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This year’s Elijah Parish Lovejoy Award will honor the late Daniel Pearl of the Wall Street Journal, Colby College President William D. Adams has announced. The award, given annually to an American journalist for displaying courage in pursuit of the truth, is named for Elijah Lovejoy, an 1826 graduate of Colby killed defending his abolitionist newspaper against a pro-slavery mob in 1837. Lovejoy is considered the nation’s first martyr to freedom of the press. Pearl was on his way to interview a Muslim fundamentalist leader in Pakistan last January when he was abducted. He was later killed.
2002 marks the 200th anniversary of Lovejoy’s birth, and the traditional convocation format will be changed to reflect both this special occasion and the posthumous recognition of Pearl.
The award will be presented at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 13, in Lorimer Chapel on the Colby campus in Waterville, Maine, and will be followed by a panel discussion, “The Perils of Reporting in Wartime, Abroad and at Home.” Syndicated columnist David Broder, who received the Lovejoy Award in 1990, will moderate the forum and participate in the discussion. Other panelists include Ann Cooper, the executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists; Noreen Ahmed-Ullah, a Muslim woman who has covered the war in Afghanistan for the Chicago Tribune; and 1983 Lovejoy recipient Anthony Lewis, who recently retired from the New York Times.
The Lovejoy Award was established in 1952. Only one of 50 previous awards was a posthumous honor, in 1977 to Arizona Republic reporter Donald Bolles, who was killed as he investigated criminal activity. The decision to present this year’s award to Pearl was made by a selection committee that includes Matthew Storin, retired editor of the Boston Globe; Ann Marie Lipinski, editor of the Chicago Tribune; William Hilliard, retired executive editor of The Oregonian; Rena Pederson, editorial page editor of the Dallas Morning News; and Rebecca Corbett, assistant managing editor of the Baltimore Sun.
Storin, who chairs Colby’s Lovejoy Award Selection Committee, said “Daniel Pearl’s commitment to his profession, the drive and determination that were hallmarks of his work, and his unquestionable courage are inspirational to any journalist. His life stands as eloquent testimony to the ideals embodied in the Elijah Lovejoy Award. We could not have a more appropriate or deserving award winner. I only wish he were here to receive the honor.”
To learn more about the Lovejoy Award visit the award’s Web site at www.colby.edu/lovejoy.
Editors Note: A high-resolution, downloadable photo of Daniel Pearl is available for press purposes by clicking on the image above or by contacting Alicia MacLeay (firstname.lastname@example.org or 207-872-3220).