ITHACA, NY — The Park Center for Independent Media (PCIM) at Ithaca College has announced that its first annual Izzy Award for special achievement in independent media will be shared this year by two pillars of independent journalism: blogger Glenn Greenwald and “Democracy Now!” host/executive producer Amy Goodman.
The award ceremony — featuring Goodman and Greenwald — will take place at Ithaca’s State Theatre on Tuesday, March 31. More details on the event, which is free and open to the public, will be announced at a later date.
The Izzy Award is named after the legendary dissident journalist Isidor Feinstein “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.
Citing their “pathbreaking journalistic courage and persistence in confronting conventional wisdom, official deception and controversial issues,” the judges chose the two winners because “the intrepid spirit of Izzy Stone is alive and thriving in the tireless daily efforts of Amy Goodman and Glenn Greenwald.”
Glenn Greenwald is a former constitutional lawyer who started blogging in 2005, acting as his own editor/publisher in the I.F. Stone tradition. In 2007 he moved his popular blog to Salon.com, retaining full editorial freedom. Week after week, in meticulously documented and detailed blog posts, he skewers hypocrisy, deception and revisionism on the part of the powers that be in government and the media. His 2008 reporting on a false claim about 9/11 by then-U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey led to a retraction. With devastatingly crisp arguments, Greenwald has inveighed against torture and defended constitutional rights for all, whether they be “enemy combatants” or American protesters. He has toughly criticized both Republicans and Democrats, and his blogging frequently sparks debate in major media and on Capitol Hill.
Over the past 12 years, Amy Goodman has built “Democracy Now!” into the largest public media collaboration — it can be found on television, radio and the Internet — in the country. Independent of any party or sponsor in the I.F. Stone tradition, “Democracy Now!” offers a daily cutting-edge broadcast featuring issues, experts and debates rarely heard in corporate media, including the voices of both policymakers and those affected by policy. Through timely interviews with heads of state, opposition leaders, artists and organizers, Goodman in 2008 maintained an ongoing, tenacious focus on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, U.S. violations of the Geneva conventions, racial justice issues such as the still-displaced poor of New Orleans, and political repression overseas. “Democracy Now!” has become a daily stop for journalists, scholars, officials and activists seeking not just to get behind the news, but to stay ahead of the news.
Based in the Roy H. Park School of Communications at Ithaca College, the Park Center for Independent Media (https://www.ithaca.edu/indy) was launched in 2008 as a national center for the study of media outlets that create and distribute content outside traditional corporate systems and news organizations.
Judges of the inaugural Izzy Award were PCIM director Jeff Cohen; University of Illinois communications professor and author Robert W. McChesney; and Linda Jue, director and executive editor of the San Francisco-based G.W. Williams Center for Independent Journalism.
“The judges were impressed by the daunting number of outstanding candidates for this new award,” said Cohen. “It reflects the growing clout and diversity of independent media.”