Photo of Joseph Pulitzer
The winners of the 2011 Pulitzer Prizes, named for newspaper tycoon Joseph Pulitzer (pictured), have just been announced. Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

The list of the 2011 Pulitzer Prize winners has been announced by Columbia University. Columbia created the awards in honor of newspaper magnate Joseph Pulitzer, who founded the journalism school at Columbia. The Pulitzer Prize is one of the most prestigious awards in American media. Pulitzers are bestowed for the best works of journalism, literature and music.

Wall Street Journal nabs first award in four years

The 2011 Pulitzer Prize winners have just been announced by Columbia University, and the Wall Street Journal has won its first prize in four years. The last time the WSJ won a Pulitzer, according to the New York Times, was just before it was purchased by Rupert Murdoch, the media magnate who also owns the New York Post and the Fox corporation. The New York Times won in two categories. David Leonhardt won Best Commentary and Clifford J. Levy and Ellen Barry won Best International Reporting. The award for Best Public Service went to the Los Angeles Times for its coverage of the municipal workers’ compensation scandal in Bell, Calif. Photographer Barbara Davidson of the Los Angeles Times also won for Feature Photography.

Awards for books and music

Pulitzers are awarded to authors for fiction and non-fiction, with several categories of non-fiction books being awarded the honors. The Pulitzer for Best Biography went to Ron Chernow for writing “Washington: A Life.” Best History was awarded to renowned historian Eric Foner for “The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery.” The prestigious award for best General Non-fiction went to Siddharta Mukherjee for writing “The Emperor of all Maladies: a Biography of Cancer.” Jennifer Egan won Best Fiction for writing “A Visit from the Goon Squad,” and Bruce Norris won Best Drama for his play “Clybourne Park.” Kay Ryan won Best Poetry for the collection “The Best of It: New and Selected Poems,” and Best Music was awarded to pianist Zhou Long forĀ  the opera “Madam White Snake.”

Journalism prize in name of king of yellow journalism

The Pulitzer Prize is among the most prestigious domestic awards that an American journalist or author can win. A very small list of people have won it more than once, including William Faulkner, John Updike and four-time winner and Poet Laureate Robert Frost. The award was created by Columbia University in 1917 after newspaper magnate Joseph Pulitzer left a considerable sum to the college to establish a journalism school. Pulitzer was remembered for being one of the largest looming figures in what is called “yellow journalism,” a practice of publishing sensationalistic stories with little regard to fact to incense the readership. Pulitzer and rival magnate and fellow yellow journalism proponent William Randolph Hearst are believed to have nearly caused the Spanish American War by themselves.


New York Times:

Pulitzer Prizes:


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