My speech, as delivered on Oct. 15, 2014 in Low Library at Columbia University. I was one of four recipients of the 2014 Maria Moors Cabot award for excellence in coverage of Latin America. --- I want to express my deep gratitude to Columbia University, to the Cabot jury, to my editors and colleagues at the AP, to Claude Erbsen, who got me to Bogota in 1996, and to my wife, Ceci. How she puts up with me and my crazy work schedule is a mystery. When I moved back to Bogota in 2006, some of my colleagues in New York had an idea why I might be leaving the AP technology news department, which I had pretty much built from scratch. A crack, loyal staff, they knew, awaited me in Bogota, people who called me "jefe." I'll be honest. I loved the trappings. I loved, most of all, that we had a large, talented staff. We could be ambitious, comprehensive. Then came the industry carnage. Where once we were nine full-time AP English-language staffers in five Andean countries, now we are three. And that's just English. We try to adjust, but we cannot pretend to be pleased. Too much goes uncovered. For all the noise on Twitter, for all the glut of information, U.S. consumers of international news are simply less informed these days, particularly from our beloved Americas. Every day, we front-line journalists must make painful decisions about what we can't cover. Too often, they are important stories that challenge powerful interests. In Lima, my home since 2011, local established media tend to ignore such stories. So how do we ensure that such stories are told? I'm pleased to report that I have come to know a group of talented, tenacious and mostly young journalists who give me hope. They are my colleagues in Peru's fledgling Hacks/Hackers group. They are serious, idealistic. They are embracing data journalism. They are demanding that Peru's freedom-of-information law be honored. They are scraping what little public information is available to coax out news that matters. And they are getting results. Recently, some teamed with programmers and scoured the biographies of the more than 100,000 candidates for the state and local elections that Peru held this month. They cross-referenced the bios with public databases. They found convicted embezzlers, deadbeat dads, rapists and more than a dozen candidates convicted of drug-related crimes. It was Peru's first big data journalism story. Authorities had no choice but to react. Some candidates were disqualified. Peru's interior minister compiled a list of 124 so-called "narco-candidates" under investigation tried or sentenced for drug-related crimes. But it’s just a start. Three of those candidates are now governors-elect. I have great hopes for the young Latin American journalists doing such work. They deserve our esteem, our attention _ and they deserve some serious foundation money. It is an honor to shill for them. And now to my pet peeve. I am an insufferable geek, and a terrible nag when it comes to digital security. Just ask my co-workers. If we journalists don't protect our data we can lose sources in the worst ways. They can lose their jobs. They can be killed. Not enough news organizations are taking this seriously enough. We need to invest in solutions and educate staff. Anyone covering a beat that is even remotely sensitive needs to be using encrypted communications. And they need to lock down their data. Editors, too. We must also equip our sources, and the provincial journalists with whom we often deal. They can face the greatest dangers. If we are to remain credible _ if we want people to trust us with delicate data_ we must know how to protect its integrity. Otherwise, the information war will be ours to lose.