ITHACA, NY — Past Izzy Award winners Glenn Greenwald and Jeremy Scahill are the first members selected to the I.F. Stone Hall of Fame, newly established by the Park Center for Independent Media (PCIM) at Ithaca College.
Meanwhile, the center has announced that the sixth annual Izzy Award for “outstanding achievement in independent media” will be shared by journalists John Carlos Frey (for reporting on U.S./Mexico border deaths) and Nick Turse (for reporting on civilian war casualties from Vietnam to Afghanistan).
The Izzy Award is named in memory of the late I.F. “Izzy” Stone, the dissident journalist who launched I.F. Stone’s Weekly in 1953 and challenged McCarthyism, the Vietnam War, racial injustice and government deceit.
“The Izzy Award and I.F. Stone Hall of Fame are an inspirational fulcrum leveraging the courage and journalistic independence of my father’s spotlighted successors into a strengthening of world justice and freedom,” said Jeremy J. Stone, former president of the Federation of American Scientists and elder son of I.F. Stone.
“We established this hall of fame as an occasional honor reserved for the greatest and most productive journalists of our era — those who have won the annual Izzy Award and continued to produce content that would qualify them to win it again and again,” said Jeff Cohen, PCIM director and Izzy Award judge. “They are the new generation of Izzy Stones.”
Through exposés and incisive analysis, former constitutional lawyer Greenwald has revealed the outlines of a vast surveillance state, as well as its political and media protectors. Working with Laura Poitras and other collaborators and utilizing documents provided last spring by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, he broke story after story across the globe exposing widespread spying abuses. Along with Amy Goodman of “Democracy Now!,” Greenwald had shared the first Izzy Award for his meticulous daily blogging in 2008 in defense of constitutional rights.
“Glenn Greenwald may be the closest thing we have today to a living, breathing I.F. Stone,” said Cohen.
Through his work as the national security reporter for both “Democracy Now!” and The Nation, and his book “Dirty Wars: The World Is a Battlefield” and the Oscar-nominated documentary based on it (directed by Richard Rowley), Scahill has exposed the brutalities, illegalities and strategic flaws in the nearly 13-year-long global “war on terror.” He had won the second annual Izzy Award for reporting that elevated the issue of Blackwater and military contractor abuses to front-page news.
“Scahill’s unique first-hand reporting is the work of a journalist motivated by such a strong sense of justice that he is repeatedly willing to place himself in dangerous war conditions to get at the truth,” commented Izzy judge Linda Jue.
Greenwald, Scahill and Poitras are the founding editors of The Intercept, a digital magazine that is part of the recently launched First Look Media.
The I.F. Stone Hall of Fame induction of Greenwald and Scahill and the presentation of the sixth annual Izzy Award to independent journalists Frey and Turse will be held in an April ceremony at Ithaca College; details to be announced. All four honorees will speak at the ceremony, either in person or via remote broadcast.
A reporting fellow with The Investigative Fund at The Nation Institute, Frey has tirelessly probed in articles and television reports the increasingly militarized U.S./Mexico border and rise in fatal shootings by U.S. Border Patrol agents, including cross-border shootings into Mexico that killed innocent civilians. He also brought to light heart-breaking accounts of people who died in Mexico’s desert while trying to return to their family members (often U.S. citizens) after being deported. Frey’s reports on excessive force by Border Patrol agents had impact — sparking Congressional inquiry, criminal probes, federal investigations and changes in the Border Patrol’s training and use-of-force protocols.
“John Carlos Frey ventured where few U.S. journalists had been willing or able to go — on both sides of the U.S./Mexico border under dangerous circumstances — to investigate crimes that many people knew about but remained beyond public awareness,” said judge Linda Jue. “And his well-documented reporting brought an extraordinary response.”
In news pieces and a book published last year, Turse has given human form and voice to civilian victims of U.S. wars from Vietnam to Afghanistan. His acclaimed best-seller, “Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam,” relied on classified Pentagon documents and fresh first-person interviews to reveal that violence against Vietnamese noncombatants was “pervasive and systematic — the predictable result of official orders.” A journalist, historian and Nation Institute fellow, he monitors current U.S. military interventionism in articles for TomDispatch.com (where he is managing editor) and The Nation, for which he coauthored the special report “America’s Afghan Victims.”
Said Izzy judge Robert McChesney, “Nick Turse combines the fastidiousness of a serious historian and a journalist’s intuition for the big story, along with an uncompromising commitment to the truth, wherever it leads.”
Photos of Greenwald, Scahill, Frey and Turse are available at http://flic.kr/s/aHsjTVbHdg.
Judges of the Izzy Award and I.F. Stone Hall of Fame are PCIM director Jeff Cohen; Linda Jue, executive director and editor of the San Francisco-based G.W. Williams Center for Independent Journalism; and University of Illinois communications professor and author Robert W. McChesney.
Other previous winners of the Izzy Award are the nonprofit outlet Mother Jones; journalist Sharif Abdel Kouddous; the Center for Media and Democracy/“ALEC Exposed”; author/columnist Robert Scheer; and New York City’s in-depth outlet City Limits.
Based in the Roy H. Park School of Communications at Ithaca College, the Park Center for Independent Media was launched in 2008 as a national center for the study of media outlets that create and distribute content outside traditional corporate systems.