In my book club, the announcement of the Pulitzer Prize winners is as eagerly anticipated and followed as the Super Bowl. With this being the literary Super Bowl week, I was interested to see if it was just my club or the general public who was following this so closely.
Not surprisingly, Attention for pulitzer.org peaked during April last year when the announcement was made. What was a bit surprising was that last April’s unique visitor total was just over 46,000. This is a story that many people probably hear about through traditional news outlets (especially if that outlet happens to be one of the winners), but the low visitors totals even for the month of the announcement may mean that it is mostly book clubs and not the general public who is watching this so closely.
Times-Picayune of New Orleans was one of the big winners in 2006, taking home the awards for both Public Service and Breaking News Reporting.
The declining unique visitor counts for the newspaper’s online channel despite the awards announcement proves that it’s the current news, and not the praise for the reporting of it that brings the people. Respect and admiration undoubtedly come along with winning a Pulitzer, but apparently internet traffic does not.