No one will be surprised that a plurality of this year’s Overseas Press Club Awards featured words and images from two events: the uprisings of the Arab Spring — especially the triumphant revolution in Libya — and the earthquake and tsunami that rocked Japan.
The top newspaper reporting award goes to The New York Times‘ C.J. Chivers for his brilliant analysis from Libya and Afghanistan, while André Liohn takes the Robert Capa Award for photography under fire in Misrata, Libya. Christiane Amanpour of ABC wins for spot TV news reporting from the Middle East, and, in a sad final tribute, the Times‘ Anthony Shadid is awarded a citation for a Syrian commentary he did for “Frontline.” Among the winners for Japan coverage were Charles Graeber of Bloomberg Businessweek and photographer David Guttenfelder of the AP, who took on the dangerous job of shooting photos inside the zone of exclusion around the disabled nuclear reactors.
Beyond the Middle East and Japan, the award winners are a portrait of diversity. The Wall Street Journal wins for humanizing Europe’s sovereign debt crisis and Diane Sawyer, with an ABC News team, for reports on the fight to reduce unnecessary deaths during childbirth in developing nations. Then there is the monumental series by Thirteen / WNET called “Women, War & Peace” — which looked at the role of women in a half dozen conflicts around the world. The production won both the Edward R. Murrow Award for documentaries and the Robert Spiers Benjamin Award for the best reporting from Latin America for its segment on the guerrilla war in Colombia.
With 520 entries this year, picking winners was an especially daunting challenge. We thank our judges for donating their time to help recognize the best of international journalism.
Michael S. Serrill served as this year’s Chair of the Awards Judging Committee