Big budget 'not a must for writing big story'

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 20 October, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 20 October, 2007, 12:00am

Investigative reporting can be done regardless of the size and budget of the newsroom, visiting Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists say.

The Pulitzer Prize, regarded as the most respected annual journalism award in the United States, also has worldwide recognition. It is administered by Columbia University in New York City.

At a sharing session with local journalists and journalism academics and students yesterday, five award-winning American journalists gave insights into investigative reporting.

'You can do a great job no matter if you have a big budget or a small budget,' said John Kaplan, the 1992 Pulitzer Prize winner for feature photography, and a professor of the University of Florida. Steve Stecklow, a member of the Wall Street Journal team that won the Pulitzer this year for public service, said by conducting phone interviews, the cost of doing more in-depth reporting could be reduced.

He suggested newsrooms match people with different talents to produce good stories.

'Every reporter should be an investigative reporter. They should always make extra phone calls,' Stecklow said. Michael Vitez, the 1997 Pulitzer Prize winner for explanatory journalism and a writer for the Philadelphia Inquirer, said: 'Good writing is based on good reporting, and good reporting needs time.'

The Pulitzer Prize winners will give talks at Baptist University until Monday and then go to Macau and Zhuhai .