MU to award 10 honorees for outstanding service to journalism

Friday, October 12, 2012 | 4:42 p.m. CDT; updated 4:02 p.m. CST, Thursday, March 7, 2013

COLUMBIA — MU will hold a ceremony on Monday evening to honor 10 individuals with the Missouri Honor Medal for Distinguished Service in Journalism.

The Missouri Honor Medal is an annual award given to individuals, who have made life-long contributions to journalism. MU has presented the award since 1930. It is one of journalism's most prestigious awards. Some of the most recognizable former medal recipients include Tom Brokaw and Sir Winston Churchill.

The recipients of this year's honor medals have worked in many areas of the journalism industry, including investigative reporting, photo journalism, editing, advertising and media management.

The 2012 Missouri Honor Medalists include:

  • Umar Cheema is an investigative reporter who works for The News, a newspaper in Pakistan. Cheema writes on Pakistan's corruption, politics and national security and has withstood abduction and physical abuse on several occasions. In 2011, Cheema was also honored with the International Press Freedom Award.
  • Jodi Cobb is a photographer for National Geographic, something that only three other women in history have achieved. She has been photographing scenes around the world for more than three decades and has traveled to 65 countries. One of Cobb'smost prestigious honors was being nominated for a

    Pulitzer Prize for her 1995 book "Geisha: The Life, the Voices, the Art," which chronicled the lives of Japan's geisha community. 

  • Mona Eltahawy is a world renowned columnist who is being awarded for her coverage of Arab and Muslim issues. Eltahawy, who now lives in New York, was for many years a reporter in the Middle East. Her award winning work has been published around the world including the Washington Post and the International Herald Tribune.

  • John Ferrugia is an investigative broadcast reporter, who works for KMGH-TV in Denver. He is a former White House correspondent for CBS. Ferrugia is best known for his investigative work that uncovered the sexual assault of female cadets at the U.S. Air Force Academy, which led to a congressional investigation. Ferrugia has been honored with numerous awards, including the National Edward R. Murrow Award in 2011.
  • Hu Shuli is a leading figure of journalism in China. She is the editor of Caixin Media, a media group that she created in 2009, and is the dean of the School of Communications and Design at Sun Yat-sen University. She has won multiple awards for her work in helping to forward Chinese journalism. Shuli will be unable to attend the honor medal ceremony due to prior commitments.
  • Jeff Leen is the assistant managing editor at the Washington Post's investigative unit. Previously, he worked at the Miami Herald. Throughout Leen's career, he has been involved in multiple award winning investigative news stories, including seven Pulitzer Prize winning pieces. 
  • Adam Moss has been the editor-in-chief of New York magazine.  Moss, who was formerly the assistant managing editor for features at the New York Times, is responsible for overhauling New York magazine's digital publication. Since Moss took over in 2004, the magazine has won 22 National Magazine Awards. 
  • The New York Times' graphics department is being awarded for its outstanding ability to contextualize the news. The graphics department is responsible for creating the numerous visuals that fill the New York Times print and digital publications. The 25 members, who make up the department, are specialists in design, architecture, cartography, 3D modeling and statistics.
  • Fred Papert has been in the marketing business since he graduated in 1946 from MU. He served at dozens of New York advertising agencies in his early career, and in 1960 he cooperatively founded Papert Koenig Lois. The marketing agency has grown since 1960 to become a successful publicly-owned marking firm, whose clients include Proctor and Gamble, Quaker Oats and Xerox, as well as several prominent political candidates including Robert F. Kennedy.
  • Ken Paulson is the chief executive officer of the First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt University and in Washington, DC.  Paulson was formerly the editor and senior vice president at the USA Today. He has also served as the president of the American Society of News Editors, and in 1993, he launched online newspapers in both New York and Florida. Paulson has previously been awarded with a fellowship by the Society of Professional Journalists, which is its highest honor.

Supervising editor is Emilie Stigliani.

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