Mexican-born journalist Maria Hinojosa is the winner of the 2012 John Chancellor Award for Excellence in Journalism, Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism announced Wednesday.

Hinojosa, who has already won three Emmys for her work in television news, is one of the most prominent members of the Hispanic journalistic community in the United States, after her stint on CNN and her current work for PBS and National Public Radio.

The award was created in honor of long-time NBC News anchor John Chancellor.

Hinojosa was chosen "in recognition of the courage and independence she has shown over the course of her career reporting on those whose stories might not otherwise make it into the mainstream media," the journalism school said.

Born in Mexico City and raised in Chicago, Hinojosa hosts the programs "Latino USA" on NPR and "Need to Know" on PBS.

Among the subjects Hinojosa has covered are immigrants' jobs in New Orleans after the passage of Hurricane Katrina; rape in the U.S. Armed Forces; the lives of poor people and youth violence in immigrant communities.

The prize, which comes with a cash stipend of $25,000, will be presented at a Nov. 14 ceremony at Columbia's Low Library in New York. EFE