The 2009 Izzy Awards honored Glenn Greenwald and Amy Goodman. The Izzy Award recognizes “special achievement in independent media” and 2009 marked the first annual Izzy Award event. View the official program here: 2009IzzyProgram

AMY GOODMAN – Over the past 12 years, AMY GOODMAN has built Democracy Now! into the country’s largest public media collaboration – on TV, radio and web. Independent of any party or sponsor in the I.F. Stone tradition, Democracy Now! offers a daily cutting-edge broadcast featuring issues and experts rarely heard in corporate media – including not just policy-makers, but those “who live at the target end of the policy.”

Through timely interviews with heads of state, opposition leaders, artists and organizers, Goodman in 2008 maintained an ongoing, tenacious focus on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, U.S. violations of the Geneva conventions, racial justice issues such as the still-displaced poor of New Orleans, and political repression overseas. Co-hosted by Juan Gonzalez, Democracy Now! has become a daily ritual for journalists, scholars and activists seeking to get behind the news and ahead of it.

As an investigative journalist, Goodman has bravely exposed human rights abuses from East Timor to Nigeria, and the complicity of U.S. corporations and government. She and Jeremy Scahill won the Polk Award for their 1998 radio documentary: Drilling and Killing: Chevron and Nigeria’s Oil Dictatorship. Her motto: “Go where the silence is and say something.”

During a 2000 interview on Democracy Now!, President Bill Clinton complained that Goodman’s questions were “hostile, combative and even disrespectful.” She was arrested last year at the Republican National Convention. She is the coauthor of three books with her brother David Goodman: The Exception to the Rulers (2004), Static (2006) and the latest, Standing Up to the Madness. She writes a nationally-syndicated column for King Features that appears in mainstream dailies.

In 2008, Amy Goodman became the first daily journalist to win the Right Livelihood Award – known as the “Alternative Nobel” and awarded in the Swedish parliament – “for developing an innovative model of truly independent political journalism that brings to millions of people the alternative voices that are often excluded by mainstream media.”

GLENN GREENWALD – Glenn Greenwald is a former constitutional lawyer who started blogging in 2005, acting as his own editor/publisher in the I.F. Stone tradition. In 2007 he moved his popular blog to Salon.com, retaining full editorial freedom. Week after week, in meticulously documented blog posts, he skewers hypocrisy, deception and revisionism on the part of the powers that be in government and the media. No one is quicker to dig up the past positions of politicians and pundits.

Greenwald has inveighed against torture and defended constitutional rights for all, whether they be “enemy combatants” or American protesters. He has toughly criticized both Republicans and Democrats, and his blogging frequently sparks debate in major media and on Capitol Hill.

His dogged reporting is credited with catapulting the issue of retroactive im- munity for the telecom industry into public discussion, and his blog posts were cited during U.S. Senate floor debates on the legislation. His 2008 reporting on a false claim about 9/11 by then-U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey led to demands for answers from Congressional committees and ultimately a retraction. His work last year on the FBI’s anthrax investigation led members of Congress to call for a fresh inquiry into the case.

Greenwald wrote the first book exposing the Bush administration’s extreme theories of executive power, How Would a Patriot Act? (2006) – which became a New York Times best-seller thanks to promotion in the blogosphere. His other books are A Tragic Legacy (2007) and Great American Hypocrites (2008).

Last year, he was named one of the 40 most popular and widely-cited pundits in America by New York magazine – one of only a handful of bloggers named.