Reporter Shane Harris receives the 2011 Bernstein Award at a June 7 ceremony. Pictured (l-r) are NYPL President Paul LeClerc, Helen Bernstein, Harris and Selection Committee Chair Jim Hoge. Photo by Jonathan Blanc.
Shane Harris, author of“The Watchers; The Rise of America’s Surveillance State
,” was awarded the 2011 Helen Bernstein Book Award For Excellence in Journalism at a reception and award ceremony June 7. Legendary journalist Frank Rich was the featured speaker.
Since 1988 the annual award, which includes a $15,000 cash prize, has been given to journalists whose books have brought clarity and public attention to important issues, events, or policies. Previous winners of the award include David Finkel, Jane Mayer, Charlie Savage, Dana Priest, and George Packer.
This year, 75 books written by journalists in 2010 were nominated, and a team of seven committee members read each one to name five finalists. Shane Harris’ book – published by Penguin Press – was the winner.
Harris said he was “humbled” by the award, and called it, “A true honor.”