Overseas Press Club Announces 22 Award Winners

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Contact: Patricia Kranz
(212) 626-9220 – patricia@opcofamerica.org


78th Annual Overseas Press Club Awards Recognize Finest International Reporting
The New York Times and PBS are Top Winners
HBO Wins First-Ever Peter Jennings Award
Courageous Syrian Correspondents Share OPC President’s Award
CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker to Deliver Keynote Address


NEW YORK, March 21, 2017 — The global devastation wrought by the war in Syria is the leading storyline among winners of the 78th Annual Overseas Press Club Awards. America’s oldest association dedicated to international news announced its 22 winners who will be honored April 27 at a dinner in New York. The OPC’s President’s Award will honor journalists who died covering the war in Syria.

In addition to six awards covering the Syrian conflict, there were multiple winners for the unraveling of Venezuela’s public institutions, state media control in China and Russia, fighting the drug trade in Colombia and the Philippines, in addition to the unethical practices of the International Olympics Committee and the powerful elites exposed in the Panama Papers.

“Even as we endure unprecedented levels of criticism and disdain from the most powerful quarters in the United States, many of us are literally putting our lives on the line to report on events throughout the world,” said Deidre Depke, president of the Overseas Press Club. “These awards showcase the professionalism, perseverance and courage that is the hallmark of our profession and the everyday reality for many journalists.”

The New York Times and PBS-TV led all media outlets with three OPC awards each. The Times swept all three photo categories, including the prestigious Robert Capa Gold Medal for photography requiring exceptional courage as Bryan Denton and Sergey Ponomarev captured compelling images in Islamic State-occupied territories. The Times’ Daniel Berehulak won the Olivier Rebbot Award for riveting photographs of the Philippine drug war while Meridith Kohut produced moving images of Venezuela’s mental hospitals to win the Feature Photography Award.

PBS POV/GroundTruth won for best documentary on international affairs with its program on women’s rights in Afghanistan. PBS Frontline won best reporting showing a concern for the human condition by following families that were impacted by the refugee crisis. PBS NewsHour won best reporting in Latin America for its citizen-focused look at Colombia’s peace deal with the FARC rebels.

The Associated Press is the other multiple winner. The AP’s Hannah Dreier chronicled the unraveling of the Venezuelan nation to win best news service reporting from abroad while the AP staff won for best reporting on human rights for its series on the savage legacy of Islamic State.

Three awards went to journalists who had reporting grants from the non-profit Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting.

HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel won the first-ever Peter Jennings Award, which goes to the best TV, video or documentary about international affairs one hour or longer. A 75-minuute program revealed how a corrupt International Olympic Committee pursues wealth and privilege for its members at a great cost to human rights and dignity at the Olympic games. Jennings, the late ABC-TV anchor, won three OPC Awards in 1975, 1986 and 1995.

The President’s Award will be given posthumously to journalists killed in the line of duty in Syria. CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker will deliver the keynote address and the evening’s awards presenter will be Huffington Post editor-in-chief Lydia Polgreen.

The Press Freedom Candle will be lit in honor of journalists imprisoned, killed or missing, with special concern for those in Turkey.

The OPC Awards will be live-streamed. Please follow us on Twitter @opcofamerica and tweet using #OPCAwards78. Detailed information and photographs will be posted on the OPC website at www.opcofamerica.org. Contact patricia@opcofamerica.org or (212) 626-9220 if you wish to cover the award presentations in person.



See citation winners for all award categories here >>

Newspapers, News Services, Magazines or Digital


The Hal Boyle Award
Best newspaper, news service or digital reporting from abroad

Hannah Dreier, The Associated Press

“Venezuela Undone”

Judges: “Drier bore witness to a collapse of middle-class life and then unearthed its origins, a combination of mismanagement, political delusion and corruption.”


The Bob Considine Award
Best newspaper, news service or digital coverage of international affairs

Simon Denyer, Emily Rauhala and Elizabeth Dwoskin, The Washington Post – “Behind the Firewall”

Judges: “The series was a smart, vivid and effective, bringing alive a difficult subject. The series explained how the regime in Beijing created a social credit rating to reward or punish every citizen.”


The Malcolm Forbes Award
Best international business news reporting in newspapers, news services or digital

International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, McClatchy, the Miami Herald and more than 100 other media partners

“The Panama Papers: Politicians, Criminals and the Rogue Industry That Hides Their Cash”

Judges: “More than 400 journalists took part in this remarkably complex project. The sheer scale of it, lasting over a period of years, surpassed the best efforts of any single news organization.”


The Ed Cunningham Award
Best magazine reporting in print or digital on an international story

Anand Gopal, The Atlantic – “The Hell After ISIS”

Judges: “Gopal’s account is a beautifully written account of the consequences of war. He was expelled from Iraq but returned to complete this compelling narrative.”


The Morton Frank Award
Best magazine international business news reporting in print or digital

Matthew Campbell and Kit Chellel, Bloomberg Businessweek

“Hot Mess: How Goldman Sachs Lost $1.2 Billion of Libya’s Money”

Judges: “Campbell and Chellel’s engaging piece was a feat of storytelling. They created three-dimensional characters and offered readers a rare glimpse into how secretive financial deals are sealed.”


The Madeline Dane Ross Award
Best international reporting in print or digital showing a concern for the human condition

Robyn Dixon, Los Angeles Times – “South Sudan Slips Back Toward Chaos”

Judges: “Dixon kept the focus on ordinary people in unimaginable circumstances. The lyrical storytelling offered a fresh look at African lives that have slipped from view as U.S. outlets shrink foreign coverage.”


