NY Times story:
Bowing to the rapid rise of news distributed digitally rather than on paper, the Pulitzer Prizes will begin immediately accepting submissions from online-only publications.
The Pulitzers, administered by Columbia University, are widely regarded as the most prestigious awards for American newspaper reporting and commentary. Beginning with the 2009 prizes, which cover work done in 2008 and which will be presented in April, Internet newspapers and other news organizations that publish online will be considered for all 14 of the journalism awards, from international reporting to criticism. The deadline for submission for 2009 is Feb. 1.
“This is an important step forward, reflecting our continued commitment to American newspapers as well as our willingness to adapt to the remarkable growth of online journalism,” Sig Gissler, the administrator of the prizes, said in a statement. “The new rules enlarge the Pulitzer tent and recognize more fully the role of the Web, while underscoring the enduring value of words and of serious reporting.”
The changes to the rules were approved in a board meeting last month. The online publications must publish at least once a week and be “primarily dedicated to original news reporting and coverage of ongoing stories,” according to the revised eligibility rules. Web sites that exist primarily to aggregate news or post commentary will not be eligible, and decisions about eligibility will be made on a case-by-case basis, the board said. Print magazines, television stations and their Web sites will remain excluded.
The Pulitzers began to accept submissions of print newspapers’ online material in 2006, in two breaking news categories.