What the watermelon really means, the idealistic future of collaborative journalism, and Pulitzer Prizes: this week’s Fresh Powder Report

The BuzzFeed watermelon is not the end of journalism:

After two BuzzFeed employees filmed themselves blowing up a watermelon, the new standard for online journalism was almost immediately called into question. It prompted an in-depth think piece from New York Times mediator Jim Rutenberg, imagining the exploding watermelon as a metaphor for the future of digital journalism – with the video of the explosion racking up over 10 million views in a short number of days, how can longstanding news outlets that don’t utilize similarly silly tactics for views hope to compete? Politico reporter Jack Shafer urges professional journalists not to worry too much about the destruction of “true” online journalism; he points out that the New York Times and other major media organizations have always employed diversions as a means of journalism in the same way BuzzFeed has. Shafer argues that it is possible for the absurd and serious to co-exist within a single news platform, and the New York Times serves only as one example of a paper that’s been doing so for years.

Worldwide scandal prompts unique new collaboration:

The recent Panama Papers scandal served as a shining example of what collaborative journalism could (and should) look like. Having an international news story published in so many different places – and on so many different platforms – was largely due to competing news organizations cooperating with one another in order to break this major investigative report as quickly as possible. Is the future of journalism wrapped up entirely in such collaboration, or are these instances of journalistic harmony purely situational?

Journalism in 2015: The good, bad, and ugly:

Prior to the official announcement of this year’s Pulitzer Prize winners, the Columbia Journalism Review put together a list of the best (and worst) journalism of 2015.

Pulitzer season:

The actual Pulitzer Prize winners were announced yesterday, and a variety of publications and creations were honored; Alissa J. Rubin of the New York Times in Paris won a Pulitzer for international reporting, the Times snagged the award for breaking news photography, and everyone’s favorite new Broadway musical “Hamilton” won a prize for drama.

These things also happened this week:

The New York Primaries are today; here’s what to watch out for during another politics-fueled Tuesday.

The State University of New York – Buffalo accidentally sent out over 5,000 acceptance letters to prospective students last week, even though student applications are still under review. Whoops.

Stana Katic – known for her leading role on ABC’s hit TV series Castle – will not be returning for a potential 9th season.