The Robert I. Friedman Award honored an investigative journalist whose work best exemplifies the talent, courage and reporting expertise of Robert I. Friedman, who died in 2002 at age 51. The $1,000 award was given annually, at the discretion of the Board of the Fund for Investigative Journalism, to the best international reporting project or book completed in the previous calendar year with Fund support.
In keeping with Friedman’s life and work, the award was given to an investigative project focused outside the United States. Both U.S. and foreign-based reporters are eligible. The $1,000 Robert I. Friedman award was given in addition to any Fund grant previously given to the journalist for his or her international reporting project.
There is no application process for the Friedman Award, and the award is given solely at the discretion of the Board.
The Career Of Robert I. Friedman
A skilled and courageous award-winning journalist, Friedman worked primarily as a free-lance investigative reporter specializing in exposing international corruption and malfeasance. He died in July 2002 at age 51 as the result of a rare disease he contracted while in India working on a story about sexual slavery. That investigation was supported in part by a grant from the Fund.
Friedman’s book on the activities of Russian mobsters in America, “Red Mafiya,” resulted in death threats that forced him and his wife, Christine Dugas, also a journalist, into hiding for a time. Friedman also wrote extensively about the radical right in Israel, including his books “Zealots for Zion: Inside Israel’s West Bank Settlement Movement” and “False Prophet,” a biography of Rabbi Meir Kahane.
Click here to read a tribute to Friedman by his longtime friend and editor, Dan Bischoff. Click here to read a tribute to Friedman published by “The Nation” where he was a frequent contributor. And here is a tribute to Friedman by Micah Sifry, another friend and colleague. Sifry’s remarks were delivered at the initial screening of “The Day My God Died,” a documentary on child sexual slavery in India dedicated to Friedman.