The Pulitzer Center, the Organization that Illuminates Dark Places

The Pulitzer center is a journalist organization based in Washington D.C created in 2006 by Emily Rauh Pulitzer. Their goal is to support issues that affect us all and that other media platforms are less willing to talk about. They have journalists all around the world on various media platforms and an education program dedicated to schools and universities. Their mission is driven by what Joseph Pulitzer III once said “not only will we report the day’s news, but illuminate dark places and, with a deep sense of responsibility, interpret these troubled times.” They lead more than 150 different projects every year, and earn about 2 million dollars from the support of journalists. They also have partnerships with different American news medias.

The organization has a large number of donors and supporters. Their three biggest donators are Emily Rauh Pulitzer, the Emily Rauh Pulitzer foundation and the David and Katherine Moore family foundation.

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Will Fitzgibbons, a reporter and responsible for collaborations with Africa and Eleanor Bell Fox another journalist that focuses on social and economic equity issues are the authors of the project on “Fatal Australian Mining in Africa”. Their goal was to show and examine the impact of mining companies and to prove that Australia’s positive international reputation was not completely true. First of all, they showed Australia had the biggest number of Mining companies in Africa. These mining companies were often “accused of killing, maiming and polluting communities” across the continent. They have destructed the environment and violated human rights. The Australian government brings forward the fact that they had many mining companies overseas but not the fact that those companies have often been dragged to court. The group went to Australia and found out about under reported actions and explored using different methods. They found out about “court documents, complaints, community petitions”. This helped them reveal the problem of Australian mining in Africa and its impact.

 

The Pulitzer center teaches students about issues around the world. They help them think critically about the creation and publication of news, and motivate them to become “consumers and producers of information”. On Friday November 24th, a group of students from La Tour’s Anglophone Section assisted to a conference at the Pulitzer center in Washington. Will Fitzgibbon, and Hannah Berk, an education intern, gave the presentation. They first asked the students what issue around the world they were interested in. Most students answered “The acts of terrorism throughout the whole world” or “Women’s Rights and Gender Equality”. They were then asked to explain how they learnt current news. Most students answered “on Television and online” and a few said “on the radio or a printed newspaper”. Will presented one of the projects he led: “Fatal Extraction: Australian Mining in Africa.” The students were then divided into four different groups and were supposed to take the place of the community, the government, the company and the workers and try to resolve the conflict between the different groups as well as find a solution. The students then did a brief tour of the office and met the different people who worked there.

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La Tour students really appreciated this conference. “We learned about a very interesting subject: Fatal Extraction in Australia. The activities we did were interesting and far from being boring. The role-playing game helped us understand how different perspectives in groups could lead to conflict” a 2nde student said. She explained she was happy to have met the crew and it motivated her to maybe become a journalist later.

-By Jeanne D.

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