The Maria Moors Cabot Prizes, administered by Columbia
University Graduate School of Journalism in recognition of journalistic
contributions to Inter-American understanding, are the oldest international
prizes in journalism. But Josh Friedman, director of the prizes, said this year
marked the first time he remembered arriving at the awards ceremony to be
greeted by protesters screaming from behind barricades. The tuxedo and gown-clad
guests last night shot confused glances across the street from Columbia's Italian
Academy building, where about 20 protesters brandishing Ecuadoran flags and pictures of President Rafael Correa yelled
slogans like "Down the with corrupt press!" and "Long live President Correa!"
One sign identified a long list of alleged "enemies of Latin American
democracy" that managed to include the leading dailies of South America, the
United States, Spain, the Ecuadoran press freedom group Fundamedios and the Committee to Protect Journalists.