Embattled WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was awarded the 2011 Martha Gellhorn prize for journalism.
The award celebrates journalism that challenges secrecy and mendacity in public affairs -- ‘official drivel,’ as the famously feisty American war correspondent Gellhorn called it.
"WikiLeaks has been portrayed as a phenomenon of the hi-tech age, which it is. But it's much more. Its goal of justice through transparency is in the oldest and finest tradition of journalism," the judges, who voted unanimously for Assange, said.
Assange is the first non-traditional journalist to win the Gellhorn prize since its launch in 1999. Previous winners include journalists at the Guardian, Independent, London Review of Books, Sunday Times and the Glasgow Herald.
The prize is a public boost for WikiLeaks at a moment when its founder is currently on bail in England over sexual assault charges and the controversial site has not been accepting submissions for months due to “re-engineering improvements.”