July 15, 2024

People Column


Hayley Woodin, the 2022 Emanuel R. Freedman Scholarship winner, has been promoted to editor-in-chief of the news outlet Business in Vancouver (BIV). She had been executive editor there since 2020. In her new role, she’ll be responsible for day-to-day editorial operations.

Amelia Nierenberg, the 2018 Flora Lewis Fellowship winner, wrote a piece for The New York Times on Dec. 5 covering the reactions of Chinese expatriates in the United States as they watch protests at home. “They fear that with the return of lockdowns, their families will again not have enough food,” she wrote. “They wait for friends to resurface online after attending demonstrations. They try to communicate and to evade censors’ algorithms on Chinese social media.” Nierenberg stepped into a new role at the Times in October as writer for the paper’s Asia-Pacific Morning Briefing.

Dake Kang, the Fritz Beebe Fellowship winner in 2016, wrote an extensive tweet thread about his visit to several fever clinics in Beijing on Dec. 13. Kang has been reporting for The Associated Press from China over the past few years, including coverage of the early days of the pandemic. He is now frequently filing stories on the new wave of COVID-19 outbreaks and policies. In his most recent social media posts, he wrote that “If the medical system here can hold up for the next couple of weeks, Beijing might just make it through without a large number of fatalities, which would be a huge relief.” His thread includes video clips from clinics and details about delivery driver shortages amid intensive lockdowns. Kang was part of an AP team that won the OPC’s 2020 Roy Rowan Award. His OPC Foundation fellowship was with the AP in Bangkok.

Anna Nicolaou, winner of the S&P Award for Economic and Business Reporting in 2014, won the Personality Profile award from the Los Angeles Press Club for a piece she co-wrote with colleague Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson for the Financial Times entitled, “The last mogul: an interview with Universal Music’s Lucian Grainge” The judges praised her profile about a movie mogul’s near-death experience from COVID. Nicolaou had an OPC Foundation fellowship in the Reuters bureau in Brussels.

The Newswomen’s Club of New York named Valerie Hopkins, an OPC member and winner of the Jerry Flint Internship for International Business Reporting in 2013, as the 2022 Marie Colvin Award for Foreign Correspondence for providing crucial updates and insights into the war in Ukraine and life under Russian occupation.

In addition, Gabriela Bhaskar, the 2017 David R. Schweisberg Scholarship winner, won in the Photography Feature category from the Newswomen’s Club of New York for a submission that included photographs from an abortion clinic, a funeral after the Buffalo mass shooting and the life of a teenager.

Marina Villeneuve, the 2013 Irene Corbally Kuhn Scholarship winner, has a new job as an investigative reporter covering veterans/military service for The War Horse, a non-profit news organization educating the public on military service. She spent the last six years with The Associate Press, where she covered state governments first in Maine and then New York. Her coverage will range from extremism to the Veterans Administration. “It’s full circle,” she said, “My dad’s quest for VA benefits fueled my zeal for journalism.”


Elisabetta Zavoli, an OPC member and photographer who Bulletin readers will remember was profiled in our last issue, has won an Italian Sustainability Photo Award (ISPA) from the photojournalist agency Parallelozero. She was honored in the category of best photo story, which comes with a cash award. Zavoli also received a special prize in that contest, the Nikon – Capture Tomorrow award, for her “Crime School” project focused on the theme of social rehabilitation in a prison context. Read her recent OPC profile here.


The New York Times has announced that Daniel Berehulak, an OPC member and photographer based in Mexico City, will join the paper as staff photographer correspondent. Berehulak has been a contributor for the Times since he began freelancing in 2013, most recently with coverage of the war in Ukraine. He began his photography career in 2000 and then joined Getty Images based in London and later New Delhi from 2005 to 2013, during which he won the OPC’s 2010 John Faber Award for coverage of floods in Pakistan. As freelancer, his work for the Times won the OPC’s 2015 Feature Photography Award for coverage of the earthquake in Nepal, and the 2016 Olivier Rebbot Award for photos documenting the Philippine drug war. He also won Pulitzer Prizes in 2015 and 2017, among many other accolades.

Netflix has released a drama series based on reporting by OPC member Eric Reidy, who is migration editor for The New Humanitarian, titled The Swimmers. The show follows the dangerous journey of Yusra Mardini and her sister, Sarah, as they fled war-torn Syria to Germany in August 2015. In August 2019, Reidy met Sarah Mardini after she returned to Lesvos, Greece to help other refugees. By that time, her sister had competed as a swimmer in the 2016 Olympic Games. A few weeks later, Sarah was imprisoned along with many other migrants as European governments used anti-smuggling laws to crack down on humanitarian assistance. Reidy was one of the freelancers to receive an OPC micro-grant to weather COVID-19 hardships. His original story for The New Humanitarian is here.

OPC member Rod Nordland is launching a non-profit literary journal aimed at working journalists, titled “Green Zone.” A call for submissions on the publication website says it aims at “encouraging and rewarding good writing, using literary and artistic techniques, by publishing online and in printed journals from time to time, poetry, short fiction, photography, and essays, by working journalists.” The best submissions will be published online, and “best of the best” collected into quarterly printed journals at a price that covers printing and shipping.

Two OPC members contributed to a BBC story from Western Sahara on Nov. 24 about stalled vaccination efforts in the disputed region. Jacob Kushner wrote the story, which was supported by the Pulitzer Center, with photos by Kang-Chun Cheng. Kushner wrote that last year Morocco claimed to have the highest vaccination rate in Africa at 63 percent. This followed country’s recording more than 1.2 million cases of COVID-19, more than any other in Africa except for South Africa. However, Western Sahara is a ”blank spot on the World Health Organization’s global map of COVID-19 cases and vaccines because Morocco refuses to publish data about how many Sahrawis have been vaccinated in this politically sensitive region.” Kushner received the Nathan S. Bienstock Memorial Scholarship in 2013 from the OPC Foundation.


Grant Wahl, a veteran sports journalist known for his soccer coverage, died on Dec. 9 while in Qatar reporting on the World Cup. On Dec. 14, his family announced following an autopsy that he died from an aneurysm. He was 49 years old. Wahl spoke at an OPC panel in September 2016 titled “Sports, Scandal and the Olympics,” in which he said he covered soccer because “it’s the global sport, and it has the widest variety of stories of any sport that touch on all aspects of society, politics and culture, and basically every country in the world plays this sport.” Wahl was in the middle of his eighth World Cup assignment this year, which involves working long hours and a taxing broadcast schedule. Wahl started his journalism career in 1996 at Sports Illustrated, where he worked for more than 23 years and began to focus on soccer as the sport’s U.S. profile started to grow. He also worked for Fox Sports and CBS News. A clip of his remarks at the OPC panel can be seen here.