Journalism School Announces 2009 Cabot Prize Winners for Latin America and Caribbean Reporting

July 30, 2009Bookmark and Share
The Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism has announced the 2009 winners of the Maria Moors Cabot Prize for outstanding reporting on Latin America and the Caribbean. Now in its 71st year, the Cabot Prize honors journalists who have covered the Western Hemisphere and, through their reporting and editorial work, have furthered inter-American understanding.
The 2009 gold medalists are Anthony DePalma, correspondent for The New York Times; Christopher M. Hawley, Latin America correspondent for USA Today and The Arizona Republic; and Merval Pereira, columnist for O Globo. This year’s awards include a special citation given to Yoani Sánchez, a blogger in Cuba, for her blog, Generación Y, marking the first time a Cabot Prize has been awarded to a reporter from a web-only publication.
“This year’s Cabot winners exemplify both the finest traditional newspaper coverage of the Americas and the most daring use of digital journalism to break through barriers that have long obscured portions of the continent where a free press struggles to be heard and read,” said Nicholas Lemann, dean of the Journalism School.
Founded in 1938 by the late Godfrey Lowell Cabot of Boston as a memorial to his wife, the Maria Moors Cabot Prize is the oldest international award in journalism. Since its inception, 260 prizes and 56 special citations have been awarded to journalists from more than 30 countries in the Americas.
Columbia University President Lee C. Bollinger will present the Cabot Prize gold medals and honoraria to DePalma, Hawley and Pereira at a dinner and ceremony on Wednesday, Oct. 14, on Columbia’s Morningside Heights campus. Sánchez will be receiving a special citation.
Excerpts from the 2009 award citations follow:
Anthony DePalma
Anthony DePalma, correspondent for The New York Times
A long-time foreign correspondent for The New York Times, DePalma was based both in Mexico and then Canada as bureau chief. His books address the complex love-hate relationship between Cuba and the U.S. and how the forces of history and globalization have changed relations among Mexico, Canada and the U.S. DePalma stepped down from the Times last year but continues to write and teach about Latin America.
Christopher M. Hawley
Christopher M. Hawley, Latin America correspondent for USA Today and The Arizona Republic
For more than a decade, Hawley has brought off-beat, well-written stories about Latin America and the Caribbean to U.S. readers. Based in Mexico, Hawley works for two Gannett papers, The Arizona Republic and USA Today. He started out as a cub reporter in Puerto Rico and was an editor on the international desk of the Associated Press.
Merval Pereira
Merval Pereira, columnist for O Globo
As a young journalist whose career began during Brazil’s military dictatorship (1964-1985), Pereira wrote stories on divisions among the ruling generals that accelerated the country’s return to democracy. As executive editor of O Globo, he successfully modernized the influential daily and raised its journalism standards. As a columnist, he has written balanced, well-researched and elegant analyses of the difficult domestic and international political and economic challenges confronting Brazil.
Yoani Sánchez
Yoani Sánchez, blogger, Generación Y
In barely two years, Sánchez’s weekly blog, Generación Y, has put the rest of the world in touch with Cuba—at least digitally. Sánchez, a 34-year-old philologist, buys a few minutes here and there on one of the few Internet-connected computers available to Cubans in Havana, quickly downloading and emailing her written and video comments to devoted supporters who post the blog in 15 languages. She has a loyal following of thousands around the world.
The Cabot Prizes are administered by the Journalism School under the guidance of Josh Friedman, director of the Maria Moors Cabot Prizes and Lisa Sara Redd, program manager of professional prizes. The recommendations are made with the advice and approval of the Cabot Prize Board and are approved by the University’s Board of Trustees.
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