In recognition of a career distinguished by meticulously researched investigations, intrepid questioning, and reporting that has challenged both conventional wisdom and mainstream media, the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard will present journalist Robert Parry with the 2015 I.F. Stone Medal for Journalistic Independence during a ceremony on Oct. 22, 2015.
Parry established the website consortiumnews.com in 1995 as the first online investigative news magazine. He continues to edit the site and notes that a founding idea behind the project was the belief that “a major investment was needed in journalistic endeavors committed to honestly informing the American people about important events, reporting that truly operated without fear or favor.”
Parry is known for breaking many of the stories related to the Iran-Contra affair while working at The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. He received the George Polk Award for National Reporting in 1984 for his work on Iran-Contra at the AP, where he broke the story that the CIA had provided a manual to the Nicaraguan Contras (“Psychological Operations in Guerrilla Warfare”) that outlined ways to build support for the Contra cause and carry out political assassinations.
In 1985, he was the first to report on Oliver North’s involvement in the affair and, along with his AP colleague Brian Barger, was the first to describe the Contras’ role in cocaine trafficking in the United States – stories that led to an internal investigation and a congressional inquiry. Parry also was a 1985 Pulitzer finalist for his work.