DeCesare Wins Maria Moors Cabot Prize
Journalism professor receives award for outstanding photojournalism reporting on Latin America and the Caribbean
After more than 20 years of professional photography with a focus on Latin American issues and more than 10 years of teaching in the College of Communication at The University of Texas at Austin, Donna DeCesare has traveled the world as a documentary photographer and freelance writer.
She was recently honored for her lifetime of work on Sept. 5 after being notified that she will receive one of only four Maria Moors Cabot gold medal prizes granted by Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism this year. DeCesare will receive her medal and $5,000 at a ceremony at Columbia University on Oct. 21.
Founded in 1938 and celebrating its 75th anniversary, the Maria Moors Cabot Prize is the oldest international award in journalism and celebrates outstanding reporting by journalists who’ve covered the Western Hemisphere and fostered inter-American understanding through their reporting.
"The Cabot Prize has long held a special place in our mission because it recognizes courageous reporting about Latin America, often in countries where freedom of the press is far from a given and exercised at great personal risk," said Lee C. Bollinger, president of Columbia University.
DeCesare's images have told the story of violence in Central America for years, highlighting major issues such as gang violence.
Her work appears in traditional publications and on the web in her compelling bilingual website "Destiny's Children," where she bears witness to everyday violence and social inequality both south and north of the border.
Her recent book, "Unsettled/Desasosiego," was released in April 2013. The New York Times described it as "a look back on lives that were lost, and some who triumphed, during her many years in the region."
Other 2013 gold medalists include Jon Lee Anderson, USA, staff writer, The New Yorker; Mauri König, Brazil, special reporter, Gazeta do Povo, Curitiba; and Alejandro Santos Rubino, Colombia, editor-in-chief, Revista Semana.
Nick Hundley, (512) 471-7209