Wabash's Tim Padgett ’84 Honored for Journalistic Excellence
by Jim Amidon
July 12, 2005
Wabash College graduate Tim Padgett ’84 has been named one of four
winners of the Cabot Prize by the Columbia University Graduate School of
The Maria Moors Cabot Prize for outstanding reporting on Latin America
honors journalists who have covered the Western Hemisphere and, through
their reporting and editorial work, have demonstrated a commitment to
freedom of the press and inter-American understanding.
President Lee C. Bollinger will present the prizes at a dinner and
ceremony on Thursday, Oct. 20. Each prize-winner receives a Cabot medal
and a $5,000 honorarium. News organizations that employ the winners
receive bronze plaques.
Padgett, Miami and Latin America bureau chief, Time Magazine,
represents the personal and professional commitment to Latin America
that the Cabot Prize was intended to honor. Since 1990, first for
Newsweek and now for Time, he has doggedly covered the region
despite his own news organization's reduction of space for Latin
Padgett's recent enterprise reportage has covered the migrant smuggling
business, the growing use of cocaine in Latin America, the guerrilla
stronghold of Cartagena del Chaira in Colombia, the crusade of the Cuban
dissident Osvaldo Paya and the rise of the NAFTA generation in Mexico.
His work also includes ground-breaking stories on the presidency of
Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, Brazil's landless peasant movement, Haitian
child-slavery, Latin rock stars, and Latin major league baseball stars.
He has written cover stories on education and on criminal mafias in
"The breadth of Padgett's knowledge and the gracefulness of his prose
make him a worthy model for new reporters and a reminder to editors that
good coverage is based on deep commitment, long experience and frequent
publication," said the Cabot Prize Committee.
Padgett was an English major at Wabash and served as editor of the
student newspaper The Bachelor. He is a frequent contributor on
news and talk radio programs, appearing on CNBC, MSNBC, National Public
Radio, and the O'Reilly Factor, to name a few.
"This year's winners are wonderful exemplars of the Cabot Prize standard
— the best professional and probing journalism in the pursuit of
inter-American understanding," said Nicholas Lemann, dean of the
journalism school. "The Graduate School of Journalism is proud of its 67
year history of awarding these prizes, and we are proud of the winners
that were selected this year."
Founded in 1938 by the late Godfrey Lowell Cabot of Boston as a memorial
to his wife, the Maria Moors Cabot Prizes are the oldest international
award in journalism. The prize has been awarded 245 times, and 55
special citations have been conferred on journalists from more than 30
countries. The prizes are administered by the Graduate School of
Journalism under the guidance of Josh Friedman, director of
international programs at the school.
Other winners of the Cabot Prize this year include:
Miriam Leitão, reporter and columnist, O Globo, Rede Globo ,
and Radio CBN, Brazil, a multimedia Brazilian journalist whose reporting
has been an outstanding example of explanatory journalism.
Mabel Rehnfeldt, investigative reporter, ABC Color, who has been
a relentless journalistic force against corruption and abuse of power in
S. Lynne Walker, Mexico City bureau chief, Copley News Service, who, in
more than 15 years of reporting from Mexico and Central America, has
gone to extraordinary lengths to find original ways of telling the
remarkable stories of ordinary people whose voices might otherwise not
A Special Citation will be awarded to La Nación of Costa
Rica for outstanding work in investigative journalism that had an impact
across the Americas.