October 29, 2020

People Column


Anupreeta Das, the 2006 Reuters Fellowship winner and a past OPC governor, has taken a post as finance editor for The New York Times. She was previously the deputy business editor at The Wall Street Journal.

Eva Dou, the 2012 S&P Award for Economic & Business Reporting winner, joined The Washington Post as a China correspondent focusing on business and technology. She previously worked at The Wall Street Journal, where she reported on business and political news from Beijing and Taipei for seven years.

2007 Stan Swinton Fellowship winner Ben Hubbard wrote about Saudi Arabia’s attempted hack on his phone for The New York Times, where he works as the Beirut bureau chief. After receiving a suspicious text message, he discovered that he had been deliberately targeted by hackers working for Saudi Arabia. He had an OPC Foundation fellowship with The Associated Press in Jerusalem, which launched his career with the AP. Christopher Dickey, OPC Second Vice President and foreign editor of The Daily Beast, reviewed MBS: The Rise to Power of Mohammed bin Salman by Ben Hubbard for The New York Times.

Jonas Ekblom, the 2019 Reuters Fellowship winner, is now a business journalist at the Stockholm-based daily Svenska Dagbladet in his native country of Sweden. Previously, he spent his Reuters Fellowship from the foundation in Brussels.

Lisa Martine Jenkins, the Stan Swinton Fellowship winner in 2017, has joined the survey and industry news firm Morning Consult as a senior energy reporter, covering energy and the environment. She previously worked as the North America reporter at Chemical Watch. Jenkins had an OPC Foundation fellowship with AP in Mexico City.

2016 Fritz Beebe Fellowship winner Dake Kang has been reporting on the coronavirus in Beijing for The Associated Press since the early days of the outbreak in Wuhan. His contributions include a Q&A about the city’s largest temporary hospital, a report on the U.S. halt on visas for Chinese citizens, and reporting for a story by Deb Riechmann tracking contradictions in President Trump’s statements about China during the crisis.

2017 Fritz Beebe Fellowship winner Yi-Ling Liu wrote a piece for The New York Times Magazine about Blued, China’s most popular gay dating app. “Blued is in a peculiar position: It might be the biggest app of its kind, yet it is also the most precarious,” Liu writes. “It is a tech company in a society that has been transformed by free-market reforms, but also a gay tech company operating under a one-party government with an ambiguous stance toward L.G.B.T.Q. issues that has been tightening its grip in recent years on civil-society and minority groups all across China.”

Neha Wadekar, the 2016 Theo Wilson Scholarship winner, wrote a piece for Quartz Africa about a Kenyan running shoe company. “Kenyan runners are known worldwide for winning gold medals and breaking world records,” Wadekar writes. “But the country’s first performance athletic shoe company, Enda, ran into multiple hurdles when trying to convince investors at home and abroad Kenya could become a significant manufacturing hub.”


OPC Governor Josh Fine, along with his team at Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel, won an Investigative Reporters and Editors Award for Sports Investigations for work on high school football and concussions. IRE Judges applauded the team’s statistical analysis of which communities are still playing tackle football and analyzed “the makeup of the team from a racial and socioeconomic perspective.” Fine shared the award for the piece, titled “Game Change,” with colleagues Joe Perskie, Nick Dolin, Tim Walker, Nisreen Habbal and Tres Driscoll.

OPC member and former Governor Vivienne Walt won a National Headliner Award for “Magazine Feature Writing by an Individual on a Variety of Subjects” for longform dispatches in 2019 in Fortune Magazine, from Athens, Gothenberg Sweden, and Amsterdam. She received Third Place in the category, with Jen Wieczner of Fortune winning the First Place award, and Paul Tullis in Second Place.


Martyn Bond, vice-chairman of the London Press Club, announced via email to members of the International Association of Press Clubs (IAPC) that their current schedule of programming has been canceled or postponed indefinitely, and there are no current plans for future activity due to “immense pressure” on journalism, saying that the “collapse of advertising has hurt free titles in particular, and members are struggling to hold onto work (remotely) rather than planning additional activities.”

The Australian Associated Press announced that it would close on June 26, after operating for 85 years. “This decision’s been made with very heavy hearts. It’s been made on an economic and financial basis,” said chief executive Bruce Davidson, in a statement following the announcement.

