New York, Nov. 30, 2023 – The Overseas Press Club board of governors has approved several changes to its prestigious, 84-year-old awards, expanding the universe of journalists it honors when it places their names on awards for coverage of international news and adding a new category to recognize continuous coverage of conflicts around the world.
The OPC has named its award for feature photography on an international theme for Danish Siddiqui, a Pulitzer-Prize-winning Reuters journalist acclaimed as one of the finest photojournalists of his generation for his work from India, Afghanistan and Bangladesh. Siddiqui was killed by the Taliban in July 2021 while covering the group’s reconquest of Afghanistan. Siddiqui and three other colleagues were awarded the 2022 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography for images of COVID’s toll in India that judges said “balanced intimacy and devastation, while offering viewers a heightened sense of place.” Siddiqui also received a citation for the Overseas Press Club’s 2017 Olivier Rebbot Award for photographic news reporting for images of Rohingya who fled violence in Myanmar.
In addition, the OPC has renamed the Bob Considine Award for best newspaper, news service or digital interpretation of international affairs for William Worthy Jr., an African-American foreign correspondent for Baltimore Afro-American and CBS News “who in the thick of the Cold War ventured where the United States did not want him to go – including the Soviet Union, China, Cuba,” and who helped transform the role of modern foreign correspondence. His victory in a landmark ruling by a federal appeals court in 1964 “enabled all United States-based foreign correspondents to travel the world more freely.” In 2008, the Nieman Foundation for Journalism awarded Worthy the Lyons Award for Conscience and Integrity in Journalism.
The OPC also has established a new category, The Continuing Coverage of Conflict Award. This award will honor journalism that sustains focus on underreported conflicts and global crises, especially in cases where the headlines move elsewhere. The new category reflects the OPC’s commitment to honoring longitudinal coverage of conflicts and crises that are ongoing and to helping incentivize such continuing coverage.
Lastly, the OPC voted to combine the Malcolm Forbes Award and The Morton Frank Award into one award – The Malcolm Forbes and Morton Frank Award – honoring best international business news reporting in any medium. Previously, The Malcolm Forbes Award honored business reporting in newspapers and print while The Morton Frank Award focused on broadcast and video.
The changes were made in response to data collected and analyzed by an OPC subcommittee headed by OPC Vice President Azmat Khan regarding descriptions and names for OPC awards. The subcommittee will continue to discuss ideas for other potential award name changes in 2024.
The Overseas Press Club of America is the nation’s oldest and largest association of journalists engaged in international news. Each year, it awards the most prestigious prizes devoted exclusively to international news coverage. It was founded in 1939 by nine foreign correspondents in New York City, and has grown to nearly 500 members worldwide. The club’s mission is to uphold the highest standards in news reporting, advance press freedom and promote good fellowship among colleagues while educating a new generation of journalists.