|Mr. Leprince at Columbia University last night|
The oldest international award in journalism, now in its 73rd year, the Cabot Prizes honor journalists who have furthered inter-American understanding. It is a fitting recognition of the quality and the integrity of Jean-Michel Leprince’s work.
To fully appreciate his contribution to journalism, it is important to understand the scope of his work. He joined la Société Radio Canada-SRC (CBC's French network) in 1973 and was the Ottawa parliamentary correspondent from 1982 to 1989. In this role, this French-born reporter covered foreign affairs, international events, and defense–related issues.
He later was named Washington correspondent during the President George H.W. Bush years and reported on the Gulf War, the overthrow of the Haitian dictatorship, the arrival of Canadian troops in Sarajevo, the elections in South Africa and the Chiapas rebellion.
Jean-Michel later opened the first SRC bureau in Latin America where he was on the ground covering drug wars, terrorism, civil war in Colombia, and dissident movements across Latin America. He soon became the reference for reporting on Latin America matters.
CBC/Radio-Canada is a state-run news corporation whose standard of excellence is recognized around the world, just like the BBC. This television network, founded in 1952, first provided through the medium of the small screen a glimpse, and later an in-depth understanding of world events. Jean-Michel Leprince is a product of this constant search for information and excellence in reporting.
The honour bestowed on Jean-Michel through the good offices of Columbia University President, Lee C. Bollinger, provides an opportunity to highlight the importance of a free press in a democracy. Journalists obsessed with finding the facts, with the constant search for truth and acting with integrity is an ideal that should never be compromised. Over the years, Jean-Michel Leprince has steadfastly been faithful to this creed. That he received this award is a witness to his convictions and his achievements. Bravo Jean-Michel!