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Contributed by Brandy Hawley on 04/08/2012
The Park Center for Independent Media will present the fourth annual Izzy Award on Tuesday, April 10, 7:30 p.m in Emerson Suites. The award is being shared by independent journalist Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Center for Media and Democracy (CMD). Kouddous and CMD executive director Lisa Graves will each speak at the ceremony about their exhaustive and critically important independent journalistic work. The program is free and open to the public.
Kouddous covered the Egyptian people’s uprising against dictatorship as a correspondent and senior producer for Democracy Now! His fearless reporting and keen analysis have been featured in many other independent media as well. An HBO documentary, In Tahrir Square, chronicled the uprising through Kouddous’s reporting.
Under Graves’s leadership, CMD exposed and analyzed the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the shadowy corporate-governmental partnership that has written and pushed into law pro-corporate bills on issues ranging from the environment and education to workers’ rights and voting rights, both on the federal level and in virtually every state. CMD has been investigative reporting since 1993; it publishes PRWatch, SourceWatch, and BanksterUSA as well as ALEC Exposed.
The Izzy Award is named after dissident journalist I. F. “Izzy” Stone, who launched his muckraking newsletter I.F. Stone’s Weekly in 1953 during the height of the McCarthy witch hunts. Stone, who died in 1989, exposed government deceit and corruption while championing civil liberties, racial justice, and international diplomacy.
The judges said of Kouddous: “With breathtaking bravery, Sharif’s unflinching on-the-street reporting simultaneously brought us the voices and faces of Egyptians, the drama of the moment, and big-picture analysis — sometimes while tear gas or live rounds exploded in the background.”
Triggered by a whistleblower, CMD’s investigation of ALEC analyzed and exposed more than 800 ALEC “model bills” that were developed in secret by legislators with corporate lobbyists. CMD made its investigation public in July in collaboration with The Nation magazine; the exposé has sparked months of news coverage around the globe.
The judges commended CMD for its “high-impact journalistic work that turned a bright light on a powerful institution that had largely operated in darkness.”
The previous winners of the Izzy Award are journalist and author Robert Scheer, New York City magazine and website City Limits, investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill, blogger Glenn Greenwald, and Democracy Now! host/executive producer Amy Goodman.
Individuals with disabilities requiring accommodation, please contact Brandy Hawley, firstname.lastname@example.org; 607-274-3590 as much in advance of the event as possible.