Saturday, March 27, 2010

Jeremy Scahill: 'We're At a Ground Zero Moment to Save Real Journalism

This year's Izzy Award Winner was interviewed recently on Alternet by Byard Duncan. Hat tip to Truthout for the links.
(One point often overlooked is that in the 24 hour news cycle, in order to cover 'the Long Wars' of George Bush on two disparate fronts, most American media outlets paid exorbitant amounts for security, for insurance, for required training courses in gas mask and kevlar vest use, to fly correspondents in and out of war zones,and to maintain staffs of fixers and translators. These unprecedented costs, required since late 2001, could not be sustained. War coverage cost without end sent print journalism into its downward spiral just as much as internet aggregates and the loss of ad income did. Celebrity Obsession by consumers anxious for distraction and unwilling to read more about US defeats and/or loss of prestige is another factor.)
But let the I.F. Stone honoree hold forth:

The winner of the second annual Izzy Award, named after muckraking journalist I.F. Stone, discusses independent media and this critical moment in journalism.

On March 24, 2010, the Park Center for Independent Media at Ithaca College, in Ithaca, NY announced that award-winning independent journalist Jeremy Scahill would receive the second annual "Izzy Award." The Izzy, which is named after the legendary muckraker I.F. Stone, celebrates outstanding achievement in independent media. Last year's winners were Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! and Glenn Greenwald of

Scahill is a two-time Polk Award winner, and a regular contributor to The Nation, Democracy Now! and AlterNet. His book, Blackwater: the Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army, is an international bestseller. In 2009, he published dozens of stories detailing Blackwater's secret presence in Pakistan; its involvement in 2007's Nisour Square massacre; and its CEO's alleged complicity in murder.

"The judges chose Scahill for his relentless efforts in 2009 to push these issues into mainstream debate," said Jeff Cohen, director of the Park Center for Independent Media. "We are awed by Scahill's success, and also by the sheer number of outstanding candidates for the award this year; both reflect the growing importance of independent media in our country."

Scahill, a Puffin Foundation Writing Fellow at The Nation Institute, will appear at Ithaca College on April 19 to receive his award. AlterNet's Byard Duncan caught up with him Wednesday morning to discuss the award and the future of independent journalism
Click here to read the Q-A.

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