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June 16th, 2012

Gareth Porter

Inter Press Service (IPS) congratulates Gareth Porter, a weekly contributor to IPS, on his award Thursday of the prestigious Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism for a series of articles on U.S. policies and strategy in Afghanistan and Pakistan published over the past year by IPS and Truthout.

Read his IPS work here: ‘Stories by Gareth Porter

“We are very pleased that Gareth’s investigative work has gained recognition by the Gellhorn jury of distinguished journalists,” said Mario Lubetkin, IPS’s Director-General. “We are proud that IPS has served as his major publishing outlet for nearly a decade.

One of the most accomplished and acclaimed journalists of the 20th century, Gellhorn was best known for her on-the-ground coverage of the Spanish Civil War, World War II, and the Vietnam War, of which she was highly critical.

“I’m very gratified to have won this award and to be associated with the legacy of Martha Gellhorn, certainly one of the greatest journalists in U.S. history,” Porter said after receiving the award. “Martha Gellhorn stood for fearless exposure of official lies and propaganda which she called “official drivel”, and that is essentially what I have sought to emulate in my journalistic work.”

“I’m grateful to IPS which, over the past eight years, has given me the freedom and opportunity to develop as an investigative journalist,” he added. “Both IPS and Truthout, unlike corporate media, have been unafraid to confront and expose powerful interests engaged in actions that they would prefer not to have revealed.”

Porter, who began contributing to IPS in 2004, began his journalistic career during the Vietnam War as chief of the Saigon bureau of Dispatch News Service, is also the author of a history of the origins of U.S. intervention there, “Perils of Dominance: Imbalance of Power and the Road to War in Vietnam” (2005). Reviewing the book for “The Nation” magazine, Boston University historian Andrew Bacevich, called it “without a doubt, the most important contribution to the history of U.S. national security policy to appear in the past decade.”

Working with IPS, Porter, who is based in Washington, D.C., was the first journalist to provide a detailed account of the alleged secret Iranian diplomatic proposal to the United States in 2003. He has also broken a significant number of stories regarding U.S. diplomacy and military and intelligence operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, as well as Iran.

“Gareth has been a major boon to our coverage of Washington’s various entanglements in the Greater Middle East,” said Jim Lobe, chief of the IPS Washington bureau. “His investigative work has been consistently reliable, meticulous, and relentless.”

Porter is the second IPS contributor to have received the Gellhorn Prize in the past five years. In 2008, Mohammed Omer won the award for coverage of his native Gaza. While returning home, he was assaulted and beaten by Israeli security officers at the Allenby Bridge border crossing and subsequently hospitalized in Gaza where it was discovered that he had sustained serious injuries that required a series of surgical operations in the Netherlands. He has since returned to Gaza where he continues to write for IPS, as well as a number of other media outlets.

 

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