Rev. Jesse Jackson, Palast Team Win Two Project Censored Awards

Greg Palast

On Saturday, October 22, the Reverend Jesse Jackson and Greg Palast shared a Project Censored award for the article they co-authored on the non-count of the African-American vote in the 2004 election. Known as “the alternative Pulitzer Prize,” the award was presented by the University of California school of journalism at a ceremony at the Sonoma campus in Northern California.

Greg Palast’s investigative team, reporting for BBC Television Newsnight (London), Harper’s Magazine and TomPaine.com, also received a second award for their investigation uncovering the State and Defense Department secret plans for US control of Iraq’s economy. The team had reported on previously confidential documents, one obtained exclusively by the Palast team, that secretly planned to sell off all of Iraq’s state assets, “especially in the oil and supporting industries.”

This is the fourth consecutive year of awards for the Palast investigative team. The prize is chosen by the journalism school from among more than one-thousand submissions.

The Project Censored Award is designed to recognize crucial news reports which did not receive coverage in the US press.

Reverend Jackson and Palast co-authored, “Jim Crow Returns to the Voting Booth — Does America Have An Apartheid Vote-Counting System?” for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer exposing the discovery that more than one million votes were cast by African-Americans and other minority voters in the last election which were never counted, casting doubt on the official results of the Presidential election. This was a repeat of the 2000 contest in which a million minority votes were also left uncounted, undoubtedly changing the outcome of that election.

The Jackson-Palast story highlighted the investigations of the Palast team for BBC television in uncovering Republican Party “caging” lists designed to challenge tens of thousands of Black voters in swing states, part of a racial vote impeding campaign which appears to violate federal law.

The bulk of missing votes were generated by poor voting machines, concentrated in minority precincts, which “spoiled” ballots of voters who are, overwhelmingly, registered Democrats.

The discovery of the “caging lists,” expos? of the purge of innocent Black voters as “felons,” and the racially biased placement of poor voting machines which spoil votes is part of a long-running inquiry conducted by the Palast team which includes investigators Matt Pascarella and Oliver Shykles.

The story of secret — and conflicting — plans to control Iraq’s oil was also reported by Palast for BBC Televison and was the product of a three-year long investigation by Palast and principle Iraq researcher Leni von Eckardt.

Both award-winning reports were produced for BBC Television Newsnight by producer Meirion Jones of London.

To read the award-winning stories or view the BBC television reports, go to GregPalast.com