May 6, 2015 by Allan MacDonell
Allan MacDonell is an expert on I.F. Stone. Knight Foundation funded “The Legacy of I.F. Stone: Part One,” a film about the late investigative journalist, which is being released this week, along with a companion video.
The I.F. Stone Medal for Journalistic Independence, awarded annually by Harvard University, says on its rim: “From Pariah to Gadfly to Institution to Fulcrum for Journalistic Independence.”
These two companion videos aim to use I.F. Stone’s distinguished career to embolden and encourage journalists to speak up and to guard their independence jealously. A commitment to free speech and journalistic integrity was the guiding light of Stone’s career.
A pariah during the McCarthy era and considered a gadfly by mainstream media outlets of his time, the fiercely self-reliant journalist earned a grudging respect and an unparalleled legacy through his self-published I.F. Stone Weekly. Started in 1953 with a few thousand initial readers, Stone’s newssheet grew into a profitable and influential circulation of 70,000 by the time it closed when he retired in 1971.