The Guardian and Washington Post have been named as the joint winners of the US Pulitzer Prize for public service journalism for their National Security Agency stories.
The Guardian US was praised for its "aggressive reporting to spark a debate about the relationship between the government and the public over issues of security and privacy".
The Post, meanwhile, was told its "authoritative and insightful reports… helped the public understand how the disclosures fit into the larger framework of national security".
Despite enduring some criticism from spy authorities in both the US and UK for revealing NSA secrets, The Guardian has won a number of awards in recent months for the revelations.
NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has said the high-profile award was “vindication for everyone who believes that the public has a role in government”.
He told The Guardian: “We owe it to the efforts of the brave reporters and their colleagues who kept working in the face of extraordinary intimidation, including the forced destruction of journalistic materials, the inappropriate use of terrorism laws, and so many other means of pressure to get them to stop what the world now recognises was work of vital public importance."
Guardian editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger said: "This was a complex story, written, edited and produced by a team of wonderful journalists.
“We are particularly grateful for our colleagues across the world who supported The Guardian in circumstances which threatened to stifle our reporting.
“And we share this honour, not only with our colleagues at the Washington Post, but also with Edward Snowden, who risked so much in the cause of the public service which has today been acknowledged by the award of this prestigious prize."
Janine Gibson, the editor-in-chief of Guardian US, said: "We're extremely proud and gratified to have been honoured by the Pulitzer board.
“It's been an intense, exhaustive and sometimes chilling year working on this story, and we're grateful for the acknowledgement by our peers that the revelations made by Edward Snowden and the work by the journalists involved represent a high achievement in public service."
The Pulitzer Prize is awarded for a “distinguished example of meritorious public service by a newspaper or news site through the use of its journalistic resources, including the use of stories, editorials, cartoons, photographs, graphics, videos, databases, multimedia or interactive presentations or other visual material, a gold medal".