… a most deserving group of journalists: Laura Poitras, Glenn Greenwald, Ewen MacAskill for the Guardian and Barton Gellman for the Washington Post have been awarded the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service.
The Jury’s citation reads:
For a distinguished example of meritorious public service by a newspaper or news site through the use of its journalistic resources, including the use of stories, editorials, cartoons, photographs, graphics, videos, databases, multimedia or interactive presentations or other visual material, a gold
Awarded to The Washington Post for its revelation of widespread secret surveillance by the National Security Agency, marked by authoritative and insightful reports that helped the public understand how the disclosures fit into the larger framework of national security.
Awarded to The Guardian US for its revelation of widespread secret surveillance by the National Security Agency, helping through aggressive reporting to spark a debate about the relationship between the government and the public over issues of security and privacy.
Edward Snowden, in a blog post for the Freedom of the Press Foundation calls this achievement “A Vindication for the Public”.
Mr Snowden’s full statement:
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.
Congratulations and deepest thanks to everyone involved in the reporting: you have given the public knowledge and opportunity to discuss the extend of surveillance both in the US and the rest of the world and to bring about much-needed change and reform! Your service – and that of Edward Snowden – to the public is invaluable. Now it is, once more, vindicated. You are an example to us all!