On Thursday, November 9, Bill Kovach, who has been called “a newsroom hero” for his unwavering principles as an editor, will receive the 48th Elijah Parish Lovejoy Award for journalism at Colby College in Waterville. Kovach will receive an honorary doctor of laws degree at 8 p.m. in Lorimer Chapel before delivering an address. The convocation is open to the public.
Colby established the award in 1952 for an editor, reporter or publisher who has contributed to the nation’s journalistic achievement. Lovejoy was a Colby graduate who became America’s first martyr to freedom of the press when he was killed Nov. 7, 1837, defending his abolitionist newspaper from a pro-slavery mob.
Kovach, the son of Albanian immigrants who settled in Tennessee, rose to editorial positions at The New York Times, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and The Washington Post. For 11 years, until last June, he led The Nieman Foundation at Harvard University, which strives to elevate journalism standards through publications, seminars, conferences and fellowships. He currently is chairman of the Committee of Concerned Journalists, whose mission is to uphold the best practices of journalism.
The Lovejoy fellow is chosen by a committee of distinguished newspaper editors chaired by Matthew Storin, editor of The Boston Globe and including William Hilliard, former executive editor of The Oregonian; Ann Marie Lipinski, managing editor of The Chicago Tribune; Rena Pederson, editorial page editor of the Dallas Morning News; Colby President William D. Adams and the chair of Colby’s Board of Trustees.
At 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, November 9, government professor Tony Corrado, Lipinski and Storin will discuss “The Role of the Media in Elections: Campaign Coverage 2000” in a panel discussion. The event will be in the Robins Room on the second floor of Roberts building (above the college bookstore). It is free and open to the public, and refreshments will be provided.