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Reporter for New York Times honored for source protection

WASHINGTON -- A New York Times reporter facing jail for refusing to reveal his source for leaks about the CIA was awarded the Newspaper Guild's press freedom prize on Wednesday.

James Risen won the Herbert Block Freedom Award for having “risked his own freedom to protect the principles that are essential for a truly free press,” said a statement from the Newspaper Guild.

The guild pointed out that federal prosecutors have been pursuing Risen since 2006, demanding he confirm the name of a man they believe was a source for his book, “State of War” about the CIA and the Bush administration.

Risen has refused to name the source for his account of a bungled CIA operation in Iran that appeared in his book.

Earlier this year, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to intervene in the case, which means Risen must face contempt of court proceedings.

“With his book, James Risen did what great journalists do,” said Newspaper Guild-CWA president Bernie Lunzer.

“He dug for information, developed sources who trusted him and ultimately exposed some of the hard truths behind the war on terrorism. Without jeopardizing national security, he told Americans what their government wouldn't. That is his job, the job of all journalists. And we are all better for it.”

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