Two Argentinian and one Brazilian journalist are among the recipients of the 2018 Maria Moors Cabot Prizerecognizing careers that further inter-American understanding.
The winners of this year’s Cabot Prize are Fernando Rodrigues, reporter, editor and publisher of Poder360 in Brazil; Hugo Alconada Mon, investigative journalist at La Nación in Argentina; Graciela Mochkofsky,Argentinian journalist, author and director of the Spanish-language Journalism Program at the CUNY Journalism School in New York; and Jacqueline Charles, Caribbean correspondent for the Miami Herald.
The jury also recognized photographer Meridith Kohut, a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin’s School of Journalism, with a special citation for her coverage of the Venezuelan humanitarian crisis.
Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism announced the prizes, the oldest international journalism awards, on July 18. Founded in 1938, the prizes celebrate their 80th anniversary this year.
Fernando Rodrigues, a former reporter at Folha S. Paulo, turned his dismissal from one of Brazil’s leading newspapers in 2014 into a fresh start when he started his own paid newsletter. He then launched a digital news platform in Brasilia to cover power in Latin America’s largest country.
“He went from unemployed to employer, hiring other journalists to help him continue his outstanding political coverage,” the prize wrote, highlighting his investigative stories on racism, corrupt politicians and work on the Panama Papers.
As noted by the prize, he also worked for the country’s Access to Information law and his role as co-founder of the Brazilian Association of Investigative Journalism (Abraji).
The prize recognized Hugo Alconada Mon’s investigative work, highlighting coverage of the Panama Papers and his role as founding partner of reporting network REPI and its work exposing corruption with Brazilian construction company Odebrecht.
He is “known for fair reporting, a collaborative spirit and making contributions that helped expose one of the biggest corruption scandals ever seen in Latin America,” according to the prize.
Graciela Mochkofsky started her career at newspapers Página 12 and La Nación pioneering “the use of investigative techniques in anti-corruption coverage” and then turned to focus on deeply researched books, according to the prize. She has two under her belt and another upcoming.
“Over a career spanning two continents and more than two decades, Graciela Mochkofsky has distinguished herself as a noted journalist and gifted writer,” the prize wrote. “Her work lays bare important realities about the region, challenging conventional thinking and assumptions.”
Following the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Jacqueline Charles brought stories about survivors and destruction in the country to the eyes of readers in the U.S. According to the prize, they also spurred action, leading former President Bill Clinton to include more local Haitian organizations in his aid program. Recently, she has gone to Chile, Canada and Mexico to follow the routes taken by Haitian migrants.
“A tireless journalist and accomplished writer, she always looks deeper, searching for vivid tales to convey the inequities and deprivation that have stalled progress in the region,” the prize wrote.
In its recognition of journalistic works from the last year that has “had extraordinary impact on the region and our understanding of it,” the prize awarded Meridith Kohut the special citation for her photographic coverage of Venezuela.
“Through the shadowed faces of severely malnourished children, Molotov-cocktail throwing anti-government protesters and Venezuelans suffering from food and medicine shortages who are just trying to survive, her pictures have a soul-wrenching impact that are often more immediate than the written word,” the prize wrote, calling special attention to a 5-month investigation on children who starved to death in government hospitals.
Each lifetime achievement winner will receive a gold medal and a $5,000 honorarium, with a certificate to the special citation recipient.