Pulitzer Prize Ends Blogger vs. Journalist Debate

Two exclusively online media sources have won Pulitzer Prizes for journalistic reporting, effectively ending the divide between old and new media. We are all one, but is that a good thing? 

What's the Latest Development?


For the first time ever, two online news outlets have won Pulitzer Prizes for journalistic reporting, making the distinction between blogging and journalism even less relevant. The Huffington Post and Politico were given awards, and while they began as loose organization of bloggers, they have entered the journalistic mainstream while eschewing traditional print formats. Meanwhile, organizations like the New York Times, which won two Pulitzers, have steadily taken on more characteristics of blogs, offering content that appears exclusively online. 

What's the Big Idea?

While some have decried the death of investigative reporting at the hands of bloggers, the distinction between new and old media is increasingly irrelevant, says journalism professor Jay Rosen. Many blogging sites have matured to offer respectable reporting and older organizations have taken advantage of more democratic media. "And so we no longer have blogs vs. newspapers—we simply have media, and content, and publishing. As Clay Shirky said recently, publishing is no longer an industry or even a job, it is a button." 

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

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Scientists study tattooed corpses, find pigment in lymph nodes

It turns out, that tattoo ink can travel throughout your body and settle in lymph nodes.

17th August 1973: An American tattoo artist working on a client's shoulder. (Photo by F. Roy Kemp/BIPs/Getty Images)
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In the slightly macabre experiment to find out where tattoo ink travels to in the body, French and German researchers recently used synchrotron X-ray fluorescence in four "inked" human cadavers — as well as one without. The results of their 2017 study? Some of the tattoo ink apparently settled in lymph nodes.


Image from the study.

As the authors explain in the study — they hail from Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, and the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment — it would have been unethical to test this on live animals since those creatures would not be able to give permission to be tattooed.

Because of the prevalence of tattoos these days, the researchers wanted to find out if the ink could be harmful in some way.

"The increasing prevalence of tattoos provoked safety concerns with respect to particle distribution and effects inside the human body," they write.

It works like this: Since lymph nodes filter lymph, which is the fluid that carries white blood cells throughout the body in an effort to fight infections that are encountered, that is where some of the ink particles collect.

Image by authors of the study.

Titanium dioxide appears to be the thing that travels. It's a white tattoo ink pigment that's mixed with other colors all the time to control shades.

The study's authors will keep working on this in the meantime.

“In future experiments we will also look into the pigment and heavy metal burden of other, more distant internal organs and tissues in order to track any possible bio-distribution of tattoo ink ingredients throughout the body. The outcome of these investigations not only will be helpful in the assessment of the health risks associated with tattooing but also in the judgment of other exposures such as, e.g., the entrance of TiO2 nanoparticles present in cosmetics at the site of damaged skin."

Photo by Alina Grubnyak on Unsplash
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