Pulitzer Center Update February 17, 2011

2010 Annual Report

Pulitzer Center 2010 Annual Report. Image by Marcus Bleasdale. Central African Republic, 2010.
Pulitzer Center 2010 Annual Report. Image by Marcus Bleasdale. Central African Republic, 2010.

The Pulitzer Center has posted its annual report for 2010. The PDF of the report is available on the Pulitzer Center website.

The Pulitzer Center has posted its annual report for 2010. The PDF of the report is available on the Pulitzer Center website. What follows is the report's introductory overview by Pulitzer Center Board President Emily Rauh Pulitzer and Founding Director Jon Sawyer:

For the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, 2010 was a breakthrough year. We launched 48 projects, among them major collaborations with news media and educational partners. We doubled the size of our staff. And, not least, we attracted significant new financial support from individuals and foundations that recognize the Center as an increasingly important producer—and innovator—in coverage of under-reported systemic issues across the globe.

Our 2010 reporting was characterized by breadth of coverage and sustained focus through high-profile partnerships. Our attention on Haiti in the wake of last January's earthquake is a case in point. We had covered that country extensively already; the broadcast story that we commissioned as part of our Fragile States series aired on PBS NewsHour the night before the earthquake. We then commissioned four additional projects, on topics ranging from reconstruction and education to HIV/AIDS and with placement on multiple print, broadcast and web outlets. The work culminated in a series for NewsHour and USA Today and in Voices of Haiti, a stunning web presentation of poetry, photography and music that captures the drama of Haitians struggling to rebuild their lives.

We mounted similarly ambitious efforts on coverage of water and sanitation, in collaboration with National Geographic and NewsHour, and on Sudan, in collaboration with NewsHour, The Washington Post, and many other news outlets. We funded two months of field research on the Lord's Resistance Army in central Africa, in partnership with Human Rights Watch, and multiple projects on the war in Afghanistan. Jennifer Redfearn's video on climate refugees in the South Pacific, produced with our support, was nominated for an Oscar. The radio version of LiveHopeLove, our project on the human face of HIV/AIDS, won a Gracie for outstanding radio documentary. Marco Vernaschi's work on narco-trafficking in Guinea Bissau won first prize in the general news category of the World Press Photo Contest.
The Pulitzer Center received the National Press Foundation's award for excellence in online journalism.

In 2010 the Pulitzer Center again made educational outreach a top priority, reaching out to schools and universities across the country to explore together new ways of engaging the broadest possible audience in the global issues our journalists report. One example is our new partnership with the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University, through which we will fund field work on global health issues by two Nieman fellows each year. The George Washington University, Boston University and Davidson College joined our Campus Consortium, adding to a network of strong academic partners that already includes Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Kent State University, Washington University in St. Louis, and Ohio University.

Nearly 5,500 high school and middle school students had the opportunity in 2010 to engage Pulitzer Center journalists directly, through classroom visits and online follow-ups. In St. Louis presentations on water and sanitation became the springboard for student video projects, demonstrating what it is like to carry 40 pounds of water for hours at a time and investigating new filtering techniques to assure clean drinking water.

In Chicago students produced videos exploring the local dimensions of global issues presented by Pulitzer journalists—from food insecurity and women and children in crisis to homophobia and stigma. In New York students at three public high schools worked with our journalists to explore water and Haiti, learning not just about those issues but also how they were reported—or not—in the news media. At conferences in Milwaukee, Philadelphia and Honolulu, Pulitzer Center staff shared our Downstream water-reporting Gateway to give students a vivid introduction to how water and sanitation issues affect us all.

The rapidly growing scale of our operations was thanks in part to capacity-building grants from the Kendeda Fund and from individual donors that enabled us to make major improvements in our website and significant investments in staff. Tom Hundley, the former chief European correspondent for the Chicago Tribune, joined us as senior editor. Kate Seche, formerly principal at an inner-city Chicago middle school, became our national educational coordinator. Summer Marion and Peter Sawyer were hired as special projects coordinators and Maura Youngman as new-media strategist. Our team—with Nathalie Applewhite as managing director, Ann Peters as director of outreach/development, Christina Paschyn as projects coordinator, and Dan McCarey consulting on web design—was already strong. Now it is stronger still. We strengthened our board of directors too, with the addition of Joel Motley. He brings decades of financial experience and service on the boards of Human Rights Watch and the Oppenheimer Funds.

We are grateful to the growing number of foundations and individuals that have come to view the Pulitzer Center as an important vehicle for public engagement in global affairs. The MAC AIDS Fund, the Stanley Foundation, Humanity United and the Wallace Global Fund are among those who share our commitment to objective, independent journalism. The McCormick Foundation, the Longview Foundation, the Eli Lilly Group and the Laird Norton Family Foundation have helped us take that work to schools and local communities. We hope that in the months and years to come others will follow the example they have set.

At a time when so many news organizations have retreated from coverage of the world it is essential that we identify new ways of fostering the informed citizenry on which our democracy depends. This is an effort that requires the leveraging of resources, deep and multiple collaborations, and a journalism that goes beyond coverage of the moment to build instead a sustained issues-awareness campaign. These were the hallmarks of our initiatives in 2010. It is an approach at the heart of all our work. We believe that it is profoundly in the public interest.

Emily Rauh Pulitzer, Board President
Jon Sawyer, Executive Director