In recognition of a career distinguished by meticulously researched investigations, intrepid questioning and reporting that has challenged both conventional wisdom and mainstream media, the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard will present journalist Robert Parry with the 2015 I.F. Stone Medal for Journalistic Independence during a ceremony in Cambridge, Mass., on Oct. 22, 2015.
Parry is known for breaking many of the stories related to the Iran-Contra affair while working at The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. He received the George Polk Award for National Reporting in 1984 for his work on Iran-Contra at the AP, where he broke the story that the CIA had provided a manual to the Nicaraguan Contras (“Psychological Operations in Guerrilla Warfare”) that outlined ways to build support for the Contra cause and carry out political assassinations.
In 1985, he was the first to report on Oliver North’s involvement in the affair and along with his AP colleague Brian Barger, was the first to describe the Contras’ role in cocaine trafficking in the United States – stories that led to an internal investigation and a congressional inquiry. Parry also was a 1985 Pulitzer finalist for his work.
In the early 1990s, Parry made several documentaries for PBS’s Frontline on the October Surprise allegations about a plot to influence the outcome of the 1980 presidential election between incumbent Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan.
Former Nieman Foundation curator Bill Kovach, chair of the advisory committee that oversees the annual award, said, “Robert Parry has for decades been one of the most tenacious investigative journalists….he has created a unique news website to replace disinformation with facts based on deep research.”
Parry sacrificed his career to report the news. I hope that people will sacrifice a few dollars to support Consortium News, which continues to deliver real news to a nation starved for it.