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The Huffington Post has just made history as the first blog to ever win a Pulitzer Prize.
Only in the past two years have digital media outlets made the Pulitzer cut. ProPublica, an independent nonprofit journalism outfit that syndicates content to traditional news organizations, was the first online entity to earn a Pulitzer Prize, which it did two years running, in 2010 and 2011.
However, the Huffington Post is a blog, pure and simple, and it’s the first one to be so honored for its journalism.
While many of us click on HuffPo links for an entirely different set of reasons, the blog won its Pulitzer fair and square due to the remarkable work of Huffington Post senior military correspondent David Wood. As we read today on HuffPo, Wood, 66, took home the Pulitzer for Beyond the Battlefield, a ten-part series on wounded veterans.
This was not your typical blogger fare. For the series, Wood conducted in-depth interviews with severely wounded veterans over an eight-month period. The publication definitely invested the time and resources (Wood is a veteran journo who has spent more than three decades doing war reporting) in this series, and the recognition is well deserved.
On her publication this afternoon, the blog’s famous founder, Arianna Huffington, made the following statement:
We are delighted and deeply honored by the award, which recognizes both David’s exemplary piece of purposeful journalism and HuffPost’s commitment to original reporting that affects both the national conversation and the lives of real people. From the beginning, one of the core pillars of HuffPost’s editorial philosophy has been to use narrative and storytelling to put flesh and blood on data and statistics, and to help bear witness to the struggles faced by millions of Americans. We are very grateful to have won for this series, the culmination of David Wood’s long career as a military correspondent, and an affirmation that great journalism is thriving on the web.
This huge win for HuffPo is, in a small way, a win for all blogs of quality. As long as blog-based reporters are doing great work, getting original stories, spending time with their sources, and telling those stories well, the writers and editors of the Internet will continue to give traditional media a run for its money — as well as promoting the world-changing innovation that’s changing the media industry moment by moment.
The Huffington Post was founded by Arianna Huffington in 2005. It is owned by AOL, which acquired the blog last year for $315 million. Last year, the site announced it had achieved the landmark of one billion pageviews in a single month, with 37 million unique visitors.