Muckraking journalist to speak at Ithaca College

The author of an award-winning exposé on the abuse of power by private military contractors will give a presentation at Ithaca College on Tuesday, Dec. 2. Journalist Jeremy Scahill will discuss “The Importance of Independent Media in the Era of Conglomerates” at 7:30 p.m. in Park Auditorium. His talk, which is sponsored by the Park Center for Independent Media, is free and open to the public.Scahill’s book “Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army” won the 2007 George Polk Book Award for chronicling the ascent of Blackwater USA, a North Carolina-based company that has become one of the world’s premiere providers of private military services. His investigation exposed alleged killings, human rights violations and misconduct by the firm’s personnel and revealed the U.S. government’s growing reliance on this “shadow army.” His reporting and Congressional testimony helped propel legislation that would ban U.S. government security contracts with Blackwater and other private military companies.As a correspondent for the independent news program “Democracy Now!” Scahill also won a 1998 Polk Award along with Amy Goodman for their radio documentary “Drilling and Killing: Chevron and Nigeria’s Oil Dictatorship,” which exposed the oil company’s alliance with a dictatorship that led to the deaths of two environmental activists.Currently a Puffin Foundation Writing Fellow at the The Nation Institute, Scahill served as a 2008 election correspondent for HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher.” He has written for “The Nation” and “Catholic Worker” magazines and appeared on numerous television news programs, including the ABC, NBC and CBS evening newscasts; CNN; MSNBC; and PBS’s “NewsHour with Jim Lehrer” and “Bill Moyers Journal.”Located within Ithaca College’s Roy H. Park School of Communications, the Park Center for Independent Media is a national center for the study of media outlets that create and distribute content outside traditional corporate systems and news organizations.For more information contact Jeff Cohen, director of the Park Center for Independent Media, at (607) 274-1330.

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