Ailing advice

Fox News CEO Roger Ailes spoke to students at UNC last week. His comments were mildly irritating to a budding journalist like me.

Believing him becomes a tough sell when he says, “I think you ought to change your major,” but later follows with, “Democracy depends on freedom of the press.”

Which is it?

Relatedly, though some would accuse the Pulitzer Prize of perching on the edge of the garbage heap, the argument doesn’t play. “Journalists showering praise on other journalists”? Sure. Isn’t that what every awards ceremony is, from the Oscars to the Heisman?

Awarding honors to industry work wouldn’t make sense if the nominees and judges didn’t come from the same industry. What good would a Pulitzer be if the decisions were left to biologists? Scientists don’t seek to be experts of the written word.

The Pulitzer is slow to change, but the award remains a testament to outstanding reporting, from real-time disaster coverage to a local news that exploded into national issues debated across the country.

Joseph Pulitzer might be dead, but his prize, and journalism itself, isn’t outdated.

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