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Should the National Enquirer win a Pulitzer Prize?

April 9th, 2010
11:28 AM ET

The National Enquirer – a tabloid newspaper more famous for breaking stories on 300-pound babies and alien abductions has been nominated for journalism’s most prestigious award – the Pulitzer Prize.

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/04/09/newspapers.art.gettyimages.jpg
caption="Should the National Enquirer be considered a mainstream newspaper?"]

The announcement came to many in the media world as a shock, as the newspaper was up for an award in both investigative reporting category and national news reporting.

The National Enquirer was given the prestigious honour for breaking the story of ex-presidential candidate John Edwards’ affair with a mistress as well as uncovering that they had a child together.

It was a revelation that destroyed the marriage of one of America’s most popular politicians and caused shock waves across the country.

“It’s a great day at the National Enquirer for us to be in the running for a Pulitzer Prize and I think that the mainstream media will never again take the Enquirer and dismiss us out of whole cloth,” Barry Levine, executive editor of the tabloid told CNN.

“The mainstream media for the most part avoided our reporting on this story during this past election and I think next time around if we break a significant story you will see the mainstream media all over it.”

The tabloid first broke news of Edwards’ affair in October 2007, but it wasn’t until August 2008 that Edwards would admit the rumours were true.

The mainstream media largely questioned the accuracy of the reports given the long history of sensational and sometimes inaccurate reporting – it’s a sentiment that Levine hopes to change.

Levine wants to take his paper from a tabloid to a mainstream publication.

“Something that we are seriously considering doing right now is opening up a Washington report bureau to specifically uncover political scandals in our nation’s capital,” Levine said.

We’d like to know what you think.

Should the National Enquirer win a Pulitzer Prize? If it wins do you think the prize will change perceptions of the tabloid?

Please leave your comments below and remember to tell us where you’re writing from.

Filed under:  General
soundoff (34 Responses)
  1. Doug

    Of course they should be considered for wining it, if the investigations they conducted are meritorious for it.

    The question I ask – did they just get lucky and had sloppy evidence, or did they really do the work required to get it right? If they just got lucky, they shouldn't win it. If they did the hard and accurate work that any reporter should be doing, they should absolutely be a candidate.

    April 9, 2010 at 11:54 am | Reply
  2. D. J Towers


    April 9, 2010 at 12:46 pm | Reply
  3. Sharif Chowdhury

    What a joke ! No, that wl be an insult to the real journalism

    April 9, 2010 at 1:08 pm | Reply
  4. denise

    no they shouldn't for they are not a news source. They may call themselves one but it's just lies and innuendos.

    April 9, 2010 at 1:12 pm | Reply
  5. David Samuels

    For the record, the Enquirer doesn't run Alien stories and has actually won many awards in the past from organizations such as the American Cancer Society. Just because the WSJ, NYT, and WP didn't have the guts to run the Edwards story is no reason to deny the Enquirer.

    April 9, 2010 at 1:24 pm | Reply
  6. Jason

    It's an insult to journalism. The quality of the story is tainted by their morally bankrupt reporting style. They should have a lifetime travesty award and put the enquirer in the running for censure (not censor) by the industry.

    April 9, 2010 at 1:24 pm | Reply
  7. Chris

    Yes they should be in the running for a Pullitzer. Why not? They have more integrity than CNN, MSNBC, or any other mass media outlet these days, as they're staying true to their roots and haven't been bought off by the Progressive movement. I hope they win.

    April 9, 2010 at 1:30 pm | Reply
  8. Keira

    Well, they DID uncover a legitimate story the rest of the media didn't. However, they're just nominated. I don't see the harm in that. People less worthy get nominated for all kinds of awards, doesn't mean they'll win. It's not that big a deal. They outscooped everyone else.

    It's one thing to get nominated for uncovering John Edwards (pun intended). It's another thing if they would've gotten the nod by uncovering Elvis's love child.

    TGIF, CTW peeps!!! 🙂

    April 9, 2010 at 2:01 pm | Reply
  9. Robert

    Yes the Enquirer should be considered, and yes it is a valid news source. Maybe the news is not for everyone, but so is WSJ. I don´t think most REAL journalists would wait hours on end outside hotels and apartments, paying off informants, following up leads when you can just gather your source material from Google or Wiki. Let's be honest it´s been done. So congradulations NE.

    Now if it was a Tiger or Biker story, maybe it really doesn´t merit the award.

    April 9, 2010 at 2:16 pm | Reply
  10. Alan

    Best idea I have heard in a while . Open a Washington bureau & flush the out. They are going to be busy.... as long as they are not beholden to the politico's & lobbyist's protecting them. The Enquirer has earned some credibility while the mainstream has lost it. Reading some of these comments ahead of mine I am peeing in my pants laughing, are they really so 'out of it'.?
    While on the subject of reporting, since when did 'an undisclosed govt. source who is not authorized to speak to the media'... have any credibility ?
    (.. could it be a high school janitor's opinion ?)
    Dammit.. press somebody who IS authorized...Duhh.
    And (sic) the media seems to buy this 'trial balloon' trick hook , line & sinker.. Enough..! And.. (sic) yep , this is officially a rant over the pathetic state of reporting these days commonly referred to as 'parroting'.

