As rumored, the reporters who first broke the stories based on documents released by Edward Snowden have received the prestigious Polk journalism awards for 2013, in their case in the category for national security reporting. As the press release says:
Four reporters who revealed the extent of secret surveillance and massive data collected by the National Security Agency are winners of the 65th annual George Polk Awards in Journalism announced today by Long Island University.
Glenn Greenwald, Ewen MacAskill and Laura Poitras of The Guardian and Barton Gellman of The Washington Post will receive the George Polk Award for National Security Reporting for investigative stories based on top-secret documents disclosed by former intelligence analyst Edward Snowden. The reporters conferred with Snowden to negotiate release of the material and then used their extensive backgrounds covering national security to explore the purloined files and reveal their stunning import on the Website Guardian US, describing how the NSA gathered information on untold millions of unsuspecting — and unsuspected — Americans, plugged into the communications links of major Internet companies and coerced companies like Yahoo and Google into turning over data about their customers.
The awards will be given out on Friday, April 11, 2014 in Manhattan. Gellman and MacAskill live and work in the US but Greenwald and Poitras have not been to the US since they broke the story because of the many threats made against them by US lawmakers accusing them of treasonous behavior. The animus against the two of them is greater because Snowden sought them out specifically to give the documents, trusting that they would make sure that they would be judicious in what they released while ensuring that information had the greatest impact. This has undoubtedly happned.
Greenwald, who lives in Brazil, has said that he may return to the US to accept the award, effectively throwing down the gauntlet to US politicians to detain him. If they do, I don’t know how the establishment US media, so afraid of offending the US government and so eager to curry favor with them, will react. Poitras, who lives in Germany, has not said anything about her plans yet. She typically shies away from the media spotlight and so may well not come.