Pulitzer Prize winner and Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges received the top award in the Activism Journalism category Sunday night at the 2015 Southern California Journalism Awards.

Hedges won for his column “The Last Days of Tomas Young,” about which the judges wrote: “Great journalism should move the reader. Great activist journalism should move the reader to act. Hedges’ piece does just that through the compelling and heartbreaking story of a pain-riddled vet let down by the very country he ultimately gave his life to protect. It’s a cynical piece, and it could devolve into simple antiwar rhetoric — but instead it sharply skewers a VA system that failed to aid the very people it’s meant to serve.”

Young was the author of “The Last Letter,” a message to George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, published by Truthdig, in which he stated his intention to die.

“There’s tremendous profundity to Chris’ work so well illustrated by this piece,” said Truthdig publisher Zuade Kaufman. “He gives voice to Tomas Young, allowing the Army veteran to speak to so many of the horrors of war, as well as inspiring others to take action.”

“It is a good sign for journalism that Truthdig’s most provocative and courageous columnist is so frequently honored by other members of the profession,” Truthdig Editor-in-Chief Robert Scheer added.

Scheer and Truthdig columnist Bill Boyarsky were also honored by the Press Club, taking second and third place, respectively, as Online Journalist of the Year.

In addition, Truthdig columnist Bill Blum took second place in the Political Column/Commentary category for his piece “Recess Is Over: What the Supreme Court Has in Store for Us Now.” Hedges received a third-place nod in the same category for his column “Alcatraz: A Prison as Disneyland.”

In the Blog/Group category, the Truthdig team took second place for the “Ear to the Ground” blog. Truthdig Radio also picked up a third-place award in the Radio/News or Feature Short Form category for “Edward Snowden’s Lawyer Takes on John Kerry.

Now in their 57th year, the Los Angeles Press Club Awards are given to journalists in all media, including online, newspapers, television, radio and magazines.

–Posted by Jenna Berbeo

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