Alan Rusbridger

Rusbridger will give a speech to students at the John F Kennedy School of Government on Tuesday 6 March

Credit: Georgie Gillard/PA

Editor-in-chief of the Guardian Alan Rusbridger is to receive Harvard University's Goldsmith Career Award for Excellence in Journalism for 2012, an annual prize given for "outstanding contributions to the field of journalism".

In an announcement the university said Rusbridger, who will give a speech to students at the John F Kennedy School of Government at the university on Tuesday next week (6 March), is being recognised for "his leadership in the Guardian’s five-year investigation and exposure of phone hacking".

The university also credits Rusbridger's leadership in negotiations with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange "and subsequent publication of WikiLeaks documents" and his "instrumental" role in the newspaper's digital-first strategy.

Last year's winner was Frank Rich, a former columnist at the New York Times.

There is also a Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting, which recognises "the journalist or journalists whose investigative reporting in a story or series of related stories best promotes more effective and ethical conduct of government, the making of public policy, or the practice of politics".

Finalists for this year's prize include journalists from ABC News, Associated Press, National Public Radio, CBS Houston, the New York Times, ProPublica and Bloomberg News.

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