Izzy Awards Debut
Amy Goodman and Glenn Greenwald are Park Center for Independent Media’s first honorees. By Erin McKigney ’09 with Maura Stephens
Blogger Glenn Greenwald and Democracy Now! host and executive producer Amy Goodman received IC’s Park Center for Independent Media’s first annual Izzy Award for special achievement in independent media. The award honors the late I.F. “Izzy” Stone (né Isador Feinstein), the investigative journalist who from 1953 to 1971 wrote and published I. F. Stone Weekly — which ranked 16th on a 1999 New York University–sponsored list of the top 100 works of 20th century U.S. journalism — and is widely lauded for his fearless reporting, dedication to truth, and journalistic independence.
“I consider Izzy Stone the very first and the greatest blogger — even though he had no keyboard,” said Greenwald when he was told of the award, “and Amy Goodman the living, breathing embodiment of journalism in its purest and noblest form. I’m honored to share an award with her that’s named after Stone.”
Campus and community members joined Park Center director Jeff Cohen and Stone’s son Jeremy at the State Theatre downtown for the award ceremony, at which Goodman and Greenwald gave speeches and signed copies of their most recent books.
Goodman launched Democracy Now!, a progressive daily news program broadcast on television, radio, and Internet. She writes a weekly column, “Breaking the Sound Barrier,” for King Features Syndicate and has cowritten several books with her brother, David Goodman, most recently Standing up to the Madness: Ordinary Heroes in Extraordinary Times.
Greenwald, a former constitutional law and civil rights litigator, began blogging in 2005 on Salon.com, where he has editorial freedom. “Media outlets controlled by large corporations and all of their conflicting interests,” Greenwald says, “not only have proven largely ineffective at serving as an adversarial check on the government, but worse, have become mindless amplifiers of government claims. Being outside that system is now virtually a prerequisite to genuinely [critical] reporting on the actions and statements of the government.” Greenwald has written three books, most recently Great American Hypocrites.
The judges were Cohen, Linda Jue, director of the San Francisco–based G. W. Williams Center for Independent Journalism, and Robert W. McChesney, communications professor, radio host of Media Matters, and author of numerous books on media and democracy. While this year’s award went to two well-known national figures, Cohen says that will not always be the case.