Project: Report 2010 announced 10 semi-finalists today who will compete for five $10,000 international reporting fellowships with the award-winning Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. The partnership between YouTubeTM and the Pulitzer Center, made possible by Sony® and Intel®, invites non-professional aspiring reporters to share their stories on a global platform, aiming to jump-start the careers of promising young journalists—and to generate coverage of issues that have gone under-reported on other news outlets.
"The number of aspiring reporters who use YouTube to document and share important, untold stories is growing fast," said Steve Grove, head of News and Politics at YouTube. "We're proud to bring the Pulitzer Center's standards of excellence to YouTube and give these talented new reporters the opportunity to practice 21st century journalism on a global scale."
Semi-finalists produced the top entries in the competition's first round, which drew 148 submissions each documenting a single day in the life of a compelling person. The 10 semi-finalists each receive a Sony VAIO notebook with the new 2010 Intel Core i7 processor and a Sony HD video camera.
"Project: Report is a terrific pairing of YouTube's global reach and popularity with one of our core missions: to spark global conversations around critical issues," said Jon Sawyer, the Pulitzer Center's executive director. "We're thrilled with the interest in video reporting this contest has generated, and the great entries we've seen."
Arturo Perez, Jr., who captured the contest's top award in 2009, calls his experience "life-changing." The recent University of Texas School of Journalism graduate used his Pulitzer Center grant to visit Jerusalem, producing a short documentary on Palestinian-Israeli dialogue.
Beth Bennett of Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism made the Round 1 assignment a course requirement for her students. "The students were so enthusiastic about this project," Bennett said, "especially because it felt like they were playing for real stakes. Many of my students did enterprise stories especially for the contest and put in hours and hours of shooting and editing work."
One of Bennett's students is among the semi-finalists, a group whose backgrounds range from aspiring broadcast journalist to licensed pilot, from professional actor to varsity wrestler. Among the videos are profiles of a doctor, the operator of a recycling center, and a man who has adopted the children of two sisters who died.
Round 2 begins today. The assignment: Create a piece five minutes or less telling a local story with global impact that is under-reported by the national media. YouTube and the Pulitzer Center will provide semi-finalists with guidance on incorporating innovative social media strategies into video production and promotion.
Round 1 entries not chosen as semi-finalists are eligible for a Community Award prize, determined by popular vote. Round 2 features an Open-Submission Award; new entrants as well as non-winners from Round 1 may compete. The winners of the Community Award and Open-Submission Award will each receive a Sony VAIO laptop.
Learn more by reading short bios and interviews with the semi-finalists on the Pulitzer Center's Untold Stories blog.
Project Report: http://youtube.com/projectreport
About the Pulitzer Center
The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting supports in-depth coverage of international affairs, focusing on topics that have been under-reported, misreported – or not reported at all. The Center funds reporting on all media platforms and partners with both traditional and new-media news outlets. The Center's Global Gateway program engages directly with high school and university students, building a constituency among younger audiences for quality global news coverage. Honors include an Emmy and a National Press Foundation Award for Excellence in Online Journalism. To learn more visit www.pulitzercenter.org and www.pulitzergateway.org
Pulitzer Center: Ann Peters, Director of Development and Outreach, 202-797-5267 or pressATpulitzercenter.org