    April 9, 2010 at 2:17 pm | Reply
  11. Pat

    I have no concern about the National Enquirer being nominated for a Pulitzer, if the story they covered warranted a Pulitzer prize.

    I am deeply concerned that a Pulitzer nomination would be given for a story about a politician having an affair and a baby out of wedlock. Come on. It's not like this politician turned criminal and broke into a hotel room to steal secrets from another party and then covered it up or anything.

    The prestigiousness of the Pulitzer Prize isn't being "cheapened" by the nomination of the National Enquirer. It is being "cheapened" by the nature of the story getting the nomination.

    April 9, 2010 at 2:23 pm | Reply
  12. Janice

    Why not? Many so called news sites use articles from "citizen" journalist sites (aka "content mills) such as Associated Content. I'm pretty sure I've seen several Articles here on CNN from Associated Content writers. Who credible are those writers? Let National Enquirer have their glory.

    April 9, 2010 at 2:41 pm | Reply
  13. Michael

    What really is the difference between mainstream and tabloid journalism anyway? Look at the front page of cnn.com right now: Stories about Tiger Woods, an article featuring Sean Penn, an article titled "Little Known Starbucks Stories".

    The line between journalism and entertainment-news was crossed a long time ago.

    April 9, 2010 at 3:28 pm | Reply
  14. Babak

    The journalists whom at times put their lives at risk ... of course should be considered, but not so sure about a paper that prints mostly crapp.

    April 9, 2010 at 4:11 pm | Reply
  15. ssl

    just because you may uncover of couple of good stories does NOT qualify you for the pulitzer prize. think about all the other non-sense they ran. Oh no, no prizew for you!!!1

    April 9, 2010 at 4:13 pm | Reply
  16. Kevin

    If the Pulitzer Prize is to recognize a particular story, I don't think it should matter what other stories the paper publishes.
    Is the exposure of an affair worth a Pulitzer Prize?! People cheat on each other, it's a fact, and a lot more common than Watergates and sex acts in the Oval Office.

    April 9, 2010 at 4:32 pm | Reply
  17. Morgan

    They ought to be considered, and probably ought to win. The criteria for consideration seems a bit vague and subjective (based on the Pulitzer website). But since one of the categories addresses "...distinguished example of investigative reporting...", National Enquirer has certainly met that requirement. Based on the summaries of previous winners of that category, I'd say the Enquirer has a pretty decent shot at winning.

    Good luck.

    April 9, 2010 at 4:45 pm | Reply
  18. Gadi

    Certainly they should win if the Judges seem fit to award the prize. Look how many NY Times Journalist have been caught Plagerizing their Stories. At least in this case the NE had it not only right but did a fine job of Investigating. Maybe the NY Times can learn a thing or two from them?

    April 9, 2010 at 4:49 pm | Reply
  19. Jean

    Is this journalism or is this just gossip? No tabloid can be read for news. No tabloid can take a Pulitzer Prize. It was gossip that brought out John Edwards' affair. Why be proud that the spread of gossip caused so much pain and heartbreak to one family. Why give a Pulitzer for exposing one more politician's extramarital affairs.

    Let's give a Pulitzer to someone who deserves it. Investigate, report. Tell us about what's happening in the world, without an agenda, without the need for destruction. Tell us about something good, something that needs to be done, something that we as human beings can emulate – not another sad story about childish behavior from an adult.

    Keep talking and rewarding gossip, and there's no need to wonder why our society is falling apart at the seams.

    April 9, 2010 at 4:57 pm | Reply
  20. sandy

    yes, why not??...he could of been our president. The men these days are totally corrupt in their ideas what marriage should be. what has caused them to think they are beyond the boundaries of "morality" has worried me to think....what else do they think they can do? Or could of done if he acquired the power of Presidency or such simple examples as a sports figure?

    Thank you for uncovering this and hopefully more.

    April 9, 2010 at 4:58 pm | Reply
  21. n.s.

    If Sandra Bullock can win an oscar for the blind side despite years of awful performances, then surely the enquirer can be rewarded for breaking a legitimate story despite years of lies.

    April 9, 2010 at 5:12 pm | Reply
  22. Dick

    The Enquirer 's investigation – the old fashioned way ala Woodstein's Watergate expose – was on an ongoing investigation.

    The REAL story that many miss is that Edwards is under investigation by a Federal Grand Jury for misuse of Presidential campaign funds to by an elaborate conspiracy of silence.

