When the organizers of Italy’s Urbino Press Award in D.C. looked for a reporter to honor, Wolf Blitzer must have looked like a perfect choice. After 23 years at CNN, Blitzer couldn’t be a less controversial example of American journalism. And then the Boston marathon bombings—-and CNN’s comical misreporting of their aftermath—-happened.
Blitzer spent much of yesterday afternoon telling viewers that law enforcement had arrested a suspect in the bombings. Of course, that turned out to not actually be true.
But what’s one epically incorrect story? Blitzer’s misreporting hasn’t dissuaded the embassy from announcing today that it will honor Blitzer for his “excellence in journalism and of the knowledge that is brought to millions of people through his/her work and commitment.” In June, Blitzer will be flown to Urbino, Italy to officially receive his award. And what happens there?
After the announcement of the winner in April, the prize itself is actually awarded at the Palazzo Ducale in the City of Urbino in June of the same year. The winner is flown to Urbino to participate in this ceremony and then holds a “Lectio Magistralis” at the Palazzo Ducale. The City of Urbino, which during the Renaissance gave life to one of the most enlightened courts of Europe, symbolically reinstates its court, once enriched by geniuses like Baldassarre Castiglione and Torquato Tasso, with the voice and experience of today’s reporters, the outstanding interpreters of the events that are changing our world.
Wolf Blitzer photo by Shutterstock