The Joe and Laurie Dine Award
Best international reporting in any medium dealing with human rights

The Associated Press Staff – “Islamic State: A Savage Legacy”

Judges: The AP series was a powerful reminder of the role that basic business journalism – getting the facts – still plays in the battle against human rights abuses, war crimes and crimes against humanity.”


The Whitman Bassow Award
Best reporting in any medium on international environmental issues

Elliott D. Woods, Virginia Quarterly Review/Pulitzer Center

“The Fight for Chinko”

Judges: “In a raw and unique tale from the Central African Republic…the story cast a light on the grueling, back-breaking effort needed to protect wildlife in a country with no resources, rampant corruption and brutal horrors.”


Best Digital Reporting on International Affairs
Best story or series of stories using creative and dynamic digital storytelling techniques

Malia Politzer and Emily Kassie, The Huffington Post/Pulitzer Center

“The 21st Century Gold Rush”

Judges: “The reporters charted fresh territory in a well-traversed international issue by digging deeply into those who have profited from the refugee crisis.”


Best Investigative Reporting
Best investigative reporting in any medium on an international story

Ben Taub, The New Yorker/Pulitzer Center – “War Crimes in Syria”

Judges: “Taub laid bare the horrific campaign to stamp out opposition sanctioned by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government. He collected evidence of at least 11,000 victims. The result was a piece that deployed the best traditions of investigative journalism to achieve a chilling and unforgettable narrative that truly holds power to account.”


Best Commentary
Best commentary in any medium on international news

Masha Gessen, The New York Review of Books

“Trump, Russia and the Reality of Power”

Judges: “Whether or not you shared her deep pessimism about a Trump presidency, she made you think.”



The Robert Capa Gold Medal Award
Best published photographic reporting from abroad requiring exceptional courage and enterprise

Bryan Denton and Sergey Ponomarev, The New York Times – “What ISIS Wrought”

Judges: “Denton and Ponomarev advanced with Iraqi Special Forces and Kurdish fighters to capture intimate views of those lives affected by the war. The images were artful as well as powerfully journalistic.”

Click here to see winning photos >>


The Olivier Rebbot Award
Best photographic news reporting from abroad in any medium

Daniel Berehulak, The New York Times – “They Are Slaughtering Us Like Animals”

Judges: “It was visual storytelling at its best bringing wide attention to a story in the Philippines that had been overlooked.”

Click here to see winning photos >>


The Feature Photography Award
Best feature photography published in any medium on an international theme

Meridith Kohut, The New York Times- “Inside Venezuela’s Crumbling Mental Hospitals”

Judges: “Kohut’s stark, powerful photographs from inside the mental institutions grimly cast a light on the endemic suffering and malnourishment.”

Click here to see winning photos >>


TV and Radio


The Lowell Thomas Award
Best radio, audio, or podcast news or interpretation of international affairs

Emily Harris, Gabe O’Connor, Barry Gordemer, Michael May and Larry Kaplow, NPR

“Moments of change for Palestinians and Israelis”

Judges: “These four powerful and nuanced stories describe such pivotal moments for people living in the middle of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.”


The David Kaplan Award
Best TV or video spot news reporting from abroad

Clarissa Ward and team, CNN – “Undercover in Syria”

Judges: “The images, editing and writing of CNN’s team brought jarring resonance to a critical story.”


The Edward R. Murrow Award
Best TV, video or documentary interpretation of international affairs less than one hour

Beth Murphy, Charles Sennott, Justine Nagan, Chris White, Sally Jo Fifer

PBS POV/GroundTruth

“What Tomorrow Brings”

Judges: “The documentary transported the life-and-death war for women’s rights in Afghanistan right into American living rooms.”


The Peter Jennings Award
Best TV, video or documentary about international affairs one hour or longer

The Real Sports Team
HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel

“The Lords of the Rings”

Judges: “It exemplified the core values of Peter Jennings’ reporting: commitment to covering international stories, unflinching dedication to the craft of journalism, consistent inquiry to uncover all aspects of a story, and the courage to follow the story no matter the consequences.”


The Robert Spiers Benjamin Award
Best reporting in any medium on Latin America

Nadja Drost, Bruno Federico, Morgan Till, Patti Parson and Sara Just, PBS NewsHour – “Fight for Peace”

Judges: “The PBS NewsHour team took on a difficult and at times dangerous assignment about a complex issue and succeeded in obtaining unique access to produce a series of reports that enlightened and informed.”


The David A. Andelman and Pamela Title Award

Best international reporting in the broadcast media showing a concern for the human condition

Marcel Mettelsiefen, Dan Edge, Andrew Metz and Raney Aronson, PBS Frontline

“Children of Syria”

Judges: “PBS produced a lovely, layered story of tragedy and hope that added context to the migrant story. The team perfectly captured the emotion of a family dealing with war and its effects.”



The Cornelius Ryan Award
Best non-fiction book on international affairs

Arkady Ostrovsky, Viking/Penguin Random House

“The Invention of Russia: From Gorbachev’s Freedom to Putin’s War”

Judges: “Grippingly told and brimming with brilliant insights. The result was a fascinating and compelling insider account of how power has been won and lost among Russia’s ruling elite.”




The Thomas Nast Award
Best cartoons on international affairs – Steve Sack, Minneapolis Star Tribune

Judges: “Sack successfully harnessed all the cartoonist’s tools – caricature, composition, biting wit and solid journalism – in his impressive portfolio.”


The Overseas Press Club of America is an international association of journalists based in New York City that works to encourage the highest standards in journalism, to educate the next generation of foreign correspondents and to promote international press freedom and the well-being of colleagues in the field.

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