This was a careful study, but it used circulation data from 1997. We need newer studies that account for the shift of audiences to the Internet before we can be sure the Pulitzers are still associated with significantly larger audiences. The second and third studies are from a line of research that examines the overall quality of news instead of focusing on Pulitzer Prizes.
We concluded newspapers that raised ad prices or reduced quality would probably accelerate the loss of circulation. However, newspapers that published quality content might stabilize or slow declines in circulation.
The third study had unusual access to 12 years of internal revenue and circulation data from an individual newspaper. The study looked at newsroom spending, subscription revenue, and advertising revenue from the print and online editions of the newspaper.