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July 24, 2008

Our own John Walcott wins first I.F. Stone Medal

We here at N&S, and throughout the entire McClatchy Washington bureau, are bursting with pride that our bureau chief, John Walcott, has won the first I.F. Stone Medal for Journalistic Independence.

The award, conferred by the Harvard-based Nieman Foundation, is a much-overdue recognition of John's role in directing the bureau's award-winning pre-Iraq War coverage -- we being the only mainstream news organization that consistently reported doubts about President Bush's case for invading Iraq, and the lack of planning for what would happen afterward.

In announcing the award, Nieman Curator Bob Giles said: "This is belated recognition of the powerful work done by Walcott in directing his colleagues in developing stories that were unappreciated and almost totally unnoticed at the time. Because so many journalists fell short in their pre-Iraq war coverage, there'€™s a real need to recognize this dogged editor who went about his business in a resolute way to challenge many of the justifications for the war that proved to be false."€

We couldn't agree more. John, congratulations!

Here is the full Nieman Foundation announcement. And below is the Associated Press' story this afternoon:

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) -- McClatchy's Washington bureau chief has won the Nieman Foundation's first I.F. Stone Medal for Journalistic Independence for pre-Iraq war coverage.

The foundation said John Walcott's reporting team stood out for its skeptical coverage of the Bush administration's rationale for the Iraq invasion. Nieman Curator Bob Giles called Walcott a "dogged" editor who challenged justifications for the war that later proved false.

Walcott was working as Knight Ridder's Washington bureau chief during the run-up to the war. Knight Ridder has since been bought by McClatchy.

The medal is given by the Harvard-based foundation to a journalist whose work it says shows independence and integrity. It will be presented at the Newseum in Washington D.C. in October.


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Congratulatgions, and thanks for your continued fine reporting.


In an era when the reputation of the press is generally somewhere in the lower realms of Hades, it's heartening to know there are still people with guts and judgment.

You're in my 'frequent/daily' bookmarks and here's hoping that many budding journalists and bloggers study what you've done and carry the integrity forward.

Heaven only knows, the value of accurate information increases daily. Partly because it has become so rare.


John, you and your team richly deserve the award. It was difficult for many Bush government people to acknowledge the errors in analysis for the invasion of Iraq. John Walcott uncovered the news for those mistakes long before it became common wisdom that the war was misbegotten. Unfortunately those advisors who made the grievous advice are now tooting the horn on Iran so there is more news for John and his team to focus on.


I'm very glad to see recognition for John Walcott and the team at McClatchy. You guys are my top blogs for my daily reading.

Persona non grata

Thank you John's team for not being just another group of stenographers recording the Beltway spin.

Thank you John Walcott for having the intestinal fortitude in leading your people in the reporting of fact(s).

Jay McAnally

As a regular McClatchy and NS reader , let me add my congratulations to Mr. Walcott and his merry band of mischief makers.
I read a lot of web news and blogs, but I always stop by here to confirm what I find elsewhere.

Hurrah for you all; Keep up the outstanding work...

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"Nukes & Spooks" is written by McClatchy correspondents Jonathan S. Landay (national security and intelligence), Warren P. Strobel (foreign affairs and the State Department), and Nancy Youssef (Pentagon).

jon, nancy & warren

Landay, Youssef and Strobel.

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