Why Seth Mnookin will be Twitter’s First Pulitzer Winner

The Boston Globe is doing what it’s supposed to this week. They’re producing urgent, accurate multimedia journalism. The pay wall is temporarily lifted and the front page design is spare and utilitarian for readers who are looking for updates and want to get their head around this huge story.

Boston Globe Cover Apr 19

Their best feature online right now is an interactive timeline, designed to give a God’s-eye view of this quickly-unfolding story.

Boston Globe Timeline Graphic

The AP Mobile App is also excellent.  I was complaining about how the AP mobile app is a little too generous with what in considers a “breaking news alert.” But the app has been great in the last few days. I have about five news apps on my iPhone (including CNN and BBC), but lately AP is the only one I use.


But the the well-curated, humane, informative, and incredibly timely Twitter feed of journalist Seth Mnookin is where, it turns out, I’ve been getting most of my news, especially in the early days of this horrible, gripping story.

Mnookin teaches science writing at MIT, a school that became part of this story, unfortunately, when one of the bombing suspects shot and killed MIT police officer Sean Collier last night. Mnookin has been burning up Twitter from the moments after the first explosion.

Many of his followers have noticed that he’s been on the job pretty much nonstop, and he acknowledges it’s been an exhausting week:

This kind of thing is trivial at a time like this, but when it’s appropriate to talk about, I’d like to remind us that Seth Mnookin’s Twitter feed could be nominated for a breaking news Pulitzer. From the Pulitzer’s website on the breaking news category, the award is for:

A distinguished example of local reporting of breaking news that, as quickly as possible, captures events accurately as they occur, and, as time passes, illuminates, provides context and expands upon the initial coverage…

Seth has been on-target and inexhaustible (almost), for his 45,000+ followers as this story broke and expanded. I predict he’ll be the first major journalism award winner whose main media outlet is Twitter. Stay safe and get some sleep, Seth.

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