October 16, 2019

Event Coverage Highlight

OPC Welcomes Newly Elected Governors During the Annual Meeting

Left to right: Patricia Kranz, Pancho Bernasconi and Deidre Depke. Photo: Chad Bouchard

by Chad Bouchard

The OPC announced results of this year’s election for the Board of Governors at the club’s Annual Meeting on Sept. 3. The slate this year included 10 newly elected or reelected Active board members and two Associate board members, each elected for two-year terms.

OPC President Pancho Bernasconi, who is serving the second year of his term, welcomed new governors and thanked OPC leaders for their contributions. He lauded the efforts of Executive Director Patricia Kranz and the success of Awards Dinner Committee chair Sarah Lubman in getting dinner tables filled and boosting donations despite what he called the “increasingly difficult environment journalism organizations find themselves in.”

He also gave a hat tip to Bill Collins, head of the Press Freedom Committee and newly elected Associate board member. “Bill and the work that he’s doing have made a difference and is engaging in the arena of social media to make sure that our voices are heard.”

Bernasconi closed his remarks with a quote from Marty Baron’s keynote speech in April, “I want to make a point about the work we honor here tonight, while this is journalism we admire, even more important it is work we need. Americans need to know about the wider world they live in, and because of you they can know, and they do.”

Kranz welcomed the OPC’s new office manager, Emily Brown, who started working part time over the summer. She formerly worked as weekend editor at the news aggregator Digg, has a degree in religious studies from Bard College, and wants to pursue journalism. Her first bylines for the OPC appear in this issue of the Bulletin.

The OPC Foundation’s executive director, Jane Reilly, introduced her new associate, Katri Reilly, who is helping out with the organization’s daily operations. She mentioned this year’s 16 scholarship award winners, including the launch of the first Richard Pyle Scholarship, which went to A.J. Naddaff, a student at Davidson College with reporting experience in the Middle East, North Africa and Kosovo. Twelve of the winners won fellowships that sent them to news bureaus around the world.

The foundation is working on a new scholarship for 2020 in the name of Deborah Amos of NPR, who currently serves as the OPC’s First Vice President, and her husband Rick Davis, a former Middle East correspondent for NBC who died in January this year.

Foundation President William J. Holstein chimed in to share some news about the ACOS (A Culture of Safety) Alliance, which is finalizing details of a short-term insurance system for freelance journalists working abroad. Holstein said he expects the program to roll out over the coming months. The OPC Foundation serves as fiscal sponsor for the ACOS Alliance.

Newly elected Active members for the OPC board are J. David Ake of The Associated Press, Farnaz Fassihi, a freelancer and contributor to The New York Times, Hendrik Hinzel of VICE News, Derek Kravitz of ProPublica, and Ishaan Tharoor of The Washington Post. Those who were reelected are Linda Fasulo, an independent reporter for NPR, Josh Fine of HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel, Charles Graeber, freelance longform feature writer, Azmat Khan of The New York Times, and Rod Nordland, also of the Times. The club also elected or reelected Associate members Brian Byrd of the NYS Health Foundation and Bill Collins, a communications consultant. Board members still serving out their terms are listed in the masthead on the back page of the Bulletin.

Bernasconi thanked outgoing governors who are leaving due to term limits: David Ariosto of GZERO Media, Molly Bingham of OrbMedia, David Furst of The New York Times, Mary Rajkumar of The Associated Press, Vivienne Walt of TIME and FORTUNE, and Minky Worden of Human Rights Watch. Those who reach term limits can run in a future election again after a year hiatus if they choose.