Maria Hinojosa, Public Radio Anchor and Broadcast Journalist, Receives the 2012 John Chancellor Award

September 12, 2012
Maria Hinojosa

Maria Hinojosa, a groundbreaking news anchor and reporter for NPR, PBS and CNN who has covered the marginalized and powerless in America and abroad for over 25 years, is the recipient of the 2012 John Chancellor Award for Excellence in Journalism, Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism announced today. Hinojosa, anchor for NPR’s "Latino USA" and PBS' "Need to Know," was selected in recognition of the courage and independence she has shown over the course of her career reporting on those whose stories might not otherwise make it into the mainstream media.

The John Chancellor Award is presented each year to a reporter for his or her cumulative accomplishments. The prize honors the legacy of pioneering television correspondent and longtime NBC News anchor John Chancellor. An eight-member committee selected Hinojosa for the award, which bestows a $25,000 prize for the winner. The award will be presented at a dinner at Columbia University’s Low Library in New York on Nov. 14, 2012.

“From chronicling the Latino experience in America to investigating abuse in immigrant detention facilities and profiling child brides in India, Hinojosa has shown resilience and integrity by consistently covering critical issues that impact our society,” said Nicholas Lemann, dean of the journalism school and chair of the award’s selection committee. “Her work continues to be an example of the best of journalism. She embodies the spirit of the John Chancellor Award.”

As the anchor and executive producer of her own long-running weekly NPR show, "Latino USA," and anchor of the talk show "Maria Hinojosa: One-on-One" from WGBH/La Plaza, Hinojosa has informed millions of Americans about the growing ethnic diversity in the United States. In October 2011, she became the first Latina to anchor a FRONTLINE report on PBS. “Lost in Detention” explored the issue of deportation and immigrant detention and abuse, garnering attention from Capitol Hill to both the mainstream and Spanish-language media.

Hinojosa launched the non-profit Futuro Media Group in April 2010 with the mission to produce multi-platform, community-based journalism focused on the complexity of diversity in the American experience. “America By the Numbers,” the first full length television program to be produced by the Futuro Media Group, premiers nationally on PBS on September 21, 2012 and examines how changing demographics are transforming the political landscape of our country.

Previously a senior correspondent for "NOW" on PBS, and currently a rotating anchor for Need to Know, Hinojosa has reported hundreds of important stories—from the immigrant work camps in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, to rape in the military, to stories of the poor in Alabama. As a reporter for NPR, Hinojosa was among the first to report on youth violence in urban neighborhoods. During her eight years as a CNN correspondent, Hinojosa took viewers into communities that had rarely been shown on television.

“For decades Maria’s work has focused on people whose experiences and stories are not often told,” said Judy Woodruff, CoAnchor and Senior Correspondent at the PBS "NewsHour." “She is an uncommon journalist who is now helping to train the next generation of journalists, in order to keep critical journalism and excellence alive in the news media.”

Hinojosa has received numerous awards for her work including: three Emmys; the Robert F. Kennedy Award for Reporting on the Disadvantaged; the Studs Terkel Community Media Award; the Edward R. Murrow Award from the Overseas Press Club for best documentary for her groundbreaking “Child Brides: Stolen Lives”; and many more.

She was born in Mexico City, raised in Chicago, and received her BA from Barnard College in 1984. She lives with her husband, artist German Perez, and their son and daughter in Harlem.

The John Chancellor Award was established in 1995 by Ira A. Lipman, founder and chairman of Guardsmark, LLC, one of the world's largest security service firms. In addition to Lipman and Dean Lemann, the selection panel includes journalists Steve Capus, John L. Dotson Jr., Hank Klibanoff, Michele Norris, and Lynn Sherr, as well as John Chancellor’s daughter Mary Chancellor. To learn more about the John Chancellor Award and this year’s awardee, Maria Hinojosa, please visit the John Chancellor Award website.

The Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism administers many of the leading journalism awards, including the Pulitzer Prizes, the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards, the Maria Moors Cabot Prizes for reporting on the Americas, and the National Magazine Awards. For nearly a century, the journalism school has been preparing journalists in programs that stress academic rigor, ethics, journalistic inquiry and professional practice. Founded by Joseph Pulitzer in 1912, the school offers Master of Science, Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy degrees.