Washington Post journalists win Polk awards

Five Washington Post journalists are among the 30 recipients of one of journalism’s biggest prizes this year, honored for work that includes disclosures about the federal government’s extensive surveillance programs.

The Post’s Barton Gellman, a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, was joined by Glenn Greenwald, formerly of the Guardian US, and two other Guardian journalists in receiving the George Polk Award for national security reporting, Long Island University announced Sunday.

Contrails from jet planes passing overhead intersect the National Museum of Art in Washington, Thursday morning, April 17, 2014. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

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Joining Gellman as Polk honorees are Post journalists Eli Saslow for national reporting and Rosalind S. Helderman, Laura Vozzella and Carol D. Leonnig for political reporting.

Greenwald and Gellman, along with the Guardian’s Laura Poitras and Ewen MacAskill, have written stories based on documents released by Edward Snowden, a former National Security Agency contractor who is living in Russia.

The disclosures, which continue, have led to a renewed debate over how far the government’s surveillance efforts should extend. President Obama recently announced measures aimed at quelling fears and making the NSA more accountable and transparent.

Saslow will receive the Polk Award for national reporting for a series of stories on American families that rely on the federal food stamp program. Helderman, Vozzella and Leonnig will be awarded for their reporting on the relationship between then-Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R) and a wealthy entrepreneur that culminated in McDonnell’s recent indictment.

Other recipients include five men responsible for a PBS documentary about concussions in the National Football League, titled “League of Denial,” as well as a Miami New Times writer whose reporting on a clinic in Florida that provided performance-enhancing drugs to major league baseball players led to about a dozen player suspensions.

Shawn Boburg of the Bergen Record in New Jersey will be awarded for his reporting on the lane closures in Fort Lee that have developed in to a major political scandal for Gov. Chris Christie (R).

The Polk awards ceremony is set for April 11 in New York.

 
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