A renowned media foundation in the eastern German town of Leipzig has given awards to four journalists who have made a name for themselves by taking investigative journalism to new heights or promoting investigative media research in countries where the freedom of the press used to be an alien notion. Seymour Hersh is perhaps the most prominent of the four journalists to receive an award from the Leipzig foundation. Like Michael Moore, he is well-
known for his barbed criticism of the Bush administration, and frequently strikes out against mainstream opinions and perceptions. As a journalist with the New Yorker, Hersh wrote several well-researched articles about the real reasons behind the Iraq war. But it was his findings about the torture of Iraqis by US soldiers in Baghdad’s Abu Ghraib prison that Americans and the rest of the world found the most shocking. Hersh received one of the awards for the freedom and future of the media for his investigative skills. Other prize winners in Leipzig included German correspondent Britta Petersen who has been active in helping the independent media establish a foothold in Afghanistan, Hans-Martin Tillack from the STERN magazine, who received an award for investigative reporting on large-scale corruption among European institutions in Brussels and Anna Politkovskaya from Russia for her investigative reporting on the situation in Chechnya.