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Julian Assange/WikiLeaks Win Prestigious Gellhorn Prize
A unanimous decision.
LONDON (Rixstep) — Rack up another one for Julian Assange and WikiLeaks: now they've bagged the presitigious Gellhorn Prize.
'It's difficult to think of a more fitting winner for this award', writes Paul Sawers of The Next Web.
The Gellhorn Prize is named after legendary journalist Martha Gellhorn, considered by many to be one of the greatest war correspondents ever - far better than Johanne Hildebrandt for example. Martha Gellhorn was married to Ernest Hemingway during the war years of the 1940s; at the age of 89, when increasingly blind and ill, Gellhorn took her own life.
The Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism was established in 1999 by the Martha Gellhorn Trust.
The award will be for the kind of reporting that distinguished Martha: in her own words 'the view from the ground'. This is essentially a human story that penetrates the established version of events and illuminates an urgent issue buried by prevailing fashions of what makes news. We would expect the winner to tell an unpalatable truth, validated by powerful facts, that exposes establishment conduct and its propaganda, or 'official drivel', as Martha called it. The subjects can be based in this country or abroad.
The Gellhorn jury were unanimous in their decision to give this year's prize to Julian Assange and WikiLeaks.
WikiLeaks has been portrayed as a phenomenon of the hi-tech age, which it is. But it's much more. Its goal of justice through transparency is in the oldest and finest tradition of journalism. WikiLeaks has given the public more scoops than most journalists can imagine: a truth-telling that has empowered people all over the world.
As publisher and editor, Julian Assange represents that which journalists once prided themselves in - he's brave, determined, independent: a true agent of people not of power.
In unrelated news, Bill 'Killer' Keller has stepped down from the NY Times, to be replaced by Jill Abramson.
Abramson is known to be positive of WikiLeaks whilst 'Killer' Keller was one of the most toxic of the war hawks during the Bush years, tasking journalists with deliberately skewing the truth - what Martha Gellhorn called 'official drivel', 'government spin'.
Assange is to be congratulated; no one will miss Bill Killer.
USDOD: Martha Gellhorn: War Reporter, D-Day Stowaway
The Next Web: Julian Assange scoops top journalism prize
Journalism.co.uk: Julian Assange wins Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism
DNAinfo.com: Jill Abramson Named New Executive Editor of the New York Times