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Winners named for Cabot Prize for reporting in Latin America and Caribbean; AP's Bajak picked

Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism on Thursday announced this year's winners of the oldest award in international journalism, the Maria Moors Cabot Prize, for excellence in reporting on Latin America and the Caribbean.

Columbia said those being honored include Frank Bajak, chief of Andean news for The Associated Press; Tracy Wilkinson, Mexico bureau chief for The Los Angeles Times; Paco Calderon, cartoonist with El Heraldo de Mexico, and Giannina Segnini, until recently the editor of the investigating team of La Nacion in Costa Rica.

A special citation is being given to investigative journalists Tamoa Calzadilla and Laura Weffer for work they did at Ultimas Noticias of Venezuela.

"From war reporting to data journalism and political cartoons, this year's Cabot winners bring us the news on diverse platforms, and they are the best in the profession," said Steve Coll, dean at the graduate school. "The depth and insight of their reporting keeps the world informed about this critical region."

Columbia said Bajak is "fast on the keys when news is breaking, then quick to provide insightful background to the events."

Wilkinson's "in-depth analysis and compelling insights have turned her into one of the best and most prolific interpreters of Latin America for readers in the United States," the university said, while Calderon is "one of the world's best cartoonists" whose work "combines great erudition, trenchant analysis and comedic brilliance."

Segnini, a visiting professor at Columbia in the 2014-2015 school year, "has been both a fearless reporter, and an innovator" whose work has "become an inspiration for a new generation of Latin American investigative journalists," the school said in its announcement.

Columbia recognized Calzadilla and Weffer for "outstanding independent, nonpartisan journalism in the midst of extreme polarization in Venezuela."

The Cabot Prize was founded in 1938. The awards will be handed out Oct. 15 at Columbia University, and the winners will receive a medal and $5,000 each.

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