Alex Amend, Pulitzer Center
Project: Report, YouTube and the Pulitzer Center's first-ever reporting contest for aspiring non-professional journalists, came to an inspiring close for all parties involved this week.
The winner of the grand prize -- a $10,000 fellowship to work with the Pulitzer Center on an international reporting project – was Arturo Perez Jr. of San Francisco. Perez dedicated his award to YouTube producers who tell stories with meager means and with no assurance that their work will be seen. Perez called his win a vindication of the YouTube news producing community.
"It's been an incredible experience to participate in Project: Report with such great journalists as competition. Winning this contest means so much," said Perez. "I definitely feel like we are a part of building the future of journalism: if you see a story, you now have the opportunity to report on it."
Perez and nine fellow finalists were brought to Washington D.C. and participated in two days worth of events aimed at celebrating and improving the new media landscape. The award ceremony on Sunday, January 11 packed American University's Harold & Sylvia Greenberg Theatre. Over 300 people attended.
During the ceremony, YouTube screened a selection of the ten finalists' best entries in the three-round contest. Co-hosts Steve Grove, head of News and Politics at YouTube, and Jon Sawyer, executive director of the Pulitzer Center, recognized the finalists who each stood individually to great applause.