Prize for Anonymous Witness

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to state sponsored brutality. The filming of the death of 26-year old Iranian music student Neda Agha Soltan wins major journalism prize.

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Long Island University has announced the winners of 13 George Polk Awards for 2009, including a reporter kidnapped and held by the Taliban for more than seven months and journalists who demanded transparency from the Federal Reserve Board, changed the way professional and youth football leagues deal with head injuries and exposed a state child-care program plagued by fraud and deceit. For the first time in the 61-year history of the Awards, judges have honored work that was produced anonymously. The panel acknowledged the bravery of those responsible for videotaping — and then broadcasting on the Internet — the horrific images of a young woman dying from a gunshot wound during a protest in Iran.“This video footage was seen by millions and became an iconic image of the Iranian resistance. We don’t know who took it or who uploaded it, but we know it has news value,” said John Darnton, curator of the George Polk Awards. “This award celebrates the fact that, in today’s world, a brave bystander with a cell-phone camera can use video-sharing and social networking sites to deliver news.”

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