For My Guantánamo Work, I’ve Been Short-Listed for the Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism


I’m delighted to report that, in recognition of my work on Guantánamo and the “war on terror” over the last seven years (including being the lead writer on the sections of a report on secret detention for the United Nations in 2010 dealing with US secret detention since 9/11, and being a media partner of WikiLeaks for the release of classified military files from Guantánamo in 2011), I’ve been short-listed for the prestigious Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism, dedicated to the memory of Martha Gellhorn (1908-1998), one of the great war correspondents of the 20th century.

The prize was established in 1999, and previous winners include Nick Davies, Robert Fisk, Patrick Cockburn, Ghaith Abdul-Ahad, Dahr Jamail, Mohammed Omer, Ian Cobain, Julian Assange and Gareth Porter.

As noted by the Committee (James Fox, Jeremy Harding, Cynthia Kee, Alexander Matthews, Shirlee Matthews and John Pilger), the prize is “awarded to a journalist whose work has penetrated the established version of events and told an unpalatable truth, validated by powerful facts, that exposes establishment propaganda, or ‘official drivel’ as Martha Gellhorn called it.”

As Martha Gellhorn also noted, highlighting an essential truth about how people allow themselves to be manipulated — something that is, sadly, abundantly clear from the “war on terror” declared by the Bush administration after the 9/11 attacks, and the lies told about the prisoners in  — “Gradually I came to realize that people will more readily swallow lies than truth, as if the taste of lies was homey, appetizing: a habit.”

The winner will be announced on June 19, and, to reiterate, I’m deeply honored to have been short-listed.

Below, to provide some context for the prize, is a video from 1983 of Martha Gellhorn interviewed by John Pilger:

Andy Worthington is a freelance investigative journalist, activist, author, photographer and film-maker. He is the co-founder of the “Close Guantánamo” campaign, and the author of The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison (published by Pluto Press, distributed by Macmillan in the US, and available from Amazon — click on the following for the US and the UK) and of two other books: Stonehenge: Celebration and Subversion and The Battle of the Beanfield. He is also the co-director (with Polly Nash) of the documentary film, “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” (available on DVD here — or here for the US).

To receive new articles in your inbox, please subscribe to Andy’s RSS feed — and he can also be found on Facebook (and here), Twitter, Flickr and YouTube. Also see the four-part definitive Guantánamo prisoner list, “The Complete Guantánamo Files,” an ongoing, 70-part, million-word series drawing on files released by WikiLeaks in April 2011. Also see the definitive Guantánamo habeas list and the chronological list of all Andy’s articles.

Please also consider joining the “Close Guantánamo” campaign, and, if you appreciate Andy’s work, feel free to make a donation.

123 Responses

  1. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, Peggy. Yes, a wonderful roll-call of excellent investigative journalists. I feel I’m in great company just having been nominated, to be honest.

  2. Andy Worthington says...

    D J Sanchez In-Montebello wrote:

    Congratulations to you, Andy.
    YOU DESERVE THE HONOR for all your tireless work.
    Respect to you… “S A N C H E Z”.

  3. Andy Worthington says...

    Nicola Mattiagne wrote:

    We’re very honoured to know you Andy, and the enthusiasm you share in life. You deserve to be recognised for your hard work.

  4. Andy Worthington says...

    Serra Basarir wrote:

    It seems that there are positive developments which herald the closure of Guantanamo Bay. I believe you have been very effective on this from the beginning. Congratulations!

  5. Andy Worthington says...

    Andy Hemingway wrote:

    That’s great news Andy. Really hope that you win it. Your work deserves recognition.

  6. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, D J Sanchez, Nicola, Serra and Andy. Great to hear from you all, and thanks for the kind words and support.

  7. Andy Worthington says...

    Anna Elliott wrote:

    So well deserved.

  8. Andy Worthington says...

    Thank you, Anna. Lovely to hear from you.

  9. Andy Worthington says...

    Asif Rana wrote:

    Nice one Andy.

  10. Andy Worthington says...

    Ryan Hunt wrote:

    Congratulations, Andy, and well deserved to say the least! Most likely, many more such awards will follow!

  11. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, Asif and Ryan. I like your vision of an award-strewn future, Ryan, but this nomination is really gratifying. I’m particularly pleased that it is “awarded to a journalist whose work has penetrated the established version of events and told an unpalatable truth, validated by powerful facts, that exposes establishment propaganda, or ‘official drivel’ as Martha Gellhorn called it.” I do feel that’s what I’ve been doing for the last seven years.

  12. Andy Worthington says...

    Ryan Hunt wrote:

    Sounds about right to me! 🙂

  13. Andy Worthington says...

    Kirsten Holst Kjaer wrote:

    You are great !

  14. Andy Worthington says...

    Jez Cuthbert wrote:

    Congratulations Andy 🙂

  15. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks again, Ryan, and thanks, Kirsten and Jez. Good to hear from you!

  16. Andy Worthington says...

    Rachels Page wrote:

    Congratulations Andy

  17. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, Rachel!

  18. Andy Worthington says...

    Colin Brace wrote:

    Most deserved this recognition!

  19. Andy Worthington says...

    Malcolm Bush wrote:

    I think you really deserve some official recognition for all your work. Your work is important and very useful to a wide range of: human rights campaigners, academics, journalists, historians all those among the general public who wish to gain specialized or generic knowledge from your work.

  20. Andy Worthington says...

    Kristin Higgins wrote:

    great stuff Andy couldn’t go to a more deserving person

  21. Andy Worthington says...

    David Knopfler wrote:

    More than deserved!

  22. Andy Worthington says...

    Thanks, Colin, Malcolm, Kristin and David. Lovely to hear from you all.

  23. 28 May 2013 | This Day in WikiLeaks says...

    […] Worthington has been shortlisted for the Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism for his coverage of Guantanamo Bay, including his work with WikiLeaks’ Gitmo […]

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Andy Worthington

Investigative journalist, author, campaigner, commentator and public speaker. Recognized as an authority on Guantánamo and the “war on terror.” Co-founder, Close Guantánamo, co-director, We Stand With Shaker. Also, singer and songwriter (The Four Fathers) and photographer.
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