The U.S. Department of Defense in February proposed an effective shutdown of Stars and Stripes, the U.S. military news organization that has published a daily newspaper continuously since World War II. Defense Secretary Mark Esper in February announced on Feb. 13 that the department’s 2021 budget submitted to Congress, which would take effect Oct. 1, would zero out the expected $15.5 million appropriation for the paper. Esper said the move was needed so that the department “invest that money, as we did with many, many other programs, into higher-priority issues.”


OPC Secretary Paula Dwyer wrote a piece for Bloomberg recounting her battle and narrow victory over the novel coronavirus. “I wasn’t scared. Until I started gasping for breath,” she wrote in the introduction of the article. “I took deep gulps, trying desperately to get some air. When that made it feel like I was breathing fire, I knew the pathogen had gone for my asthma-weakened lungs.”

OPC member and New York Times journalist Kenneth R. Rosen’s new book Bulletproof Vest is set to be published on April 16. The book is part of a series from publisher Bloomsbury Academic that focuses on “the hidden lives of ordinary things.” Rosen recounts his personal story of using a security vest in Mosul, Iraq, when he realized that the idea of a bulletproof vest is more effective than the vest itself, and serves as a metaphor for many forms of personal security. A portion of the Rosen’s proceeds will be donated to RISC, a nonprofit that provides emergency medical training to freelance conflict journalists. The Object Lessons series is published in partnership with an essay series in the The Atlantic.

OPC member and 2019 Sally Jacobsen Fellowship winner Krithika Varagur has a new book coming out on April 21 covering Saudi Arabia’s vast global influence, from Nigeria to Indonesia to Kosovo. The Call: Inside the Global Saudi Religious Project, published by Columbia Global Reports, traces Saudi Arabia’s campaign to propagate its brand of ultraconservative Islam worldwide after it became oil-rich in the 20th century. Varagur is a freelance journalist based in London who has written for The Atlantic, The New York Times, The New York Review of Books, and The New Republic, and has served as The Guardian’s Indonesia correspondent and the Financial Times’ reporter in Indonesia.

OPC member Judith Matloff wrote a piece for The New York Times on March 19 offering tips on how to survive as a journalist while reporting from lockdown. In a Q&A format, she recounts getting holed up in a hotel in Angola in the 1990s during a civil war, and being stuck on a mountaintop in Colombia while researching a book. She covers key survival strategies that could help those working in conditions like pandemic quarantine. Matloff teaches crisis reporting at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism, and her new book, “How to Drag a Body and Other Safety Tips You Hope to Never Need,” is slated for release in May.

Netflix has been closing in on a deal for adaptation rights to OPC Governor Charles Graeber’s book The Good Nurse, with the company planning to buy world rights for around $25 million, as reported by Deadline. The film is set to be directed by Tobias Lindholm and starring Jessica Chastain and Eddie Redmayne. Graeber’s book follows the story of Charles Cullen, a night nurse who pleaded guilty during multiple hearings in 2004 and 2005 to killing 29 people in New Jersey and Pennsylvania with lethal injections.

OPC Governor Ishaan Tharoor has been covering the coronavirus for The Washington Post, where he works as a foreign affairs writer. Titles of his latest pieces include “Are we at ‘War’ with Coronavirus,” “Migrants are the Unsung Heroes of the Pandemic,” and “Coronavirus Reopens Europe’s Angry Divide.”

OPC Governor Rod Nordland co-authored a piece with Juliette Love about the war in Afghanistan for The New York Times, where he serves as International Correspondent at Large. The piece, titled “Why Afghanistan Became an Invisible War,” explores why America’s long war with Afghanistan has become diminished in the public eye.

OPC Governor and New York Times contributing writer Azmat Khan appeared as a guest on the March 20 episode of Democracy Now. Khan and host Amy Goodman discussed the recent U.S.-Taliban deal, aimed at decreasing the U.S.’s military presence and ending the 18-year war in Afghanistan.

OPC First Vice President Deborah Amos has been covering Syria from Beirut for NPR News, where she works as an International Correspondent. Recent stories include “Civilian Casualties And Refugee Crisis Intensify As Syrian Army Moves In On Idlib,” “Displaced Syrians From Idlib Province Set Up Tent Camps Near Turkey’s Border,” and “U.N. Pleads For Cease-Fire As Displaced Syrians Head For Turkish Border”