Nieman Foundation Announces Creation of New Award for Journalistic Independence

By: E&P Staff

The Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University announced the creation of a new award, the I.F. Stone Medal honoring journalistic independence. The Medal will be presented annually to a journalist whose work embodies the independence and integrity of I.F. Stone Weekly, which ran from 1953-1971.

The award is named in honor I.F. Stone, a journalist who fought for press independence and dissent as an important facet of democracy. The recipient will give a speech about their experience with journalistic independence. A workshop on the same topic will follow.

The Medal looks like an issue of the I.F. Stone Weekly featuring a headline about the Gulf of Tonkin Affair that refuted President Lyndon B. Johnson?s assertion that the Vietnamese fired first. I.F. Stone often ran up against the government and mainstream thinking, voicing opposition to McCarthyism and FBI excess under J. Edgar Hoover. His elder son, Jeremy J. Stone, now chairs the award committee.

Bob Giles, curator of the Nieman Foundation said in a statement: ?It is this spirit of independent thinking that challenges punditry and conventional wisdom that we wish to honor.? The award was created to ?promote and elevate the standards of journalism.? It also is committed to the Watchdog Project, which assesses news and coverage, and compiles questions it believes the press should be asking about important topics.

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