Western Illinois University Establishes Legacy of Pulitzer Prizes

Small is beautiful.

It may not always be true, but it is truer here than anywhere else in the world.

Four Pulitzer Prizes and five Emmy Awards are associated with Western Illinois University (WIU) Department of Broadcasting and Journalism. A Chicago Sun-Times reporter received the Pulitzer Prize for local news reporting on crimes in Chicago. A Chicago Tribune journalist received the same prize with his colleagues for a series of stories on American airport safety. A Philadelphia Inquiry executive editor helped the newspaper win two Pulitzer Prizes. A talk show producer won four Emmy Awards. All of them are WIU alumni. One broadcasting professor received Emmy before joining WIU academia.

The accomplishment is remarkable if you consider the following: 1) WIU is not a big university and it does not have a big mass communications program either; 2) A Pulitzer Prize is an award widely regarded as the highest national honor in journalism; 3) An Emmy Award is an award widely regarded as the highest national honor in television; 4) None of peer institutions have produced more Pulitzer Prize winners than WIU; 5) More Pulitzer Prizes are associated with WIU than with University of Missouri, Penn State, University of Southern California and George Washington University. All of the four research-intensive institutions mentioned here have massive journalism and mass communication programs.

It is clear that WIU has established a legacy of Pulitzer Prizes. I am proud of being a faculty member here. I believe we will continue to produce more and more Pulitzer Prize winners and Emmy Award recipients.

Yes, small is beautiful.

 

Below are two tables you may find of interest:

Number of Pulitzer Prizes Associated With Western Illinois University and Peer Institutions

Institutions Number of Pulitzer Prizes
Western Illinois University 4
Montclair State University

 

1
Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville

 

1
Eastern Illinois University 0
Grand Valley State University

 

0
James Madison University

 

0
Appalachian State University 0
Central Washington University 0
Truman State University 0
University of Central Missouri

 

0
University of Nebraska at Kearney

 

0
University of Northern Iowa

 

0
University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse

 

0
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point

 

0
University of Wisconsin-Whitewater

 

0
William Patterson University

 

0

Note1: The table was based on data from university websites and Wikipedia entries.

Note2: The peer institutions are designated by WIU. Here is the website: http://www.wiu.edu/IRP/peerinstitutions.php.

Note3: The table may contain errors as Wikipedia and university webpages may not be up to date.

 

Number of Pulitzer Prizes Associated with Western Illinois University and Research-Intensive Institutions  

Institutions Number of Pulitzer Prizes
Harvard University 172
Columbia University 114
Northwestern University 40
University of Iowa 40
University of Wisconsin at Madison 38
Yale University 37
University of Michigan at Ann Arbor 37
Indiana University Bloomington 34
New York University 28
Princeton University 27
University of Texas at Austin 25
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 23
University of Maryland 18
Boston University 18
Arizona State University 8
Syracuse University

 

5
Western Illinois University 4
University of Missouri 3
Pennsylvania State University at University Park 2
University of Southern California 2
George Washington University 2

Note1: The table was based on data from university websites and Wikipedia entries.

Note2: Harvard University is an Ivy League institution. It does not have a journalism school, nor does it have communication-related degree programs.

Note3: Columbia University is an Ivy League institution. Its Graduate School of Journalism is widely considered as the most prestigious journalism program in the United States.

Note4: Northwestern is a top-ranked private university and its Medill School of Journalism is prestigious.

Note5: University of Iowa is a public institution with a renowned School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Note6: University of Wisconsin at Madison is a prestigious public institution with a renowned School of Journalism & Mass Communications.

Note7: Yale University is an Ivy League institution. It does not have a journalism school, nor does it offer communication-related degree programs.

Note8: University of Michigan at Ann Arbor is a top-ranked public institution with a communication studies department. It does not, however, offer journalism degrees.

Note9: Indiana University Bloomington is a top public institution with a renowned Media School.

Note10: New York University is a top private school that offers undergraduate and graduate journalism programs.

Note11: Princeton University is an Ivy League institution. It does not have a journalism school, nor does it offer communication-related degree programs.

Note12: University of Texas at Austin is a top public university with a massive college of communication.

Note13: University of Illinois at Urbana Champagne is a top-ranked public institution with a renowned School of Media.

Note14: University of Maryland is a public institution and its Philip Merrill College of Journalism is located just a few miles away from Washington, DC, the journalism capital of the world.

Note15: Boston University has a big college of communication.

Note16: Arizona State University Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication is massive. No Pulitzer Prize winners, however, are found among the school alumni. All winners are either university faculty or alumni from other schools.

Note17: The S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications is the communications school at Syracuse University.

Note18: University of Missouri is a public university. Its Missouri School of Journalism is the oldest in the world.

Note19: Penn State University is a top-ranked public institution. The Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications is the largest accredited program of its kind in the nation.

