In recognition of a career dedicated to journalistic integrity and for his work speaking truth to power beyond the confines of mainstream media, journalist Victor S. Navasky has been awarded the 2017 I.F. Stone Medal for Journalistic Independence. He will receive the award during a ceremony in Cambridge, Mass., on April 26, 2017.
Navasky has served as editor, publisher and now publisher emeritus of The Nation, which was founded at the end of the Civil War and remains the oldest continually published weekly in the United States. In 1994, when the magazine’s survival was seriously threatened, Navasky moved from editor to publisher, eventually achieving a remarkable turnaround. He is professor emeritus at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, where he directed the Delacorte Center for Magazines and was chair of the Columbia Journalism Review. He continues to serve on the CJR board.
During the 1970s, Navasky served as an editor for The New York Times Magazine. In the 1960s, he was founding editor and publisher of the political satire magazine Monocle.
Florence Graves, chair of the I.F. Stone Medal selection committee and founding director of The Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University, notes that Navasky had a close professional relationship with I.F. Stone, and was inspired and guided by his example. She points out that he shares many of Stone’s journalistic qualities, including his satirical wit.
In announcing this year’s I.F. Stone Medal winner, she said: “Navasky’s career spans several political eras during which he perfected his own brand of entrepreneurial, independent, nontraditional and courageous truth-telling. Some of his important work, published decades ago, including his coverage of McCarthyism, resonates today with all who have the courage to hold the powerful accountable. At this time, when fact-based journalism is often under attack by powerful political ideologues who label investigative reporting as fake news, honoring Victor Navasky serves as an important reminder that independent journalism that holds powerful institutions accountable is part of a long and necessary tradition in our democracy.”
Navasky’s books include “Kennedy Justice,” an examination of Robert F. Kennedy’s role as head of the U.S. Department of Justice; “Naming Names,” an analysis of the Hollywood blacklist, which won a National Book Award; and “A Matter of Opinion,” a reflection on his journalistic experiences, which won the 2005 George Polk Book Award and the 2006 Ann M. Sperber Prize.
In collaboration with Christopher Cerf, he also published “The Experts Speak: The Definitive Compendium of Authoritative Misinformation” and “Mission Accomplished! Or How We Won the War in Iraq.” Most recently, he wrote “The Art of Controversy: Political Cartoons and Their Enduring Power” and “The O’Dell File,” about Jack O’Dell, considered an unsung hero of the Black Freedom Movement. Together with Evan Cornog he edited “The Art of Making Magazines: On Being an Editor and Other Views for the Industry.”
Navasky is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has served as a visiting scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation, a Guggenheim fellow, a fellow at the Institute of Politics at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, a senior fellow at the Freedom Forum and was Ferris Professor of Journalism at Princeton University.
Established in 2008, the I.F Stone Medal honors the life of investigative journalist I.F. Stone and is presented annually to a journalist whose work captures the spirit of journalistic independence, integrity and courage that characterized I.F. Stone’s Weekly, published from 1953 to 1971. The award is administered by the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard.
Along with chair Florence Graves, the other members of the 2017 I.F. Stone Medal selection committee are; Myra MacPherson, author of the biography “All Governments Lie: The Life and Times of Rebel Journalist I.F. Stone”; Phillip Martin, a senior investigative reporter for WGBH News and a 1998 Nieman Fellow; Ricardo Sandoval-Palos, managing editor of 100 Reporters and president of the board of directors for the Fund for Investigative Journalism; and Jacqueline E. Sharkey, professor emerita and former director of the University of Arizona School of Journalism.
The Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard educates leaders in journalism and elevates the standards of the profession through special programs that convene scholars and experts in all fields. More than 1,500 journalists from 94 countries have been awarded Nieman Fellowships since 1938. The foundation’s other initiatives include Nieman Reports, a website and quarterly print magazine that covers thought leadership in journalism; Nieman Journalism Lab, a website that reports on the future of news, innovation and best practices in the digital media age; and Nieman Storyboard, a website that showcases exceptional narrative journalism and explores the future of nonfiction storytelling.
For more information about I.F. Stone, visit www.ifstone.org.