As a tribute to the passing of renowned journalist and University of Wisconsin alumnus Anthony Shadid, a journalism ethics award will be presented to a recipient in April.
According to a UW statement, the Center for Journalism Ethics will present Steve Lovejoy, journalist and editor of the Racine Journal Times, with the first Anthony Shadid Award for Journalism Ethics.
Lovejoy, who has held the editor position at the Journal Times since 2007 and has worked in the journalism field for 43 years, will receive the award at the fourth annual Journalism Ethics Conference on April 13, the statement said.
Lovejoy said his nomination was a great surprise and honor.
“I was really surprised and humbled by the nominations,” Lovejoy said. “It’s an honor to the commitment that I have had to ethics and journalism, and certainly an honor because it is an award named after Anthony Shadid, who I share, definitely on a different level, the same ethical standards with.”
The award, previously known as Wisconsin Commitment to Journalism Ethics Award, was renamed in honor of Shadid. He served as a member of the CJE advisory board and died last month in Syria while on assignment for the New York Times.
According to CJE Director Stephen Ward, the award renaming process began with the untimely news of Shadid’s death.
In an effort to pay homage to Shadid’s commitment to the school and CJE, the award was renamed with strong support from Shadid’s wife, Ward said.
“Anthony embodied, in practice, the central values of journalism ethics: his courage to independently seek the truth and report it, to go to great lengths to verify facts, seek deeper facts and to care about the accuracy and fairness of his reporting,” Ward said in an email to The Badger Herald. “In short, Anthony Shadid exemplified the values of great, responsible journalism.”
According to UW journalism professor and award judging chair Jack Mitchell, contenders for the award must meet two sets of criteria comprised of lifelong journalistic achievements and coverage of a story that demonstrates ethical standards.
Mitchell also said the award represents Shadid with its focus on positive ethics.
“When you think about ethics, you think about the things you don’t do,” Mitchell said. “You don’t lie, you don’t leave out sources, but more importantly it is the things you do do. Anthony took his life in his hands, literally, and he showed positive ethics instead of the narrowly defined negative aspects.”
Lovejoy has demonstrated dedication to positive ethical journalism in several very specific instances, Mitchell said.
He added the significance of the award lies in its ability to be an active participant in raising ethics in journalism and in the state of Wisconsin.
Ward agreed and said the award provides students with positive and inspiring role models.
“Journalism ethics is more than rules and principles,” Ward said in the email. “It is about developing the moral character of journalists by exposing them to great journalists like Anthony.”