Updated March 29 at 10:29am

Pulitzer-winning journalist to receive Pell Center’s inaugural award


NEWPORT - Dana L. Priest, two-time Pulitzer Prize winning journalist for The Washington Post, will receive the Pell Center prize for “Story in the Public Square” in recognition of her investigative reporting career, the center announced Tuesday.

She will be honored at the Pell Center’s public conference for “Story in the Public Square” on April 12 at Salve Regina University.

Priest’s journalistic career spans affairs from government intelligence to counterterrorism, with her notable published works leading to the revealing of the existence of Central Intelligence Agency “black sites,” or secret prisons in 2006, as well the opening investigation into the deprecated condition of the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in 2007 in conjunction with journalists Anne Hull and Michel du Cille. She won the Pulitzer Prize for Beat Reporting for covering the CIA’s black sites as well for Public Service for her reporting in the Walter Reed Center scandal.

“[Sen. Claiborne Pell] has been a hero of mine for decades, probably ever since I was a college freshman and learned his name for the first time from the Pell Grant that allowed me to attend school in the first place,” Priest said in prepared remarks. “He was a larger-than-life figure for me in my beginning days as a reporter as well. So to receive an award in his name for the work I do is especially meaningful to me.

“I am honored to be the first recipient of the Pell Center Prize...and look forward to coming to Newport next month,” she added.

The Story in the Public Square, a joint project of the Salve’s Pell Center for International Relations and Public Policy and The Providence Journal, “seeks to examine and, where appropriate, celebrate the role narrative storytelling plays in public affairs,” the center said in a release.

“Storytelling has the potential to move opinion and policy because of its ability to convey emotion, character and insight—the stuff of human experience,” said G. Wayne Miller, Journal writer G and co-director of the “Story in the Public Square said in prepared remarks. “Dana Priest, as a journalist, has told stories that matter, and attitudes and policies have changed as a result. We’re thrilled to be able to recognize her.”

The Pell Center conference for “Story in the Public Square” is open to the public. Registration, which guarantees a seat and lunch, costs $20. For more information, please visit www.salve.edu/pellcenter.


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