Colby College’s Lovejoy Award to Honor Journalists Killed in 2018

Announcements6 MIN READ
Contact: George Sopko ([email protected]) 207-859-4346
September 25, 2019

The memory of Colby alumnus Elijah Parish Lovejoy, America’s first martyr to freedom of the press, will serve to honor the journalists who lost their lives in 2018 as they strove to bring light to some of the most important issues of our time.

The special 2019 Lovejoy Award, Oct. 4 at 4 Colby’s Lorimer Chapel, will invoke the sacrifice of the posthumous honorees. The event will feature a discussion with Martin Smith, a veteran filmmaker and journalist who recently produced a FRONTLINE documentary on the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, and Hala Al-Dosari, the Washington Post’s inaugural Jamal Khashoggi Fellow and a scholar in residence at New York University School of Law’s Center for Human Rights and Global Justice. The event is free and open to the public and will be followed by a reception in Cotter Union.

Moderating the conversation will be Quil Lawrence, veterans correspondent for NPR News and formerly NPR’s bureau chief in Baghdad and Kabul.

Lovejoy, Colby Class of 1826 and a native of Albion, Maine, was murdered in Illinois in 1837 as he defended his newspaper from the attack of a mob enraged by his publishing of anti-slavery editorials. Colby has honored other courageous journalists with the annual Lovejoy Award since 1952.

“The story of Elijah Parish Lovejoy is important to this country and to the history of Colby College,” said President David A. Greene. “One of our earliest alumni, Lovejoy made the ultimate sacrifice in the name of freedom of the press and the fight against slavery. As we honor the many journalists who lost their lives covering critical global issues in 2018, we remember Lovejoy’s bravery and his contributions toward creating a more just and equitable world.”

“Over the decades Colby has presented its coveted Lovejoy Award for courage in journalism to a distinguished parade of selfless witnesses to history,” said David Shribman, chair of the Lovejoy selection committee. “These honorees have been both examples and inspirations not only to students on Mayflower Hill but also far beyond Waterville and the frontiers of Maine. But this year’s tribute to not one journalist, but to many—all of them, like Lovejoy, martyrs to the highest ideals of our indispensable craft—is poignant and special.”

“We are delighted to offer this engaging discussion that will both enlighten us on the dangers journalists face and offer insight into the situation in Saudi Arabia and the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, who was an inspiration to the selection committee this year,” said Director of the Goldfarb Center for Public Affairs Patrice Franko. “From the time of Lovejoy to today, the courage journalists have demonstrated warrants recognition and respect.”

Additional free, public events associated with this year’s Lovejoy Award include:

Screening of The Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia introduced by filmmaker Martin Smith

Thursday, Oct. 3, 6:55 p.m., Railroad Square Cinema

An in-depth documentary about the most-reported death of a journalist in 2018—the murder and dismemberment of Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi embassy in Istanbul, Turkey. The documentary, produced by Martin Smith, marks the one-year anniversary of Khashoggi’s death and debuts on PBS Frontline Oct 1. Reception following the film.

The Toll of Tragedy: Newsrooms Under Stress, Communities Under Attack

Friday, Oct. 4, lunch available at noon, panel discussion at 1 p.m.

Robins Room, Roberts Union

Rick Hutzell, editor, Capital Gazette, Annapolis, Md.

David Shribman, vice president and executive editor (retired), Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Martin Kaiser, editor and senior vice president, retired, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (moderator)

Journalists hold deep commitments to serve their communities, even during the darkest moments. In Annapolis, Md., this meant giving their lives when their newsroom was attacked. In Pittsburgh, journalists covering the Tree of Life Synagogue shooting dealt with their trauma as well as that of Pittsburgh as it was their neighbors and friends who were slain.

More information on Lovejoy Award panelists:

Hala Al-Dosari

Hala Al-Dosari is the Washington Post’s inaugural Jamal Khashoggi Fellow and a scholar in residence at New York University School of Law’s Center for Human Rights and Global Justice. Al-Dosari is an award-winning activist and scholar who focuses on social determinants of health, gender-based violence, and gender norms as they relate to women’s issues in her home country of Saudi Arabia and other Arab Gulf states. Previously, she held fellowships at Harvard’s Institute for Advanced Study and at Johns Hopkins University. Her work has been published in Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, the Journal of Interpersonal Violence, and the Guardian. She won the Freedom Award from the Freedom House in 2016, and she serves on the advisory boards of the Human Rights Watch Middle East/North Africa Division and the Gulf Center for Human Rights. Al-Dosari earned a Ph.D. in health services research and epidemiology from Old Dominion University.

Quil Lawrence

Quil Lawrence is the veterans correspondent for NPR News with a portfolio of work that includes stories from around the world, including the Arab world, Sudan, Iraq, Afghanistan, Cuba, Israel, and the West Bank. Previously, he was NPR’s bureau chief in Baghdad and Kabul, which positioned him to cover the 2001 fall of the Taliban, the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and the broader politics and culture of both countries. His work in the United States about the veterans who served in those countries won him a Robert F. Kennedy Award; he also won a Gracie Award for reporting on women combat veterans. He was also honored with the IAVA Salutes Award for Leadership in Journalism from the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. Born in Maine, Lawrence, fluent in Spanish and conversant in Arabic, studied history at Brandeis University, concentrating on the Middle East and Latin America.

Martin Smith

Martin Smith is a veteran filmmaker and journalist with more than 40 years of experience covering events from 9/11 to the fall of communism in Russia to the current crisis at the southern U.S. border. One of the first journalists to investigate Colonel Oliver North’s undercover Contra arms network, he was also on the front lines investigating the rise of Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden. His work with PBS FRONTLINE and ABC News, and his work as an independent documentary filmmaker, has won numerous George Polk Awards, Emmys, Peabody Awards, and Writers Guild Awards. In 2014 he was awarded the John Chancellor Award from Columbia University for displaying courage and integrity in journalism. Smith sits on the board of the Overseas Press Club and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He holds a B.F.A. from the Institute of Film and Television at New York University. He is the founder of Rain Media.

The Lovejoy Award selection committee includes:

David Shribman (chair)
Vice President and Executive Editor (retired), Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Matt Apuzzo ’00
Reporter, New York Times

Nancy Barnes
Executive Editor and Vice President, Houston Chronicle

Stephen Engelberg
Editor-in-Chief, ProPublica

Patrice Franko
Director, Goldfarb Center, Colby College

Marcela Gaviria

Neil Gross
Charles A. Dana Professor of Sociology, Colby College

Martin Kaiser
Editor and Senior Vice President (retired), Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Mindy Marquez,
Editor, Miami Herald

Ex-Officio members include:

David A. Greene
President, Colby College

Eric S. Rosengren ’79, P’12
Chair, Colby Board of Trustees