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The first annual I.F. Stone Medal for Journalistic Independence

SHOWCASE | October 23, 2008

The first annual I.F. Stone Medal for Journalistic Independence was awarded on October 7, 2008, to John Walcott, Washington bureau chief for McClatchy Newspapers. Walcott’s acceptance speech was followed by a panel discussion by a distinguished group of journalists.

Available here on this Web site:

  • The announcement by the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University of the establishment of a new I.F. Stone Medal for Journalistic Independence.
  • The announcement that the first medal would go to Walcott, who as Washington bureau chief for Knight Ridder led skeptical coverage in the run-up to the Iraq war, producing dozens of stories that, pretty much alone among news organizations, challenged the Bush administration claims.
  • Walcott’s acceptance speech, in which he warned of journalists becoming part of the establishment and argued against the notion that truth can be found midway between the two opposing poles of any argument.
  • An article about the ensuing workshop. Moderator Tom Rosenstiel led panelists Walcott, Jane Mayer, Michael Massing, Charles Lewis, Gilbert Cranberg and Florence Graves in deriving some lessons from the elite media's failure to challenge what turned out to be a specious argument for war in Iraq.
  • The video of the entire event, held at the Newseum in Washington. D.C., is available here in three parts: Part One includes the presentation of the award and Walcott's acceptance speach; Part Two is Walcott's question-and-answer session with the audience; and Part Three is the panel discussion.

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