Journalists, Please Stop Saying You Were 'Pulitzer Prize-Nominated'

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"Pulitzer Prize-Nominated" reads the ads promoting Bloomberg Television morning anchor Betty Liu, as does the anchor's own book jacket and a Bloomberg bio, which is really too bad since that the title means nothing and as Jonah Goldberg can tell you, trumpeting it might be actually do more harm than good. It must be tempting to have your name so close to the word "Pulitzer," but most journalists know that all it takes to be "nominated" for a Pulitzer is a $50 and an entry form.

"When Liu was a reporter for The Financial Times in Atlanta in 2000, Bloomberg said, the newspaper submitted her work to the Pulitzer committee," explains's Bill Dedman, who has been on a fake Putlizer beat of late, having busted Jonah Goldberg last month for touting his "Pulitzer nomination." (Goldberg has since had a hard time scrubbing his many bios and his name of that pesky fib.) As Dedman writes: "To call that submission a Pulitzer 'nomination' is like saying that Adam Sandler is an Oscar nominee if Columbia Pictures enters That's My Boy in the Academy Awards. Many readers would realize that the Oscars don't work that way — the studios don't pick the nominees. It's just a way of slipping 'Academy Awards' into a bio. The Pulitzers also don't work that way, but fewer people know that."

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Granted, Dedman's report is probably going to garner more interest (and scoffing) from media insiders, but Liu's grade-inflated résumé should be a cautionary tale for budding journalists: Liu's "nomination" mars her other actual achievements like her Dow Jones Newswires Award. Bloomberg has already realized the error of its ways and found someone to blame. The company gave the following statement to Dedman:

You are right. Thanks for catching it. An innocent mistake was made by our marketing folks who did not fully understand that while Betty was entered for a Pulitzer Prize by the Financial Times in 2000 for her series of articles on immigrant labor in the South, this does not make her 'Pulitzer Prize-nominated.' As soon as you pointed it out we realized it was wrong and are correcting those ads.

It's hard to to imagine that Liu didn't have any input on the ads--you'd think the marketing team wouldn't have the sole power in making marketing decisions which would affect Liu's image without any consultation from Liu herself.

After reading our article, a Bloomberg spokesperson told the Atlantic Wire that it wasn't Liu's choice to use "Pulitzer Prize-Nominated" on the ad, and that Liu had not described herself as a "Pulitzer Prize-Nominated" journalist. Liu hasn't responded yet and was unavailable for comment.

We imagine she's probably trying to figure how to amend Wikipedia page (below) which also appears on, a Bloomberg bio, and all the unwanted attachment to her "nomination." 

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.