Journalists who broke Snowden stories get Polk awards

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.


  1. Wylann says

    That would be entertaining to watch, potentially. I suspect most (but not all) lawmakers probably realize their best interest lies in ignoring this (and by proxy, getting the media in the US to ignore it).

  2. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    Apparently according to their recent promos Edward Snowden will be interviewed on Aussie SVS TV’s Datelineprogram screening shortly.

    Link :

    Excerpt :

    Edward Snowden believes that some US officials would like to see him shot dead or poisoned, but he says he can still sleep easily at night, because he did what he needed to do.

    The whistleblower’s thinking is revealed in his first full-length television interview, to be screened in an Australian exclusive on Tuesday’s Dateline.

    In a secret location in Moscow, he speaks candidly to Hubert Seipel from German broadcaster NDR about the far-reaching surveillance details he leaked, the treason charges he faces, and his life in exile in Russia.

    But with opinions divided over his actions, is Snowden a traitor who needs to be prosecuted or a hero who needs to be protected?

    I’ll watch it soon.

  3. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    D’oh! SBS – not SVS. Sorry.

    Starting literally in a couple of minutes time for any other Adelaideans (& other Aussies timezones permitting -after Insight’) reading this.

  4. Mano Singham says

    This cannot be seen by me but it seems to be a re-broadcast of the same interview with the German TV station that I linked to here.

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