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For the Media

American University to Host I.F. Stone Medal Presentation


Jon Alpert, filmmaker, producer, reporter, and 2009 I.F. Stone Medal Winner

Barbara Ehrenreich, author, Bait and Switch and Nickel and Dimed 

Chris Hedges, Pulitzer-prize winning journalist, author, and war correspondent    

Rick MacArthur, president and publisher of Harper’s magazine (moderator)

Walter Pincus, intelligence, CIA, and national security reporter, the Washington Post


2009 I.F. Stone Medal presentation and discussion


7 to 9 p.m., Thursday, October 1


Abramson Family Recital Hall, American University’s Katzen Arts Center
4400 Massachusetts Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20016
Jon Alpert, an award-winning investigative reporter, producer, and filmmaker, will receive the 2009 I.F. Stone Medal For Journalistic Independence during an event at American University from 7 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, October 1.  

Established in 2008, the medal honors the life of investigative journalist I.F. Stone, best known for I.F. Stone’s Weekly, the newsletter he published from 1953 to 1971 without advertising support. The medal is presented annually to a journalist whose work reflects Stone’s independence, integrity, and courage. The medal is administered by the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard and its Nieman Watchdog Project.  

American University is the first university to host the event. Last year, it took place at the Newseum. The decision to have the ceremony take place at a university is in keeping with the Nieman Foundation’s mission “to promote and elevate the standards of journalism and educate persons deemed specially qualified for journalism.”

Alpert will deliver remarks and screen clips of his work, followed by a discussion among journalism experts (see above list) about his work and the importance of journalistic independence.

Alpert has documented some of the most important stories of the past four decades. In 1974, he became the first U.S. journalist in ten years to produce a television program inside Cuba. In 1977, he made the first television program in Vietnam since the end of the war. From 1979 to 1991, while an independent journalist for NBC News, he covered the Mariel boatlift in Cuba, the mujahedeen in Afghanistan, corruption in the Philippines, glasnost and perestroika in the Soviet Union, and the Sandinistas in Nicaragua. In 1991, he filmed devastation caused by the bombing of Iraq during Operation Desert Storm, becoming the only reporter to leave the country with uncensored footage.

Based on the results of an essay competition, AU’s School of Communication will award one of its graduate students a $1,500 grant from the Nieman Foundation and a replica of the I.F. Stone Medal.

American University is a leader in global education, enrolling a diverse student body from throughout the United States and nearly 140 countries. Located in Washington, D.C., the university provides opportunities for academic excellence, public service, and internships in the nation’s capital and around the world.