Corchado to be honored for tremendous courage
Alfredo Corchado's life has been threatened more than once. This year's Lovejoy award recipient will come to campus this week to be honored for his "fearlessness and freedom" in reporting on crime in Mexico and covering journalist kidnappings there. Corchado, who currently lives in Mexico City, serves as Mexico bureau chief for the Dallas Morning News and will receive the College's 58th annual Lovejoy award for courageous journalism September 26.
Corchado addresses issues of pressing concern in Mexico such as the drug trade, organized crime and violence along the Mexico-U.S. border.
"He is doing journalism in a place where simply doing journalism is dangerous," Professor of Government L. Sandy Maisel said. Maisel, who is the director of the Goldfarb Center for Public Affairs and Civic Engagement, is a member of the selection committee that nominates Lovejoy recipients.
Like Elijah Parish Lovejoy himself, who was killed in Alton, Ill., in 1837 for condemning slavery, Corchado has also faced life-threatening situations due to the controversial nature of many of his articles. "[The award] is to reflect Lovejoy's life, so courage is clearly part of it, and craftsmanship is part of it and integrity is part of it," Maisel said.
He continues to focus on journalists' perspectives in his work, often writing about the clash between journalists and drug traffickers.
"I hope he will talk about his career and how important he thinks it is to pursue this kind of journalism," Maisel said.
Corchado was born in Durango, Mexico and grew up in California and Texas before graduating from the University of Texas in 1987. In addition to being selected for the upcoming Lovejoy award, Corchado has received several other honors, including being a 2009 Neiman fellow at Harvard and a 2010 Woodrow Wilson Scholar. He also won the Maria Moors Cabot award from Columbia Journalism School in 2007 for extraordinary bravery and enterprise.
Corchado was chosen to receive the 2010 Lovejoy Award by a selection committee that includes Maisel, Ann Marie Lipinski, former editor of the Chicago Tribune; Rebecca Corbett, deputy Washington bureau chief for the New York Times; Gregory Moore, editor of the Denver Post; Mike Pride, editor emeritus and columnist for the Concord Monitor and David Shribman, vice president and executive editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
The presentation of the award will take place on Sunday, September 26 at 5 p.m. in the Lorimer Chapel. Corchado will also host a lunch panel, "Covering Our Neighbors to the South: Journalists' Insights Into U.S.-Mexico Relations," at 12 p.m. in the Robins room in the Roberts Building. He will be joined by Angela Kocherga, the Mexico Bureau chief for KHOU-TV, a station that complements coverage produced by the Dallas Morning News, and Rosental Alves, a professional journalist who has worked in Latin America and now teaches at the University of Texas. Maisel encourages anyone interested in attending the panel to RSVP to Ashley Oliver, as there will only be room for 70 attendees.
Corchado and Kocherga will also speak to classrooms during their stay and meet with students and professors individually.