Consortium News has won the first annual international Julian Assange Award at a ceremony in the Netherlands on Saturday.
The Dutch Independent Journalist Association (VVJ) has awarded Consortium News the first Julian Assange International Award at a conference of the Dutch Stichting 11 September (11 September Foundation) in Driebergen, Netherlands on Saturday. The awards committee informed CN:
“We are delighted and honoured to let you know that Consortium News have been selected as the winner of the first Julian Assange (International) Award. Your steadfast reporting on the framing and persecution of Assange, since it first started, and the excellent live tweets that enabled the world to witness the shielded court hearings in London, especially during the corona crisis, make you the perfect candidate for this prize.
The idea for the award sprouted last year, during a dinner with Julian’s brother, Gabriel Shipton, in Amsterdam. We have applied different criteria for the Dutch and the international awards:
The Dutch award will go to the independent journalist or media outlet who has, in the spirit of WikiLeaks, done most to make censored information available to the general public.
For the international award we wanted to recognise a journalist or media outlet who has been crucial to finding out the truth behind the persecution of Julian Assange.”
Watch the presentation of the award in the video recorded before the event above.
Consortium News started covering the Assange case on Dec. 16, 2010 with an article by founding editor Robert Parry, one of the leading investigative reporters of his generation. Bob argued that Assange was practicing journalism in the exact way that he did. He wrote:
“… the process for reporters obtaining classified information about crimes of state most often involves a journalist persuading some government official to break the law either by turning over classified documents or at least by talking about the secret information. There is almost always some level of ‘conspiracy’ between reporter and source.
Though some elements of this suspected Assange-Manning collaboration may be technically unique because of the Internet’s role – and that may be a relief to more traditional news organizations like the Times which has published some of the WikiLeaks documents – the underlying reality is that what WikiLeaks has done is essentially “the same wine” of investigative journalism in ‘a new bottle’ of the Internet.
By shunning WikiLeaks as some deviant journalistic hybrid, mainstream U.S. news outlets may breathe easier now but may find themselves caught up in a new legal precedent that could be applied to them later.”
Since that first article, Consortium News has published more than 700 articles and 350 videos on Assange and WikiLeaks. That’s because CN recognized the historic importance of the case against Assange, which has justly been compared to the trials of John Peter Zenger and Alfred Dreyfus.
CN‘s Assange coverage has dug deeply into the meaning of the case, legally, politically and historically. CN was inside the London courtroom for the February 2020 start of Assange’s extradition hearing, and has had remote video access to every part of the legal process since, publishing daily print and video reports and special editions of CN Live!
Consortium News was founded in 1995 by Parry, a former investigative reporter for the Associated Press and Newsweek who broke some of the biggest Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s, revealing the identity of Oliver North and his role in the scandal. Parry won a George Polk Award for his work on the Iran-Contra affair. In 2015, he was awarded the IF Stone Medal for Journalistic Independence by Harvard University, and won the 2017 Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism.
Parry began Consortium News after some of his most consequential stories were suppressed by his corporate news editors. His idea was to provide a publication for a consortium of journalists whose work, often critical of the U.S., was similarly suppressed by their editors.
Parry set up the Consortium for Independent Journalism, Inc. a registered non-profit organization, which publishes Consortium News. It does not receive or accept a penny from any government, corporation or advertiser. It is totally funded by its readers. Its editorial decisions are independent.
Consortium News is today created by a consortium of journalists, academics, freelance writers, former intelligence agency professionals and an independent video producer. Most have served at the highest levels of their professions.
Cathy Vogan, the executive producer of Consortium News‘ webcast CN Live!, is an award-winning film-maker and former lecturer at the University of Paris VIII, the European School of Visual Arts, Ecole du Frenois in Lille, and the Kunsthochschule in Cologne and has taught at tertiary institutions in Australia including the University of NSW, the Australian Film, Television and Radio School, the University of Western Sydney and Sydney Film School. She has also trained staff and consulted on behalf of Apple Australia at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and other major networks around the country.
CN‘s deputy editor, Corinna Barnard, is a former Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones Newswire editor.
CN‘s columnists include Patrick Lawrence, a former Asia editor for The International Herald Tribune; C.I.A. whistleblower John Kiriakou and former U.N. weapons inspector Scott Ritter.
Consortium News‘ editor-in-chief, Joe Lauria, is a veteran journalist with decades of experience in some of the most powerful Establishment media. His first professional job was with The New York Times in 1975.
In 1990 he began reporting on international affairs from United Nations Headquarters in New York for numerous newspapers, including the Daily Mail and the Daily Telegraph in Britain, as well as six years for The Boston Globe and six and a half years for The Wall Street Journal.
The Consortium editor was an investigative reporter for the Sunday Times of London Insight team and has made numerous media appearances, including on the BBC World Service, CNN, the PBS NewsHour, C-Span and ABC’s Good Morning America. He won journalism awards from the Center for Public Integrity and the United Nations Correspondents Association.
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