The Nieman Foundation and its Watchdog Project this year established an I.F. Stone Medal for journalistic independence.
I'm delighted to announce that our first winner is John Walcott, the bureau chief who ran Knight-Ridder's Washington bureau during the run-up to war in Iraq, producing dozens of stories that, nearly alone among news organizations, challenged the Bush administration's claims. Walcott is now D.C. bureau chief for McClatchy Newspaper's Washington bureau. This is a long-delayed recognition of the brave work done by Walcott and his top reporters Jonathan Landay and Warren Strobel -- work that was widely ignored at the time.
Lots more information here, on the NiemanWatchdog.org Web site.
And mark October 7 on your calendar for the awarding of the medal and ensuing workshop at the Newseum. It will be an important exploration of what went wrong in the run-up to war and what we can do to make sure it never happens again.
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