Pulitzer and Polk Prizes for Snowden, Greenwald and Poitras

    In their first return to the United States since exposing the National Security Agency's mass surveillance operations, journalists Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras were honoured in New York City on Friday with the George Polk Award for National Security Reporting.

    Over the past 10 months, Poitras and Greenwald have played key roles in reporting the massive trove of documents leaked by Edward Snowden. They were joined by colleagues Ewen MacAskill of the Guardian and Barton Gellman of The Washington Post, with whom they shared the award.

    It was later announced that the Guardian and The Washington Post won this year’s Pulitzer Prize for public service journalism with their work on the Snowden disclosures, and the reporting of Poitras and Greenwald.

    These two prestigious awards are the first mainstream recognition of the extraordinary importance of the Snowden disclosures.

    There was an irony in the initial BBC announcement of the awards. The world’s largest broadcasting organisation had not participated in the reporting, or supported any of the work of the courageous journalists honoured today.

    In this respect almost the entire mainstream media in the UK have ignored the disclosures particularly as they related to the role of GCHQ and the British government in the mass surveillance scandal.