July 7, 2020

People Column


Charles Rollet, who received the Jerry Flint Fellowship for International Business Reporting winner in 2017, won a 2018 Gerard Loeb Award along with his colleagues at The Wall Street Journal in the international category for the paper’s series entitled “China’s Surveillance State.” Rollet was posted at the Journal’s bureau in Beijing as an OPC Foundation fellow.

Isma’il Kushkush, the Roy Rowan Scholarship winner in 2016, has been named an Ida B. Wells Fellow by the Investigative Fund. He will receive $12,000 plus funds to cover travel and out-of-pocket reporting costs. Kushkush will focus on sports reporting. He had an OPC Foundation fellowship with AP in Jerusalem.

Caelainn Hogan, the H.L. Stevenson Fellowship winner in 2014, has been named a Cill Rialaig resident for 2018 by the Irish Writers Center. Hogan had an OPC Foundation fellowship in the Associated Press bureau in Nigeria.

J.p Lawrence, the winner of the 2015 H.L. Stevenson Fellowship who now works as a downrange reporter for Stars and Stripes in Afghanistan, has been covering U.S. and Afghan military operations. On July 8, he reported that special operations troops had captured a stronghold that Islamic State fighters claimed as their local capital. Before his more to Stars and Stripes, Lawrence had an OPC Foundation fellowship with the Associated Press in Uganda.

The list of honors continues to grow for OPC Governor Azmat Khan and OPC member Anand Gopal – the pair won a Deadline Club Award for Magazine Investigative Reporting for their story “The Uncounted” in the New York Times Magazine. The story covers undisclosed civilian casualties from US-led airstrikes against ISIS, won and this year’s Ed Cunningham Award for best magazine reporting.

Two-time OPC Award winner Esther Htusan was on a Associated Press team that won a Deadline Club Award this year in the category of Newspaper or Digital Beat Reporting for “Rohingya Exodus.” The AP team also included Kristen Gelineau, Muneeza Naqvi and Todd Pitman. Htusan was part of the AP team that won the OPC’s 2015 Hal Boyle Award and Malcolm Forbes Award, both for reporting on slavery in the seafood industry in Southeast Asia.

The Deadline Club’s Feature Photo Award went to James Nachtwey of TIME for photographs of the human cost of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s drug war. Nachtwey has won four photo awards from the OPC over the years, including Robert Capa Awards in 1994 and 1998, a Olivier Rebbot Award as well as a special photo award in 2001. In 2008, he received an OPC President’s Award for his work.


Management at The New Yorker voluntarily recognized a union that editorial staff voted to organize in June. Longtime editor David Remnick said in a note to employees on July 9 that the magazine agreed to recognize the union after “several weeks” of discussion between the parties. “We’re in this together,” he wrote in the note. “The work we set out to do every day is more important than ever.” The magazine, which is owned by Condé Nast, joins the list of several other publications that have recently unionized, including Gizmodo, Vox, HuffPost, VICE, The Intercept, ThinkProgress, Thrillist and Salon. About 90 percent of The New Yorker’s editorial staff voted to form a union with NewsGuild of New York, which also represents employees at The New York Times, The Associated Press, Thomson Reuters, The New Republic and The Daily Beast.

OPC Award winner Clarissa Ward has been named the new chief international correspondent at CNN. Ward replaces OPC member Christiane Amanpour, who was recently promoted to chief international anchor. Ward previously served as senior international correspondent for the network. Last year, she won the OPC’s David Kaplan Award for best TV or video spot news reporting from abroad, for her coverage of rebel-held territory in Syria. Ward has reported from multiple war zones, including Yemen, Iraq, Afghanistan and Ukraine. Amanpour has been an OPC member since 2009.

The Los Angeles Times named OPC awards judge and Governor Scott Kraft as the paper’s managing editor on July 9. He has worked at the Times for more than 30 years, most recently as deputy managing editor, and previously as front-page editor and national editor. Kraft has served as correspondent from Kenya; South Africa and France. He will oversee foreign, national, Washington, California and Metro news in addition to investigations and enterprise reporting. In a note to staff Norman Pearlstine, who became executive editor at the paper last month and is a longtime member and award sponsor for the OPC, called Kraft’s promotion “an acknowledgment of the role he instinctively took on during the past tumultuous year, working with teams throughout the newsroom to produce journalism of the highest quality.”

OPC member and former Governor Robert Nickelsberg has been working on a book that is slated for launch in early September. Afghanistan’s Heritage: Restoring Spirit and Stone is a collaboration between Nickelsberg and the Cultural Heritage Program of the Office of Press and Public Diplomacy at the U.S. State Department. “When the U.S. Department of State asked me in 2016 to photograph cultural heritage sites in Afghanistan, the topic and subject matter represented a departure from the news driven reportage style of my previous thirty years of working in the country,” Nickelsberg said. “I discovered that even in a landscape of seemingly endless conflict and war, Afghans have managed to weave their history and culture into daily life. The book represents the extraordinary efforts and resiliency of Afghan craftsmen made over the past decade to preserve their nation’s heritage.” The book, published by The Oriental Institute and University of Chicago, will be launched at the U.S. Institute of Peace, and the Diplomatic Center at the Department of State in Washington, DC will host an exhibit, also in early September.

The Tropenmuseum in Amsterdam is currently exhibiting work from OPC members Coleen Jose, Jan Hendrik Hinzel and late OPC member Kim Wall. The interactive exhibition includes images and video from their reporting on climate change and nuclear testing in the Marshall Islands. Several iterations of the award-winning series have been published in Süddeutsche Zeitung, The Guardian, Mashable and other publications. The exhibit is slated to continue through the next five years.

OPC member John Avlon and his wife Margaret Hoover were featured in a July 11 New York Times piece that centers on the couple’s “post-partisan marriage.” Both work as television commentators, with Avlon presenting an independent point of view and Hoover leaning conservative. She is a former Fox News commentator, worked on George W. Bush’s second campaign, and serves as the new host of “Firing Line” on PBS. She is also the great-granddaughter of President Herbert Hoover. Avlon is an anchor and senior political analyst at CNN, and previously served as editor of The Daily Beast. He has written books criticizing partisanship, most recently Wingnuts: Extremism in the Age of Obama, published in 2014. The couple first met during Rudy Giuliani’s 2008 presidential campaign. Avlon had been the mayor’s former speechwriter and followed him on his run for president. The two met when Hoover interviewed for a position on the campaign team. Asked about political conflict in the couple’s marriage, Avlon told the Times that “there is certainly tension because Republicanism is the family religion and she married outside the faith.”

The Washington Post has named OPC member Elias Lopez as senior editor for international opinions. Lopez will helm strategy and operations for the section and lead the planning of new international opinion ventures. He previously worked for The New York Times, where he was most recently the editorial director and founded New York Times en Español. He had worked for the Times for over ten years, and held positions on national, foreign and opinion desks. Before that, Lopez served as reporter and editor at The Miami Herald.

OPC member and photographer John Patrick Naughton had a portrait selected as part of the Fourth Annual Group Show at the Davis Orton Gallery in Hudson, New York from July 14 to Aug. 12. Juror Paula Tognarelli of the Griffin Museum of Photography selected Naughton’s portrait of sculptor Steven Foust. The photo is from a portfolio entitled “Staten Island Artist,” which tracks the migration of talent to the island as rents rise across Greater New York.