The WKU School of Journalism & Broadcasting will welcome Jineth Bedoya Lima, an award-winning Bogotá journalist, to campus in early October as the first recipient of the Fleischaker/Greene Award for Courageous International Reporting.
Bedoya’s WKU visit is scheduled between two significant international events involving the speaker. She will arrive in Bowling Green following her attendance at the official peace accord signing by the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), currently set for Sept. 26, where she will represent victims of the war. If passed during a national referendum on Oct. 2, the accord will end the Western Hemisphere’s longest war, lasting 52 years.
Bedoya and four other Colombian victims of violence are 2016 Nobel Peace Prize nominees for their work in defending the rights of women. The winners of this prestigious award will be announced on Oct. 7.
“Ms. Bedoya has for many years been at the forefront of reporting on the Colombian conflict, and she has paid a price — twice kidnapped and a victim of violence -- yet she continues to report and to lead efforts to deter violence against women,” said Loup Langton, director of the WKU School of Journalism & Broadcasting.
The Award for Courageous International Reporting is given by the Fleischaker/Greene Fund for Excellence in First Amendment Issues at Western Kentucky University. Bedoya’s presentation and the award ceremony will begin at 6:30 p.m. CDT Tuesday, Oct. 4, in the Gary A. Ransdell Hall auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.
“Offering WKU students a chance to interact with an international journalist of achievement and to hear her talk about freedom of speech issues while working under dangerous circumstances is a key initiative of our Fund for Excellence,” said Jon Fleischaker. “We are proud to provide this opportunity for students as part of their academic experience.”
Bedoya has spent more than 20 years covering the Colombian armed conflict through radio, newspaper and television. She is currently deputy editor for the Bogotá newspaper El Tiempo. She has published eight books, and her work has earned several international awards such as the World Award for Journalistic Courage and the International Women of Courage Award, presented by former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton.
Bedoya also has received the CJFE International Press Freedom Award, sponsored by the Canadian Journalists for Free Expression, and the Courage In Journalism Award of the International Women's Media Foundation. In February 2016 she received the Award for Journalistic Merit for her 20-year career and in May was honored by the Latin American Organization of Journalists based in Spain, as the “Person of the Year.”
In 2009, nine years after being kidnapped, tortured and abused, she decided to publicize her case and created the “No Es Hora De Callar” (No Time to be Silent) campaign that has helped other women who have been victims of violence. In 2013 she was recognized as one of the 100 most influential international journalists covering wars and violence, and in 2014 she was named as one of the top 30 leaders of Colombia.
“We are pleased that we are beginning an award tradition of honoring courageous international reporting with Ms. Bedoya,” said Kim Greene. “Her decades of contributions to freedom of speech and superior journalism as well as her leadership in raising awareness of violence towards women during the Colombian conflict set an example for the types of accomplishments we want to respect now and in the future.”
For more information on Bedoya’s visit to campus, contact Dr. Loup Langton, Director, WKU School of Journalism & Broadcasting at 270.745.4143 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Fleischaker/Greene Fund for Excellence
In 2008, Louisville attorneys Jon Fleischaker and Kim Greene created the Fleischaker/ Greene Fund for Excellence in First Amendment Issues at Western Kentucky University. The Fund also supports WKU’s Fleischaker/Greene Scholars Program, which gives top students in the School of Journalism & Broadcasting the opportunity to take an advanced special topics class and brings nationally recognized speakers in journalism and First Amendment issues to the WKU campus.