At a time when journalism and the media has never been more precarious, or more important, the Pulitzer Center plays an absolutely essential role—surfacing stories that would otherwise go unreported, giving journalists the support they need to cover those stories safely, placing their reports on large media platforms. Most critically, the Center uses our growing educational network to sustain and extend debate and public engagement with the issues our journalists address. We build bridges between journalists, news outlets, educators, students, and the broader public.
The Challenge: Limited Global Awareness and Engagement
What may seem like “faraway problems of no concern to me”—pollution in China, the refugee crisis in Europe, homophobia in Jamaica, the melting polar ice cap—will eventually come home to profoundly impact our lives. “We did not know” cannot be an excuse. We know. It is only through knowledge and engagement that an informed citizenry can prevail over misunderstanding, fear and demagoguery.
For many years, newspapers, magazines, radio and television broadcasts were trusted with the job of delivering the news. Today that role has been transformed by the Internet—and by an increasingly fractionalized journalism landscape, mixed with social media and advertising that takes higher and higher percentages of our screen time and reading time. One clear casualty: serious, in depth international reporting by legacy news organizations. Even as the world becomes more interconnected, essential information becomes more compartmentalized and narrow.
The vehicle of mass news consumption—the daily newspaper, the evening news broadcast, the weekly news magazine—used to be the shared experience of a very broad public. Now news and information is personalized, on a mobile phone or computer screen, and reflects the information sources and ideas we already know. Consumers have to be proactive to get access to international news at all.
The media landscape of today, with personalized feeds based on pre-existing relationships, risks reinforcing prejudices and limiting perspectives. The increasingly blurred lines between advertising and information potentially dilute the integrity of the information the public consumes.
And yet there is no shortage of gifted journalists who are committed to telling these stories—and no shortage of news outlets willing to advance the public good (and greater awareness) by publishing international reporting. What they lack are resources.
That is where each of us plays a role in making sure international stories are reported and creatively and regularly shared with the general public, and increasingly with youth and young adults.
The Pulitzer Center is a proven solution for reporting, disseminating and broadening understanding and action on important global issues. Make a gift today for quality journalism, effective global engagement and important outreach and engagement of current and future news consumers.