals, working as radio and television analysts, had been co-opted by the Pentagon to make its case for the war in Iraq, and how many of them also had undisclosed ties to companies that benefited from policies they defended”?

Might NBC News, we joked, phrase their report…selectively? Something like:

And the New York Times won five Pulitzers, including one for art criticism.

Which is, a quick tveyes.com search reveals, about how NBC News’s Brian Williams actually did report it last night:

The Pulitzer Prizes for journalism and arts were awarded today. The New York Times led the way with five, including awards for breaking news and international reporting…

…and, um, that prize for that series on conflicted retired generals appearing as “military analysts” on some familiar broadcast news outlets…

Las Vegas Sun won for the public service category for its reporting on construction worker deaths in that city. Best commentary went to Eugene Robinson of the Washington Post who of course was an on-air commentator for us on MSNBC all through the election season and continues to be. And the award for best biography went to Jon Meacham for his book, the editor of Newsweek magazine, including American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House.

According to tveyes, the other network nightly newscasts did not mention the Pulitzers (lacking, perhaps, their own “on-air commentator”/Pulitzer winner to promote). Taking a look at the cable networks now….

UPDATE: I see Glenn Greenwald beat me to it. See Greenwald’s complete run-down at Salon of how certain Pulitzers were (and weren’t) covered by broadcast news outlets.

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Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.