A Vindication for the Public: Guardian and Washington Post Win Pulitzer Prize (A statement from Edward Snowden)

I am grateful to the committee for their recognition of the efforts of those involved in the last year's reporting, and join others around the world in congratulating Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras, Barton Gellman, Ewen MacAskill, and all of the others at the Guardian and Washington Post on winning the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service.

Today's decision is a vindication for everyone who believes that the public has a role in government. We owe it to the efforts of the brave reporters and their colleagues who kept working in the face of extraordinary intimidation, including the forced destruction of journalistic materials, the inappropriate use of terrorism laws, and so many other means of pressure to get them to stop what the world now recognizes was work of vital public importance.

This decision reminds us that what no individual conscience can change, a free press can. My efforts would have been meaningless without the dedication, passion, and skill of these newspapers, and they have my gratitude and respect for their extraordinary service to our society. Their work has given us a better future and a more accountable democracy.

--Edward Snowden, April 14, 2014

This statement originally appeared on the Freedom of the Press Foundation website. Greenwald, Poitras, and Boing Boing editor Xeni are also board members of FotPF. Thanks, Trevor Timm.

Notable Replies

  1. Edward, I hope you make it home, free and clear, so I can shake your hand.

  2. Edward, I know you're not comfortable with this label, but I got to say it. You're my hero.

  3. IMB says:

    Where's the dude who will tell us that this either was a plot or an advantage by/for 'the man'?
    It's not a Greenwald thread until that happens.

  4. This is one of those cases where the Pulitzer's didn't honor the honorees. Everybody knew the magnitude of their reporting. These awards maintain the dignity of the award and it is the awards themselves that will be honored when these great journalists accept. Future and past honorees will be able to say that they were awarded the same award as Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras, and the others.

    I know it is a minor thing, considering the immense danger that Edward Snowden personally faces based on his revelations, but we should also reflect on the danger faced by each of these journalists. Laura Poitras has documented the many times she has been harassed entering the US. Glenn Greenwald's partner was harassed and had information stolen from him in London, while being labelled an abettor to terrorism. Recently when they entered the US, both of them were in great fear of the potential of being subpoenaed and forced to divulge sources and information under the threat of being jailed for contempt of court. People from members of the US Congress to distinguished journalists have publicly called them traitors and suggested that they should be jailed. What they have done isn't simply great reporting. They have also put themselves at risk to the whims of an uncontrolled intelligence and national security apparatus. They've earned this award and I only hope that continued honors and support by the rest of the journalism community help to prevent any future abuse.

    I think we should also reflect on why so many of these reporters who are American citizens feel they need to live abroad in order to safely report on the US. How did we let this occur?

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