For Judy Miller, a prison jumpsuit but no award

Writers group changes course on whether the New York Times reporter deserves a "Conscience in Media" honor.

By T.g.
August 4, 2005 8:50PM (UTC)
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New York Times reporter Judith Miller has been in jail for nearly a month now, and officials say she's being treated just like every other inmate. That means a green jumpsuit marked with the word "PRISONER," three squares and 3,600 calories a day, a mattress on the floor or on a bunk, a lot of time in a TV room and a couple of brief periods of lockdown every 24 hours.

There's one more thing Miller has in common with Zacarias Moussaoui, Ahmed Omar Abu Ali and the 470 or so other inmates at the Alexandria Detention Facility: Not one of them will be receiving a "Conscience in Media" award this year from the American Society of Journalists and Authors.


As Editor & Publisher reports, the society's First Amendment committee voted narrowly to give Miller the prize to honor her for going to jail to protect her source in the Valerie Plame case. But in an e-mail message this week, ASJA president Jack El-Hai said that the ASJA board has voted unanimously to reject the committee's recommendation. El-Hai cited opposition from the society's membership, "a feeling that Miller's career, taken as a whole, did not make her the best candidate for the award" and "divided opinions on the board over whether her recent actions merit the award."

There was no immediate word as to whether ASJA might consider someone else for the award, but we're pretty sure that either Jeff Gannon or Robert Novak would be happy to accept in Miller's absence.



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