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Studs Terkel, who describes himself as a “guerrilla journalist” and whom others describe as “a national treasure,” will receive Colby College’s 2004 Lovejoy Award for journalism at 8 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 10, in Lorimer Chapel at Colby. The public is invited.
Terkel, who will be honored in absentia at Colby’s 52nd annual Lovejoy Convocation, will be featured in a video, “Conversations About Studs,” prepared expressly for the event. Chicago journalist and author Alex Kotlowitz, an heir to the Studs Terkel tradition, will accept the award for Terkel and will deliver the 2004 Lovejoy address. His talk is titled “Listening From the Ground Up.” Terkel is unable to attend following a fall that has prevented him from traveling.
Kotlowitz, who has written books about social justice and race in America, said, “Studs taught us how to listen and showed us that there’s poetry in the stories of everyday people. His work and his friendship have inspired.” Kotlowitz contributes to The New York Times Magazine and the Chicago-based public radio program This American Life. His first book, There Are No Children Here (1991), was named one of the 150 most important books of the century by the New York Public Library. A subsequent book, The Other Side of the River (1998), compared neighboring towns, one white and one black, and his latest book, Never a City So Real (2004), is about Chicago.
The Lovejoy Award is named for Elijah Parish Lovejoy, a native of Albion, Maine, and an 1826 graduate of Colby who is considered America’s first martyr to freedom of the press. He was killed on November 7, 1837, in Alton, Ill., defending his abolitionist newspaper against a pro-slavery mob. Colby established the award in 1952 to honor an editor, reporter or publisher who has shown courage in contributing to the nation’s journalistic achievement. Recent recipients include Bill Kovach, William Raspberry, Ellen Goodman, David Halberstam, Daniel Pearl and, last year, Chicago Tribune reporters Steve Mills and Maurice Possley, recognized for work that led to a moratorium on the death penalty in Illinois.
Terkel was selected by a committee chaired by Matthew Storin, retired editor of the Boston Globe, who is now at Notre Dame. Other selection committee members are Ann Marie Lipinski, editor and vice president of the Chicago Tribune; Greg Moore, editor of the Denver Post; Rena Pederson, editor at large of the Dallas Morning News; Rebecca Corbett, Washington enterprise editor of The New York Times; and Colby President William D. Adams.
Additional information about Lovejoy, the Lovejoy award and the event is online at www.colby.edu/lovejoy.
The Elijah Parish Lovejoy Award