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Medill Awards Highlight Coverage of Darfur Violence, WMD Story

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April 26, 2005

Journalist Wins Medill Medal of Courage

Washington Post reporter Emily Wax has been named the 2004 winner of the Medill Medal for Courage in Journalism. Wax was chosen for outstanding reporting on the systematic violence that last year threatened millions of people in the Darfur region of Sudan.

Wax, chief of The Washington Post's Nairobi bureau since 2002, will speak about her coverage of Sudan at noon Monday, May 2, as part of the Crain Lecture Series. Free and open to the public, her lecture will take place at the McCormick Tribune Center Forum, 1870 Campus Drive, Evanston campus.

“Last year's violence in Sudan came close to suffering the same benign neglect from governments and international institutions, including news organizations, that Rwanda faced in 1994,” said Loren Ghiglione, dean of the Medill School. “Emily Wax defied this indifference and exhibited extraordinary courage in forcing the Sudan crisis onto The Post's front page and into public awareness.”

Medill sponsors the annual prize that honors the U.S. journalist who best displays moral, ethical or physical courage in pursuit of a story.

Iraq Coverage Earns Prize

Reporter Michael Massing, who criticized national media coverage of the events leading to the U.S. invasion of Iraq and the reluctance of journalists to challenge a popular president in times of patriotism and war, has won the $10,000 Mongerson Prize for Investigative Reporting on the News. The prize is also awarded by the Medill School.

Medill also named three winners of the $1,000 Awards of Distinction -- Jonathan Landay and Tish Wells of Knight Ridder Newspapers; Pete Slover of The Dallas Morning News; and Stephen Jimenez, Glenn Silber and Elizabeth Vargas of ABC’s “20/20.”

Massing, a former executive editor of the Columbia Journalism Review and 1992 MacArthur Fellow, will receive the Mongerson Prize May 16 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. The prize honors outstanding reporting that covers and promptly corrects incomplete, inaccurate or misleading news stories.

In a series called “Now They Tell Us” in The New York Review of Books, Massing questioned the media’s acceptance of the Bush administration’s claims that weapons of mass destruction existed in Iraq. “Thoroughly reported and clearly written, the stories put journalistic failings in context and serve as a cautionary tale for newsrooms,” the judges said in naming Massing the winner.

The Mongerson Prize was created in 2001 through a grant from Paul Mongerson, an engineer, businessman and author interested in the media. It is based at the Medill News Service in Washington, D.C.

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