Since 1952, Honoring Courage in Journalism
Colby’s Lovejoy Award, established in 1952, honors a member of the newspaper profession who continues Elijah Parish Lovejoy’s heritage of fearlessness and freedom. The recipient may be an editor, reporter, or publisher who has contributed to the nation’s journalistic achievement. Criteria include integrity, craftsmanship, character, intelligence, and courage.
James Risen, an investigative reporter who said he’d sooner go to jail than divulge confidential sources, praised Elijah Parish Lovejoy as a “disruptive force” and criticized the Obama administration for its crackdown on journalists and whistleblowers as he received the Lovejoy Award Oct. 5.
The Story of Lovejoy
Elijah Parish Lovejoy was born Nov. 9, 1802, in Albion, Maine, and graduated from Waterville College (now Colby) in 1826. On Nov. 7, 1837, in Alton, Ill., Lovejoy, a newspaper editor, became America’s first martyr to the freedom of the press when a pro-slavery mob set fire to the building that housed his press. Killed as he attempted to extinguish the blaze, he was buried on Nov. 9, his 35th birthday