The Cabot Prizes honor journalists for career excellence and coverage of the Western Hemisphere that furthers inter-American understanding. Awarded by Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, it is the oldest award in international journalism.
“Alves works tirelessly and with keen strategic vision to support and advance the cause of freedom of the press in Latin America,” said R. B. Brenner, director of the School of Journalism. “He does this through his leadership of the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas and its annual International Symposium on Online Journalism, all based here at The University of Texas at Austin. And he does this through his superb teaching of our undergraduate and graduate students, who marvel at his passion, energy and knowledge. I couldn’t be happier for my friend and colleague, who is richly deserving of the prestigious Cabot Prize.”
After almost three decades of an outstanding career in Brazilian journalism, including two decades of reporting and editing at Jornal do Brasil, Alves became a professor of journalism at The University of Texas at Austin, where he focuses on international reporting, journalism in Latin America and internet journalism. During the 1997-1998 academic school year, he created the first class on online journalism.
In 2002, Alves founded the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas housed in the Moody College of Communication. The center has trained thousands of journalists in Latin America and the Caribbean, notably through its massive open online courses (MOOCs), and he publishes a blog covering news related to journalism and freedom of the press in the region.
During his career, Alves has upheld and promoted the essential role of journalists, informing citizens while fostering international understanding, particularly in the Americas.
“I am humbled and honored by this recognition of my almost half a century career dedicated to journalism,” said Alves. “I’ve never done anything else in my professional life other than practicing or teaching journalism. The honor is even bigger when I realize that I will be among so many distinguished colleagues and friends from the U.S. and Latin America who have also won these awards.”
Donna De Cesare, an associate professor in the School of Journalism, was a gold medal recipient of the Cabot Prizes in 2013.
Columbia University President Lee C. Bollinger will present gold medals with a $5,000 honorarium to Alves and the other 2016 winners at a dinner and ceremony on Tuesday, Oct. 18.
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