For Immediate Release
Investigative Journalist Jeremy Scahill Wins Izzy Award for Independent Media
ITHACA, NY - The Park Center for Independent Media
(PCIM) at Ithaca
College has announced that its second annual Izzy Award for special
achievement in independent media will go to investigative journalist
Jeremy Scahill, whose work in 2009 helped elevate the issue of abuse by
military contractors to front-page news.
Scahill is the author of the international best-seller "Blackwater: The
Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army." He will appear on
campus to accept the award on Monday, April 19. Details of 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 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.
Citing his "persistence, independence and journalistic courage" in
exposing military contractor abuses and human rights abuses in Iraq and
Afghanistan, the judges honored Scahill as someone who "embodies the
independent spirit of Izzy Stone."
In continuous reporting throughout 2009, Scahill followed the trail of
military contractors that he'd first pursued with his 2007 "Blackwater"
book. His work appeared in many independent media outlets, including
"The Nation," "Democracy Now!" "AlterNet," "The Huffington Post" and
his own "Rebel Reports" blog. Mainstream news organizations eventually
picked up the story, and this past January on MSNBC, Rachel Maddow
ended an interview with Scahill about security contractors in
post-earthquake Haiti by saying, "Whenever I read stories like this,
even when you don't write them, I think of you."
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.
Judges of the Izzy Award are 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 chose Scahill for his relentless efforts in 2009 to push
these issues into mainstream debate," said Cohen. "We are awed by
Scahill's success, and also by the sheer number of outstanding
candidates for the award this year; both reflect the growing importance
of independent media in our country."
The inaugural Izzy Award was presented last year to blogger Glenn
Greenwald and "Democracy Now!" host/executive producer Amy Goodman.