WATERVILLE — Sixty-six journalists who died while on assignment in 2018 will be honored with Colby College’s Elijah Parish Lovejoy Award this year, marking the first time the reporting prize will go to multiple recipients.

Among the honorees are Jamal Khashoggi, the Washington Post columnist slain in the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul in October after criticizing the country’s government, and five employees of the Annapolis-based Capital Gazette, who were killed in a newsroom shooting last June.

“These honorees have been both examples and inspirations not only to students on Mayflower Hill but also far beyond Waterville and the frontiers of Maine. But this year’s tribute to not one journalist, but to many — all of them, like Lovejoy, martyrs to the highest ideals of our indispensable craft — is poignant and special,” said David Shribman, chairman of the Lovejoy Award selection committee, in a news release Wednesday. Shribman is a retired vice president and executive editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

The Elijah Parish Lovejoy award has been given annually since 1952 to journalists who embody courageousness in the profession. It is named after the Colby graduate and Albion native who was murdered in 1837 for publishing anti-slavery editorials in his Illinois newspaper.

Martin Smith, a producer of a new documentary about Khashoggi’s murder, and Hala Al-Dosari, a Saudi Arabian scholar, activist and the Washington Post’s first Jamal Khashoggi Fellow, will travel to Waterville to speak during the Lovejoy Award celebration next week. The discussion, which will take place Friday, Oct. 4 at 4 p.m. in Colby’s Lorimer Chapel, will be moderated by Quil Lawrence, former NPR bureau chief in Baghdad and Kabul and current veterans’ issues correspondent for NPR News.

“We are delighted to offer this engaging discussion that will both enlighten us on the dangers journalists face and offer insight into the situation in Saudi Arabia and the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, who was an inspiration to the selection committee this year,” said Patrice Franko, director of the Goldfarb Center for Public Affairs at Colby. “From the time of Lovejoy to today, the courage journalists have demonstrated warrants recognition and respect.”

Smith will also introduce his film, “The Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia,” at a free screening at Railroad Square Thursday, Oct. 3 — two days after its debut on PBS Frontline.

To round out the programming, Shribman will share the stage with Rick Hutzell, an editor of the Capital Gazette, for a panel discussion Friday, Oct. 4, titled “The Toll of Tragedy: Newsrooms Under Stress, Communities Under Attack.” While Hutzell will speak to the massacre in his own newsroom, Shribman will discuss the trauma of covering the Tree of Life Synagogue mass shooting that took place in his Pittsburgh community. The conversation will be moderated by former editor and senior vice president of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Martin Kaiser. It will take place at 1 p.m., with lunch at noon, in the Robins Room of Colby’s Roberts Union.

“One of our earliest alumni, Lovejoy made the ultimate sacrifice in the name of freedom of the press and the fight against slavery,” Colby President David Greene said. “As we honor the many journalists who lost their lives covering critical global issues in 2018, we remember Lovejoy’s bravery and his contributions toward creating a more just and equitable world.”

Last year’s recipient was former Denver Post editorial page editor Chuck Plunkett. Other awardees have included Bob Woodward, Katharine Graham, James Risen, Bill Kovach, David Broder and Carl T. Rowan.

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