July 4, 2022

People Column


Akash Pasricha, winner of the 2021 Jerry Flint Award for International Business Reporting, has been named a reporter at The Information covering venture capitalism, startups, crypto and bio/healthtech. The Information is an online publication based in San Francisco that was founded in 2013 by former Wall Street Journal reporter Jessica Lessin. Its main focus is in-depth analysis of the technology industry.

Brett Simpson, the 2021 Irene Corbally Kuhn Scholarship winner, filed a story on Dec. 30 for Public Radio International’s The World about environmentalists and Indigenous rights activists trying to block construction of a zero-emissions copper mine in the Norwegian Arctic. The topic is related to the subject of her winning essay for the OPC Foundation scholarship. The story is part of Simpson’s environmental reporting fellowship from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, which she began last summer. Since then, she also produced pieces about melting sea ice in August and Norway’s contradictory plans to tackle climate change while remaining a major oil exporter in September.

Jake Kincaid, the Reuters Fellowship winner in 2020, was named to a nine-month fellowship with Columbia Journalism Investigations to build a database measuring prosecutorial misconduct in six states. Kincaid recently returned from Mexico City where he was an OPC Foundation fellow in the Reuters bureau. While in Mexico, he worked on daily coverage, including the Nicaraguan and Honduran elections, and longer term projects; such as, climate-driven landslides and U.S. deportations of Nicaraguan migrants.


OPC Governor Hendrik Hinzel was named among the VICE News team nominated for the 33rd annual GLAAD Awards in the category of Outstanding Online Journalism – Video or Multimedia for their series “Transnational.” The awards honor media for fair, accurate, and inclusive representations of LGBTQ people and issues. The “Transnational” series included episodes on a trans healthcare crisis in the UK, deadly threats against trans people in Mexico, a fight against workplace discrimination in India, and a Quran school for trans Muslims in Indonesia. Hinzel is a senior field producer at VICE News. A playlist of episodes is available to watch on YouTube here.

OPC Governor Raney Aronson-Rath, executive producer for FRONTLINE, celebrated the NAACP Image Awards nomination for the production team of Un(re)solved, an investigative podcast looking into the U.S. Department of Justice investigation of more than 150 unsolved civil-rights era killings. The show series is nominated for the category of Outstanding News and Information Podcast. Listen to the podcast here.


Azmat Khan, the OPC’s First Vice President, spoke on a Jan. 18 episode of The New York Times’ podcast “The Daily” about her investigative reporting on civilian casualties from U.S.-led airstrikes that the military has systematically underreported. She told host Michael Barbaro that thousands of internal military documents she analyzed revealed to her that “the military hasn’t prioritized accountability in a meaningful way.” In a tweet about the episode, Khan said “I hope you’ll listen through the end — to the interview I’ll never forget,” referring to a recorded conversation she had with airstrike survivors that was aired during the episode. The episode discusses the first phase of her reporting on the issue, which Khan and her colleague Anand Gopal did for the New York Times Magazine in 2017 and went on to win the OPC’s Ed Cunningham Award for that year. She also talks about her visits over the course of years to more than 100 strike sites with civilian casualties. Khan has continued investigating the issue as part of a New York Times team, including a piece on Dec. 31 with the documents she received revealing “inconsistent approaches to assessing claims of civilians killed by coalition forces, including failures to conduct simple internet searches.”

OPC Governor Melissa Noel had her debut feature in Essence Magazine late last year with a piece about the global ecosystem of Caribbean carnivals, their economic impact and the post-covid comeback. Noel is a freelance multimedia journalist in New York City with a focus on culture, race, travel, immigration, climate change, mental health and the Caribbean, and has reported from over 35 countries during her career. She has been writing for Essence since July 2020, with pieces on the fight against racial injustice in the Caribbean, Black women entrepreneurs in the U.S. and Africa, eruptions in St. Vincent last year and voting rights in the U.S, among many others. The Carib Biz Network named Melissa Noel one of its Top 50 Caribbean American Entrepreneurs in 2020.

OPC member Anne-Elisabeth Moutet has been reporting for GBNews from Paris on election prospects for French Presidential candidate Eric Zemmour, a far-right politician who is campaigning on a nationalist platform. He was recently fined 10,000 Euros for “inciting hatred and racial abuse” in comments aimed at migrants during an interview in September 2020. Moutet, a political analyst, said observers are watching to see if Zemmour’s rivals will benefit from him being portrayed as a racist, and in a Jan. 20 appearance, Moutet said Zemmour has “lots of supporters,” and added that “He’s the newest and most interesting thing to come from this race.”

Andrew Nagorski, an author, past OPC award winner and long-time club member, has received his first advance praise for a book about Sigmund Freud that is set to be published in May. Saving Freud: His Rescuers Who Brought Him to Freedom chronicles Freud’s escape to London after Germany annexed Austria in March 1938. Sylvia Nasar, author of A Beautiful Mind called the book “an intimate, touching portrait of a genius as an old man. Ill, myopic, in denial and terribly vulnerable, this Freud is more human than any I’ve encountered before. Andrew Nagorski has an artist’s eye for revealing detail and a novelist’s ability to bring to life a long lost world and its myriad denizens.” Nagorski won the OPC’s 1978 Bache Award for best business news reporting from abroad for work in Newsweek.

OPC member Keith Bradsher has been covering final preparations for the Winter Olympics in Beijing for The New York Times, with pieces covering restrictions at the games and uncertainty about how coronavirus will affect the events. On Jan. 12, he wrote a piece with colleague Amy Qin about lockdowns in China amid rapid spread of the Omicron variant. On Jan. 22, he filed a slideshow with text describing his 17-month observation of the building of Olympic facilities and also co-wrote a longform piece about how China has grappled with obstacles, including “an unending pandemic and mounting international concern over its authoritarian behavior.” That article also covers International Olympic Committee’s response to critics, saying the committee has “deflected questions about human rights and other controversies overshadowing the Games” despite its own charter to improve promotion and respect for human rights.


The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has named Jodie Ginsberg, a longtime journalist and press freedom advocate, as the organization’s next president. Joel Simon, who served as the CPJ’s executive director for 15 years, announced last June that he would resign at the end of last year. Ginsberg is slated to take over her new post in April. She most recently worked for the last two years as chief executive for the European division of Internews, a nonprofit that trains independent journalists around the world. Ginsberg started her career in journalism working for Reuters in Johannesburg as a business correspondent, and later was head of the agency’s London bureau. She also led Index on Censorship, a nonprofit freedom of expression organization.


Michael Parks, a former top editor of the Los Angeles Times, died on Jan. 8 at in Pasadena, California at the age of 78. Parks was international correspondent from 1970 to 1995, first for The Baltimore Sun and then for the L.A. Times. His reporting career spanned the Vietnam War, the collapse of the Soviet Union, and as bureau chief in Johannesburg he covered the fight to end apartheid in South Africa, for which he won a Pulitzer Prize. In a Jan. 14 piece about Parks for the Times, OPC Governor Scott Kraft, who serves as head awards judge and is managing editor at the the paper, called him a “student of liberation struggles.” He said many of Park’s sources, including exiled leaders of the African National Congress, enjoyed discussing political philosophy and strategy with him.