Pulitzers discover the future

Well, at long last, the Pulitzers have acknowledged the existence of news after paper. The Times-Picayune won two Pulitzers today for coverage of Katrina. Nola.com should have won explicitly as well, but at least there is this:

This year for the first time, the Pulitzer Prize board allowed a newspaper to submit material that appeared originally in online form, in addition to printed stories, as a part of their entries.

In the immediate aftermath of the storm, The Times-Picayune’s continuously updated online blog, as well as its online editions of the paper posted each night on its affiliated Web site, NOLA.com, became the source of information for more than a million area residents who had evacuated, and for much of the world.
In his remarks, Amoss acknowledged the contribution of the staff at NOLA.com, “who were integral to everything we published, and made us an around-the-clock vital link to readers scattered across the nation.”

Visits, or “hits,” to Times-Picayune pages on NOLA.com, increased from an average of about 800,000 page views a day before Katrina to more than 30 million page hits a day in the days after the storm. Excerpts from those blogs, as well as stories from the online editions of the paper, made up a portion of both of the newspaper’s winning entries.

: Here are Rex Hammock and me wishing for a Pulitzer for their online efforts. (Full disclosure: Nola.com was of the sites I helped start in my last job, so I’m prejudiced.)