(Press release) — The Wyoming Humanities Council has been awarded a $30,000 grant from the Pulitzer Prize Board for Reporting on Equality in the Equality State: Wyoming’s Journalistic Past, Present, and Future. The program commemorates the Pulitzer Prizes’ Centennial in 2016 though the Pulitzer’s Campfires Initiative.

WHC has partnered with WyoFile.com, Wyoming Press Association, and WyoHistory.org to produce a series of in-depth articles that examine journalism in Wyoming examining past Pulitzer prize-winning topics as a lens to view similar issues in Wyoming. WHC has also partnered with the WPA to host a panel discussion, “Journalism in the Equality State – Where are we going?” about the past, present, and future of journalism and promoting/celebrating the project at the Wyoming Press Association Winter Convention on January 20.

“Journalism has the power to influence and transform our understanding of our culture. With the influx of ‘alternative media,’ the Pulitzers Prizes set the bar for what we should expect from media,” said Shannon Smith, WHC executive director. “Past Pulitzer winners have highlighted the importance of social justice and integrity. We want to engage Wyoming with these journalistic and literary values and encourage audiences to seek these values out when researching the world around them.”

Over the course of 2016, WyoFile.com will produce investigative articles on Wyoming issues through the lens of how Pulitzer Prize-winning pieces on similar issues led to increased awareness and in some case action. The articles will be available on the WyoFile.com website, through social media, and distributed for statewide publication via the Wyoming Press Association at the discretion of individual news agencies.

“Wyoming journalists play a critical role in civic life, from watchdogging elected bodies, to telling the stories of citizens’ plights and successes,” said WyoFile editor-in-chief Dustin Bleizeffer.  “WyoFile is proud to be a part of this collaboration that celebrates good journalism by putting it into action.”

WyoHistory.org in partnership with the WPA will produce profiles and stories about pivotal members of the WPA Hall of Fame. These stories and articles will be available through the WyoHistory.org website and will also be available to state news agencies for publication.

“Longtime Washington Post Publisher Phil Graham called journalism ‘the first rough draft of history,’” said Tom Rea, WyoHistory.org editor. “With articles on past Wyoming newspapers, the remarkable people who ran them and the remarkable people who wrote them, we at WyoHistory.org look forward in 2016 to offering readers a look at some colorful Wyoming history — right as it was happening.”

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