AP journalists honored for courage in documenting Mariupol

WATERVILLE, Maine (AP) — Two Ukrainians who documented the horrors of the Russian invasion and siege of Mariupol for The Associated Press are being honored for their courage with Colby College’s Lovejoy Award.

Mstyslav Chernov and Evgeniy Maloletka continued reporting on the Russian invasion after other international journalists left Mariupol, an industrial city on the Sea of Azov. They made a harrowing escape to share their images with the world.

The liberal arts college is honoring them with the award bearing the name of alumnus Elijah Parish Lovejoy, an abolitionist newspaper publisher who was killed by a mob for his anti-slavery editorials in 1837.

“Just as Elijah Lovejoy risked his life to expose atrocities, Mstyslav Chernov and Evgeniy Maloletka knew that showing the world what was happening in Mariupol was a cause worthy of the ultimate sacrifice,” Colby College President David Greene said in a statement.

Martin Kaiser, Lovejoy selection committee chair, retired editor of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and current journalism faculty member at the University of Maryland, said the pair’s sacrifices represented “the definition for courage for journalists.”

“It’s the fastest we’ve ever come to a decision,” he said of his decade on the selection committee. “The courage these two photographers showed is what the Lovejoy Award is all about.”

The award was being presented Friday at an event that included a discussion moderated by AP Global Investigations Editor Ron Nixon and Brian Carovillano from NBC News, who was vice president and managing editor of The Associated Press while Chernov and Maloletka reported from Mauripol.

Chernov and Maloletka, who were unable to attend the event in person, are the first visual journalists to receive the award Lovejoy award, which Colby College began bestowing in 1952.

Past recipients include a who’s who of American journalism, including Watergate scandal reporter Bob Woodward from The Washington Post, former New York Times reporter James Risen and former Atlanta Journal-Constitution editorial page editor Cynthia Tucker.

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