Colombian press freedom organization, Mexican weekly honored for distinguished service in journalism

The Foundation for the Freedom of the Press in Colombia and the weekly newspaper ZETA in Tijuana, Mexico, were honored Thursday, Oct. 28, 2010, for being two recipients of this year's Missouri Honor Medal for Distinguished Service in Journalism, reported the Associated Press.

Six U.S. journalists also received the award: James Balog, founder and director of Extreme Ice Survey and Earth Vision Trust; Cathleen Black, chair of Hearst Magazines; Dorothy J. Gaiter, wine columnist and author; Myron Kandel, financial journalist; Larry Postaer co-chair of Rubin Postaer & Associates; and Sandy Rowe, editor.

The Foundation for the Freedom of the Press (FLIP), which documents attacks against journalists and the news media, was chosen because its staff "risk their lives daily in the fierce pursuit of truth on behalf of the citizens of Colombia," according to the Missouri (MU) School of Journalism, which gives the award. Ignacio Gómez, president of FLIP, received the award.

Similarly, ZETA also was recognized for "the fierce pursuit of truth on behalf of the citizens of Mexico." Mexico has become one of the most dangerous places in the world to practice journalism. A map pinpointing threats against journalism in Mexico is available here.

Adela Navarro, director general of ZETA, spoke to the MU school on Thursday about the challenges of reporting in a corrupt and hostile environment. “It’s our job, our passion and it’s our truest, deepest feelings that we have to do this,” she said.

Note from the editor: This story was originally published by the Knight Center’s blog Journalism in the Americas, the predecessor of LatAm Journalism Review.