Emory Report

 September 22, 1997

 Volume 50, No. 5

Spoofing the craft of journalism
with the 'Pullet Surprises'

Emory's journalism program has announced the creation of an award program for journalists called the "Pullet Surprises."

Loren Ghiglione, Cox professor of journalism and the program's director, said the Pullet Surprises are modeled on the annual "Ig Nobel" awards, which spoof the $1.1 million Nobel Prizes by citing scientific work that cannot or should not be reproduced.

"Journalists have been known to take their work and journalism prizes too seriously," said Ghiglione. "The Pullet Surprises will celebrate categories of journalism overlooked by the Pulitzers, categories that remind us of the craft's foibles and foolishness, its self-importance and self-indulgence."

Prizes will be awarded in 20 categories, including best checkbook journalism, most over-reported story, best advertorial, most under-reported story, best infotainment, photo of most questionable taste, best malapropism, most misleading headline, best correction and most insensitive reporting.

Beginning in 1998, Pullet Surprise certificates, designed by Emory College alumnus John Stuart McKenzie, will be awarded annually. The presentation ceremony will take place at Emory in early April, appropriately halfway between April 1 and the day on which the Pulitzer Prizes are announced, this year April 8.

Ghiglione said he expects all categories to be hotly contested. He reminded those who are planning to enter the best correction category, for example, of how tough the competition is likely to be. A New York Times correction noted: "An article last Sunday about the political effects of global economic forces referred incorrectly to the originator of the idea of imagined communities.... He is Benedict Anderson, professor of government at Cornell University; the mention of Benedict Arnold was inadvertent."

Entries for 1997 must be postmarked no later than Feb. 1, 1998, to: Pullet Surprises, Journalism Program. To see the web page for the Pullet Surprises, which exhibits McKenzie's design for the award certificates and the 20 award categories, visit: <http://www.emory.edu/ COLLEGE/JOURNALISM>

-Nancy Seideman

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