After Laura Poitras received encrypted emails from someone with information on the government’s massive covert-surveillance programs, she and reporter Glenn Greenwald flew to Hong Kong to meet the sender, who turned out to be Edward Snowden.
Poitras has received numerous awards for her work, including the 2015 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature for Citizenfour, about Edward Snowden, while My Country, My Country received a nomination in the same category in 2007. She won the 2013 George Polk Award for national security reporting related to the NSA disclosures. The NSA reporting by Poitras, Glenn Greenwald, Ewen MacAskill, and Barton Gellman contributed to the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service awarded jointly to The Guardian and The Washington Post.
She is a MacDowell Colony Fellow, 2012 MacArthur Fellow, the creator of Field of Vision, and one of the initial supporters of the Freedom of the Press Foundation. She was awarded the I.F. Stone Medal for Journalistic Independence by Harvard’s Nieman Foundation in 2014.
Poitras was one of the founding editors of the online newspaper, The Intercept On November 30, 2020, Poitras was fired by First Look Media, the parent company of The Intercept, allegedly in relation to the Reality Winner controversy.
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The International Day for Universal Access to Information was proclaimed on 15 October 2019 at the 74th UN General Assembly to be held on 28 September. Initially the day was designated by the UNESCO General Conference. It was inaugurated in November 2015 and was first held on 28 September 2016