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WikiLeaks spokesman wins Journalist of the Year in Iceland

WikiLeaks spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson

WikiLeaks spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson

Icelandic journalist and WikiLeaks spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson won the country’s Journalist of the Year award for 2010, Iceland’s National Union of Journalists said.

“Kristinn said when receiving the award that this was the third time he was getting an award for outstanding work in journalism, but that he had also been fired three times for his work,” NUJ official Frida Bjornsdottir said.

The NUJ revealed its pick of Mr Hrafnsson, “for excellent processing of a video of a helicopter attack in Baghdad” and “for his work as a representative for WikiLeaks, an organization that has cooperated with many of the world’s major journalistic entities by publishing important information,” the NUJ said in a statement.

WikiLeaks released in April last year a graphic video of a US military Apache helicopter strike in Baghdad in 2007 which killed two Reuters employees and a number of other people.

It was one of the first major releases for the website, who went on to publish secret documents on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and a slew of diplomatic cables.

The video “showed the disturbing nature of warfare and brought the experience and fate of victims into Icelandic living rooms”, the NUJ said, explaining it was broadcast on Icelandic public television, where Mr Hrafnsson worked.

Mr Hrafnsson said he was previously lauded in 2004 for an investigative piece into a sexual assault case involving an Icelandic boy in Texas and in 2007 for a TV piece he worked on with another reporter.

WikiLeaks noted the win on its twitter feed on Tuesday, saying “Kristinn Hrafnsson (WikiLeaks journalist) wins Icelandic Journalist of the Year. Unprecedented three wins for Mr Hrafnsson.”

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