    That's right – your American tax dollars and private contributor's Presidential campaign donations were used to further a cover-up of a cheating scandal.

    The main stream media who looked the other way boo-hoo "check book journalism" but law enforcement regularly pays for tips.

    And ABC network was recently under fire for paying for information and photos in the Caylee Anthony murder case.

    Yet the Enquirer dogged the Edwards story since 2007 with major developments being first reported in 2009 since verified in Andrew Young's book "The Politician" as well as much ballyhooed "Game Change".

    Shoe leather, surveillance and persistence is what makes for real journalism and The ENQUIRER truly DOES deserve a Pulitzer for its investigative efforts that ultimately revealed a national politician's corruption in the face of his own personal "two Americas" .

    April 9, 2010 at 6:00 pm | Reply
  23. Sohnee

    They may or may not have done a good job of investigating the story, but can the story be qualified as journalism?

    Was it newsworthy in context of what was hapening in the world then?

    I think, NOT- Investigating alleged affairs is not journalism.

    April 9, 2010 at 6:06 pm | Reply
  24. Caringmom622

    I think its ridiculous for the National Enquirer to be nominated! Not only because of the type of magazine it is ( just because they got this one right doesn't change all the absurd things they've reported). But also because of the material. Its sad enough real journalism is going down the drain, lets at least leave the awards to the REALLY deserving articles. Thank you.

    April 9, 2010 at 6:09 pm | Reply
  25. Gene kempton

    If Barack Obama can win the Nobel Peace without having done anything, I see no reason why the Enquirer shouldn't win a Pulitzer.

    April 9, 2010 at 6:17 pm | Reply
  26. John Dinwiddie

    Yes. If John Tesh ever writes a fine string quartet,
    he should also win one, just as Elliott Carter once did.

    Improbable events tend to occur. Even a blind pig
    sometimes finds an acorn. If a Republican ever
    discovers truth, we'll have to bite the bullet and listen.

    April 9, 2010 at 7:30 pm | Reply
  27. Jurgen R. Brul

    Dear CNN,

    I do not think, that the National Enquirer alone should get the Pulitzer Prize.
    The Pulitzer Prize should be given to All the people,
    who have reported the news situations with a true and fair view
    in order to connect the world and make it a place worth living in!

    Let us Now Connect to make our world
    a Better Healthier and Beautiful World
    for You and for Me!

    Jurgen R. Brul
    Hometown: Paramaribo
    Country: Suriname

    April 9, 2010 at 7:30 pm | Reply
  28. spiritOPRAH

    Give the prize to those who discover the reasons for poverty, economic crisis,
    I guess that detect things people are not something Distinctive is not something Distinctive... but it is something very bad because, like bullying people were free as long as their actions do not lead others...
    Do you like people to enter your home through the window?

    April 9, 2010 at 7:50 pm | Reply
  29. martin shepard

    Certainly the Enquirer deserves a Pulitzer nomination for investigative work. I remember that they were also the first newspaper to go behind the scenes in the JonBenet Ramsey story and show how the Ramsey family was involved in a cover-up of the crime...and that mainstream media largely failed to do serious investigative work.I

    April 9, 2010 at 10:18 pm | Reply
  30. Gerry

    Remember, Pulitzer made his fortune through "yellow journalism" at the turn of the century. Why should the prize not go to a similar paper?

    April 9, 2010 at 10:49 pm | Reply
  31. Antoine

    Sure thing! They are too an important part of journalism and they should not only be nominated but ought to win it!

    April 10, 2010 at 12:12 am | Reply
  32. Dixie Walter

    Sure...don't forget what the Enquirer did with the OJ Simpson civil trial.

    April 10, 2010 at 12:42 am | Reply
  33. Keith

    The National Enquirer is a vile and disgusting excuse for a newspaper. They trade in lies and half truths but just because one of their stories turned out to be true does not legitimize their rag or make their reporters journalists. The existance of the National Enquirer is the price we pay for a free press but they are despicable nonetheless. The trees used to make the paper it is printed on is an egregious waste.

    April 10, 2010 at 1:42 am | Reply
  34. Alan

    OK.. does it matter that Tiger friggin' woods screwed around. He's a bloody golfer... Is he leading the greatest country in the world. He's hitting a damn golf ball around a patch of grass. The potential president. now...would you expect or hope that he was a lot more honest. Having kids with some bimbo he picked up in a hotel lobby.. Christ.. & lying through his teeth about it. Do you want this turd running our country.? All replies will be gratefully received.. : ) iffff.. some newspaper had checked out Chenie's claims of 'weapons of mass destruction' & had taken seriously ...(who was it that did inspections & said there were no WOMD except for camel dung.?) reports to the contrary then & made enough stink.... There would be a lot more innocent people alive today who are currently not. Lets focus on brad pitt & tiger shall we. Kudo's to the the Enquirer.

    April 10, 2010 at 2:16 am | Reply

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