Snowden Reporters Win Top Journalism Award

Glenn Greenwald and three other journalists who reported on leaked documents from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden are among this year’s George Polk Award recipients.

Greenwald testifies in front of the Brazilian Federal Senate’s Parliamentary Inquiry Committee in Brasilia on Oct. 9. Ueslei Marcelino / Reuters

Glenn Greenwald, Ewen MacAskill, Laura Poitras, and Barton Gellman have won the prestigious George Polk Award, Long Island University announced Sunday.

The reporters, who published stories exposing the National Security Agency’s widespread surveillance and data collection in The Guardian and Washington Post, were frontrunners for the annual award, as BuzzFeed reported earlier this month. They are among 30 winners from 15 publications.

In a statement, Polk Awards curator John Danton said the winners “heightened public awareness with perceptive detection and dogged pursuit of stories that otherwise would not have seen the light of day. Repercussions of the NSA stories in particular will be with us for years to come.”

Since breaking news of the NSA’s practices, Greenwald has left The Guardian and formed The Intercept, a publication of Pierre Omidyar’s First Look Media, with Poitras and Dirty Wars reporter Jeremy Scahill. They continue to report on the NSA and revelations from the Snowden documents.

Among the other Polk Award winners this year were The New York Times’ Jim Yardley, for his coverage of the fatal Bangladesh factory collapse, and Andrea Elliott, for her series on a New York City homeless child; The Washington Post’s Eli Saslow for his series on the federal food stamp program, as well as Rosalind Helderman, Laura Vozzella and Carol Leonnig for their reporting on Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell’s dealings with a wealthy entrepreneur; Shawn Boburg for his coverage of the George Washington Bridge lane closures scandal; Frontline’s “League of Denial,” a documentary on head injuries and brain disease in the NFL; and columnist and editor Pete Hamill, who won the George Polk Career Award.

The full list of winners is here.

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