May 17, 2000

Columbia's Graduate School Of Journalism Presents Awards To Pete Hamill And Guy Trebay

By Kim Brockway

Pete Hamill

Journalist and author Pete Hamill and former Village Voice columnist Guy Trebay received prestigious awards from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism on Tuesday, May 16.

"This year's award winners are exceptional storytellers, passionate about their subjects, and report in an unaffected literary style," said Tom Goldstein, dean of the Graduate School of Journalism. "They are terrific examples of accomplished, professional journalists who have invaluable insights to share with our students."

The Columbia Journalism Award, the School's highest honor and awarded by the faculty for lifetime achievement, was presented to Pete Hamill, staff writer at The New Yorker and former editor-in-chief of both the New York Post and the New York Daily News. Hamill has worked at several newspapers as a reporter, rewrite man, war correspondent, sports writer, and columnist, covering wars in Vietnam, Northern Ireland, Lebanon and Nicaragua, the fall of communism in Czechoslovakia, political conventions, World Series, the riots of the 1960s, and championship fights. The author of eight novels, two collections of short stories, two anthologies of journalism and the best-selling memoir, A Drinking Life, Hamill is also the author of a forthcoming book about the Mexican painter Diego Rivera, to be published later this year by Abrams. His essay on the future of newspapers, entitled "News is a Verb," was published as a book in 1999, as was "Why Sinatra Matters," on the music and life of the late singer.

The Mike Berger Award was presented to Guy Trebay, who recently joined the New York Times and is currently writing for its Style section. For two decades Trebay covered New York for the Village Voice and was recognized with numerous awards, including the Deadline Club Front Page Award and a Pulitzer Prize nomination. Committed to covering the city's many diverse communities, Trebay has written about the not-so-storybook life of the Central Park carriage horses, the use of Viagra as a party drug, and how the tragedies of regular New Yorkers go unnoticed in a celebrity-fixated age. His cultural coverage has extended to places and scenes outside the five boroughs, including coverage of the murder of Matthew Shepard (which earned him a nomination for a GLAAD Media Award), the emergence of fashion as a major cultural force, the Romanian Revolution, and Vietnam's opening to the west. Trebay's work has been collected (In the Place to Be, 1994) and widely anthologized. He has written for The New Yorker, Details, Vibe, Condé Nast Traveler, Harper's, The New York Times Magazine and other national publications.

Trebay received $1,000 in the annual competition, named for the legendary Times reporter whose stories reflected his affection for the city and its people. The prize was created in 1960, a year after Mr. Berger's death, by Louis Schweitzer, a New York industrialist and admirer of his writing.