Journalists targeted by DoJ receive Lovejoy award – News
Colby College announced today that this year’s Elijah Parish Lovejoy Award for Courage in Journalism will recognize eight intrepid and talented journalists who have been subpoenaed by the U.S. government over investigations into the leaks.
The journalists, whose telephone records were secretly seized in 2017 by the justice ministry in an attempt to identify and silence their sources, understand Washington post journalists Greg Miller, Ellen Nakashima and Adam Entous (now at The New Yorker); New York Times reporters Matt Apuzzo, Adam Goldman, Michael S. Schmidt, and Eric Lichtblau (currently a freelance writer), as well as CNN’s Barbara Starr.
“These journalists persist in their efforts to educate the public on important issues despite a broad reach from government, and their work underscores the critical role of the press in a democracy,” said Colby Chairman David A. Greene. “We need them more than ever, and they truly deserve to be recognized on behalf of Elijah Parish Lovejoy.”
Since 1952, Colby College has awarded the Elijah Parish Lovejoy Award to honor contemporary journalists for their courage in reporting and writing. The award is named after Lovejoy, 1826 major to Colby, who was an abolitionist crusading editor who was shot by a mob in 1837 for his passionate anti-slavery editorials. According to John Quincy Adams, he was the first American martyr for press freedom.
“As long as the Constitution remains relevant, so is Elijah Lovejoy,” commented Apuzzo. “He represented nothing less than the founding ideals of our nation. Apuzzo, who graduated from Colby in 2000, recalled sitting at Lorimer Chapel as a student, listening to Lovejoy Award winners David Halberstam and John Seigenthaler. “Humbling doesn’t come close to describing what it feels like to share that award.”
The list of previous Lovejoy winners is long and impressive. Recent recipients include Leonard Pitts from Miami Herald, Alec MacGillis from ProPublica, Alissa Rubin from the New York Times, and Katherine Boo from The New Yorker. Among the many other previous recipients are Alfredo Corchado, Katharine Graham, Bob Woodward and Jerry Mitchell. More information on Lovejoy’s story can be found here.
“Thank you to Colby College for this honor and a big thank you to my other colleagues at Washington Post, New York Times, and CNN. It is a lesson in humility to receive this award in your company, and I am so flattered and happy that the selection committee chose us to receive this honor, ”said Nakashima, national security reporter at Washington post. “But I don’t want people to lose sight of the fundamental point of what we’re doing. We work in the interests of the truth, of the public’s right to know and to hold power to account. The real reward is being able to inform the public, the essence of a vibrant democracy. “
Pursuit of the truth, fidelity to the facts
Last spring, the Biden administration revealed that the Justice Department under the Trump administration had secretly obtained journalists’ disclosure records over a four-month period in 2017 in an attempt to uncover their sources. Subsequently, President Biden said he would prevent the DoJ from this type of action, saying it was “quite simply, plainly wrong.”
According to Apuzzo, who was also targeted during the Obama administration, this type of surveillance is becoming bipartisan and the aim is to silence anyone who dares to tell reporters how the government actually works. “When the government exercises its surveillance powers over journalists, it does not just chill a free press. It also sends a dangerous message that reporting is something bad, ”he said.
Nakashima added that tensions between the press and the government are inevitable, if not healthy, if journalists do their job well. “It is in this push and pull that the public interest is served,” she commented. “For aspiring journalists, don’t lose sight of what we’re doing. Search for the truth, fidelity to the facts, accountability of the government. Have a stiff spine and believe in your values.
On Friday, October 1 at 4 p.m. ET, Colby will host a conversation on campus with New York Times journalists Apuzzo and Goldman for being targeted by the government. Nancy Barnes, Senior Vice President and Editorial Director of NPR and a member of the Lovejoy Award Selection Committee, will moderate the discussion, which will also be broadcast live. President Greene will deliver remarks and present the awards.
Current members of Lovejoy’s selection committee include Martin Kaiser, retired editor and senior vice president, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (chair); Nancy Barnes, senior vice president and editorial director, NPR; Sewell Chan, new editor-in-chief, Texas Tribune; Marcela Gaviria, producer, PBS First line; Neil Gross, Charles A. Dana de Colby professor of sociology; Mindy Marqués, vice-president and editor-in-chief, Simon & Schuster and former editor-in-chief of the Miami Herald; and Ron Nixon, editor of global surveys, Associated Press. Couldzzo, a member of the selection committee, recused himself because of his connection to this appointment.