Truthdig announced yesterday columnist and Pulitzer Prize winner Chris Hedges received the top award in the Activism Journalism category at the 2015 Southern California Journalism Awards Sunday night.
Hedges won for his column “The Last Days of Tomas Young.” The judges wrote: “Great journalism should move the reader. Great activist journalism should move the reader to act. Hedges’ piece does just that through the compelling and heartbreaking story of a pain-riddled vet let down by the very country he ultimately gave his life to protect. It’s a cynical piece, and it could devolve into simple antiwar rhetoric—but instead it sharply skewers a VA system that failed to aid the very people it’s meant to serve.”
Tomas Young wrote “The Last Letter,” to George W. Bush and Dick Cheney which was published by Truthdig. In it, he stated his intention to die.
Chris Hedges spent 15 years as a foreign correspondent for The New York Times reporting from from Latin American, the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans. He has also covered al Qaeda in Europe, and he was part of a team of reporters that won the 2002 Pulitzer prize for their coverage of global terrorism and was a National Book Critics Circle finalist for his book War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning. He is a Senior Fellow at The Nation Institute and writes an online column for the web site Truthdig. He has taught at Columbia University, New York University, Princeton University and the University of Toronto.
He is the author of many other books including Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt, Death of the Liberal Class, and The World As It Is: Dispatches on the Myth of Human Progress. His current Truthdig column is entitled “The Lonely American.” It describes the “decline of independent civic engagement” prevalent in young people who are plugged into the Internet but socially isolated. He adds:
Totalitarian societies, including our own, inundate the public with a steady stream of propaganda accompanied by mindless entertainment. They seek to destroy independent organizations.
Hedges is an inspiration to many activist journalists, including this Progressive Examiner. “There’s tremendous profundity to Chris’ work so well illustrated by this piece,” said Truthdig publisher Zuade Kaufman. Hear his hard-headed thinking in the Amendment Gazette interview with him above and read examples of SPE’s activist journalism below under “Suggested Links.”
The Los Angeles Press Club Awards are given to journalists in all media, including online, newspapers, television, radio and magazines.