Note20: University of Southern California is a prestigious private research university with a massive Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.

Note21: School of Media and Public Affairs (SMPA) at the George Washington University offers both undergraduate and graduate programs in journalism and political and international communication.

Note22: The table may contain errors as Wikipedia and university webpages may not be up to date.

 

Pulitzer Corner on the third floor of Sallee Hall where department of broadcasting and journalism is located.

Pulitzer Corner on the third floor of Sallee Hall where department of broadcasting and journalism is located.

 

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After Shadowing A Job for A Day, You Realize that Life Is Not What You Thought It Would Be

Participatory stories have a long history in American journalism. Nellie Bly faked insanity and became a patient in a mental institution in order to study the horrible conditions there. Corey Levitan put this investigative journalism to a new level in his journalistic career. He has shadowed hundreds of people for jobs he is “entirely unprepared to handle and then wrote about his experiences.”

In my JOUR330 (Newspaper and Magazine Feature Writing) class for spring 2017, I asked students to shadow any of the following jobs:

  1. Bartender
  2. Sewer worker
  3. Road cleanup crew
  4. Plumber
  5. Auctioneer
  6. A restaurant waiter/waitress
  7. A retail cashier
  8. Mailman
  9. Gravedigger
  10. Truck driver
  11. Basketball player
  12. Mayor
  13. Professor
  14. WIU president
  15. Police officer
  16. Prison guard
  17. Firefighter
  18. Farmer
  19. Doctor
  20. Homemaker
  21. Beggar
  22. Homeless person
  23. Janitor
  24. Secretary
  25. Auto mechanic
  26. Waste Management employee for curbside trash pickup
  27. Real estate agent
  28. Employee for tree trimming and removal service
  29. Football/basketball coach

Continue reading

A Superstar on the Rise: William Turkington (3)

William Turkington was a student of my JOUR330 (Newspaper and Magazine Feature Writing) class for spring 2017 semester. In this class, every student must report and write one query letter and more than 10 feature stories in different genres. Each story must not exceed 500 words. Then the student must expand whatever story of their choice into a polished, ready-for-publication long-form magazine article of 1,200 to 1,500 words.

image1_jour330

Students from my feature writing class pose in front of the department Wall of Fame. William Turkington stands in the back row, second from left. Photo credit: Provided by Yong Tang

Turkington came to my attention because  Continue reading

A Superstar on the Rise: William Turkington (2)

William Turkington was a student of my JOUR330 (Newspaper and Magazine Feature Writing) class for spring 2017 semester. In this class, every student must report and write one query letter and more than 10 feature stories in different genres. Each story must not exceed 500 words. Then the student must expand whatever story of their choice into a polished, ready-for-publication long-form magazine article of 1,200 to 1,500 words.

image1_jour330

Students from my feature writing class pose in front of the department Wall of Fame. William Turkington stands in the back row, second from left. Photo credit: Provided by Yong Tang

Turkington came to my attention because  Continue reading

A Superstar on the Rise: William Turkington (1)

William Turkington was a student of my JOUR330 (Newspaper and Magazine Feature Writing) class for spring 2017 semester. In this class, every student must report and write one query letter and more than 10 feature stories in different genres. Each story must not exceed 500 words. Then the student must expand whatever story of their choice into a polished, ready-for-publication long-form magazine article of 1,200 to 1,500 words.

image1_jour330

Students from my feature writing class pose in front of the department Wall of Fame. William Turkington stands in the back row, second from left. Photo credit: Provided by Yong Tang

Turkington came to my attention because  Continue reading

The New York Times Growth in digital subscribers

News from Midwest

The first number is 308,000 which is the net new digital subscribers according to CNN.

Circulation revenue is growing fast. But print ad revenue, the old backbone of the company, is declining fast. That leads to the second number: 17.9 percent.

The Times noted that digital ad revenue increased by 18.9 percent — but print is still more lucrative for the Times and other major papers.

The company’s overall earnings were 11 cents per share in the quarter, up a penny from the same quarter last year.

The current number of digital-only subscriptions is 2.2 million.

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Each Student Gets a Chinese Name: A Spring 2017 Souvenir

Like before, each student in my Spring 2017 classes gets a Chinese name as a souvenir. Students must be able to write and read their Chinese names to earn some extra credit. I encourage students to use their Chinese names whenever they can. Students enjoy this activity. Some posted their Chinese names on Facebook. Some even turned their lovely Chinese names into beautiful tattoos. Continue reading

Southwestern Law School Conference on Global Freedom of Information Laws

Today too many conferences are becoming just too big. Thousand of attendees. Thousands of papers. Huge hotel with hundreds of conference rooms. Often times, too many people try to connect to the same Wi-Fi at the same time. The huge traffic brings the Wi-Fi completely down. Every participant is busy because he or she, Continue reading