The Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy at the Kennedy School of Government has awarded the $25,000 Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting to James Risen and Eric Lichtblau of The New York Times for their investigative report Domestic Spying. Risen and Lichtblau revealed that the U.S. government, in the name of national security, was systematically tapping into international telephone calls and e-mail traffic in the United States without court warrants. The uncovering of this issue has created a national debate over what is necessary surveillance and what is a blatant violation of the law and an infringement on civil liberties.
“The judges felt that, in a field of hugely important investigations, the revelation of systematic domestic spying by the government was the most important,” said Alex Jones, director of the Shorenstein Center. “They wanted to send a message that this kind of reporting is essential to our democracy.”
Among the finalists for the prize were Evelyn Larrubia, Robin Fields, and Jack Leonard of The Los Angeles Times for “Guardians for Profit” – their series exposing the victimization of older Americans by a new breed of opportunistic guardians – and Susan Schmidt, James V. Grimaldi, and R. Jeffrey Smith of The Washington Post for “The Abramoff Scandal.”
Launched in 1991, the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting “honors journalism which promotes more effective and ethical conduct of government, the making of public policy, or the practice of politics by disclosing excessive secrecy, impropriety and mismanagement.”