By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

More on Severin’s Pulitzer claim

In his column on Jay Severin in yesterday’s Globe, Scot Lehigh reported that Severin’s claim of having won a Pulitzer Prize was false – that, in fact, Severin had merely been writing for back in 2000, when the site won an Online Journalism Award. Severin, in trying to explain his hyperbole, told Lehigh that the award was “the equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize for Web journalism.”

Which begs the question: Were Severin’s contributions specifically acknowledged in the award that won? Unfortunately, the Online Journalism Awards have changed sponsors several times, and a Google search led me down a trail of broken links. However, I did find the judges’ comments for the 2000 award in a press release on LexisNexis. Here are those comments:

THE JUDGES: creates a highly successful blend of online and interactive elements, making innovative use of most every interactive application, such as charts, maps, surveys, and streaming video. The site offers a commendable marriage of original journalism with video resources, and, more broadly, a successful integration of journalism from its partners and alliance members. In this case, bigger surely is better.

Given those criteria, Severin’s reported claim that “I received a Pulitzer Prize for my columns for excellence in online journalism” looks even more ridiculous.

By the way, Severin was not at his post yesterday on the airwaves of WTKK Radio (96.9 FM). His usual custom when attacked is to spend most of his show whipping “The Best and the Brightest” into a frenzy. It would be unfair of me to speculate why he took yesterday off (his absence could easily be explained by contract complications raised by his new syndication deal), but it certainly would have been interesting to hear his response to Lehigh’s column.

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  1. Anonymous

    More than a year ago, I heard Severin make the same claim on his show. I called WTKK and spoke with his producer, and left a message, asking Severin what year he won a Pulitzer, because the Pulitzer list of winners (and nominated finalists) did not include his name. He did not return the phone call.

  2. Anonymous

    “…if Severin’s such a right-wing ogre whose views should be ignored, then why do Globe columnists like Lehigh and Joan Vennochi give him so much free publicity?”

  3. tony schinella

    I hate the kind of radio reporting that doesn’t give us all the facts straight. From reading this piece, a reader would think that this is Severin’s first syndicated deal; it’s not. He was syndicated for years when he first started working for WOR back in the 1990s, when he was “The Rock and Roll Republican.” As well, WOR is one or NYC’s biggest talk radio stations. Yet, the Globe doesn’t even mention this: Severin began broadcasting in New York during the mid-’90s before, in 1999, getting hired by radio station WTKK.To gloss over his radio background and history to talk about his appearances on Imus misses a huge part of the story. In addition, it should be noted that Severin frst came to prominence after running Pat Buchanan’s “Culture War” 1992 presidential primary campaign. A syndicated talk show – back when the Carrs of the world were humping it for a few hours once a week on Jerry Williams’ show – was his big reward.

  4. Anonymous

    Get used to the kind of reporting you are experiencing, Tony. All factions are so polarized that what one considers “the courage of his convictions”, another considers to be an evil agenda. Pretty much nobody has enough confidence in their ideas to let them stand on their own. David Brudnoy seems like 20 years ago….

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