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Two veteran Haaretz reporters, Yossi Melman and Zvi Bar'el, have been awarded the prestigious 2009 Sokolov Prize for Journalism, the prize committee announced on Thursday.

Melman, Haaretz's intelligence affairs correspondent, who has written extensively on Iran, was given the prize for journalistic research; Bar'el, the paper's Middle East commentator, received a lifetime achievement award.

According to the committee, the prize "marks the Israeli newspapers' crucial discoveries, which serve as an example for both the media and the public."

In the field of electronic media, the winners were David Witzthum, who won the lifetime achievement award, and the reporter Omri Asenheim for the investigative television program "Uvda"(Fact).

Aseneheim conducted the research which exposed the IDF's secret anthrax vaccine experiment on its soldiers.

The committee also noted that, "The prize encourages journalists who have excelled in their field and left a mark on the media."