2009 I.F. Stone Medal winner Jon Alpert (right) with last year’s honoree John Walcott (left) and Nieman Foundation Curator Bob Giles.

The I.F. Stone Medal for Journalistic Independence

The second annual I.F. Stone Medal for Journalistic Independence was presented to award-winning investigative reporter and documentary filmmaker Jon Alpert on October 1, 2009, at American University in Washington, D.C. Nieman Curator Bob Giles introduced Alpert and presented the award, which recognizes journalistic independence and honors the life of investigative journalist I.F. Stone.

Alpert discussed his 35-year career as an independent reporter and showed a number of clips from his most important films. He often has been the first—and sometimes only—journalist to cover a number of important international stories. His work has aired on NBC, PBS, HBO and other outlets and he has received a wide range of journalism honors that include 15 Emmys and four duPont-Columbia Awards.

Judges for the award recognized Alpert not only for his comprehensive body of work but also the use of new technology in his reporting and his commitment to media access and education for all. Through his Downtown Community Television Center (DCTV), the nonprofit community media center that he co-founded with his wife, Keiko Tsuno, in New York in 1972, Alpert has helped thousands tell their own stories by offering courses that teach the basics of electronic media.

Alpert’s comments were followed by a panel discussion on his work and the broad theme of journalistic independence. Participants included Alpert, Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist, author and 1999 Nieman Fellow Chris Hedges, and Washington Post intelligence and national security report Walter Pincus. The moderator was Rick MacArthur, president and publisher of Harper’s Magazine.

The 2009 I.F. Stone Medal Selection Committee was chaired by Rick MacArthur and included Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Roger Wilkins and award-winning journalist, novelist and author Patricia O’Brien, who was a 1974 Nieman Fellow.

The evening events included a welcome by Larry Kirkman, dean of the American University School of Communication, and the presentation of the SOC Graduate Journalism Student Essay Competition Award to Russell Choma.

Learn more about the I.F. Stone Medal »

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