Not true, says Pulitzer Prizes administrator Sig Gissler.
“Our official policy is that the finalist and winners are confidential until the point of the release. Apparently some of that leaks out, but our office does not contact anybody. Jurors sign pledges of confidentiality and I ask them to honor them.”
There are 77 Pulitzer jurors — and we all know that journalists like to gossip — so it’s no surprise that some newsrooms know in advance that they won and have the Champagne ready to pour and the local TV stations ready to tape the celebration. UPDATE — A reader points out: “It’s the Pulitzer Board — which I believe has 18 voting members — that picks the winners.”
The Tuscaloosa News won the breaking news Pulitzer on Monday and city editor Katherine Lee writes on my Facebook wall that “we were in the dark til we saw it on the Pulitzer website.” The Stranger says it learned of its prize via the Pulitzer website, too. “They didn’t call in advance,” writes Christopher Frizzelle.