June 7, 2023

People Column


Jimin Kang, the 2021 Rick Davis-Deb Amos Scholarship winner, has a guest essay in the March 1 Opinion section of The New York Times on how she gave up English for Lent. Kang had an OPC Foundation fellowship with the Reuters bureau in Sao Paulo, Brazil. She graduated from Princeton last June and is currently a graduate student at Oxford.

Meena Venkataramanan, the Emanuel R. Freedman Scholarship winner in 2021, was named to the Washington Post summer 2022 intern class. Currently a graduate student at the University of Cambridge, she will be a reporting intern on the General Assignment news desk. Venkataramanan had an internship in the summer of 2021 with the Los Angeles Times. She also recently had a book review published the Times, writing as freelancer in the Feb. 25 edition about Namrata Poddar’s book Border Less, which she said “attempts to advance that evolution for a new generation of immigrants and their children, for whom South Asia and the United States aren’t diametrically opposed but rather interconnected through mutual exchange.”

Valerie Hopkins, an OPC member and the winner of the 2013 Jerry Flint Fellowship for International Business Reporting, has been reporting for The New York times from Ukraine, with dozens of bylines per day and since conflict began to brew in mid-February, often up to 6 or 7 in a single day. In recent days, she has written about Russia’s escalating attacks and a wave of refugees fleeing violence, Africans and other foreigners reporting abuse at borders while trying to escape, and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s accusations against Russia for war crimes in deliberately targeting civilians.

Max Seddon, the 2012 Stan Swinton Internship winner, is reporting from Russia as Moscow bureau chief for the Financial Times. He has recently been quoted in Mother Jones, Salon, VICE News, the Freedom of the Press Foundation and The Intercept, among others, and appeared on CNN. Seddon is pictured on the right of the screen photo, reporting from Moscow.

Jeff Horwitz, the Fred Wiegold Scholarship winner in 2009, and the staff of The Wall Street Journal, including Georgia Wells, the Emanuel R. Freedman Scholarship winner in 2012, won the George Polk Award in Business Reporting for “The Facebook Files,” a series documenting how Facebook (now Meta) ignored internal findings that company practices promoted anger, divisiveness and extremism; protected drug cartels, human traffickers and dictators; and endangered teenage girls susceptible to body-image concerns, anxiety and depression. Files Horwitz obtained from a whistleblower demonstrated that top executives rejected fixes they feared might reduce profitability or create political friction.


OPC Past President David A. Andelman has recently launched a new SubStack page called Andelman Unleashed, in which he is chronicling French and other elections across Europe and setting them in context. He plans to be in Paris for the French presidential elections, with the first round on April 10 and the second round on April 24. In a March 1 post, he discusses Ukraine, Russia and ongoing threats live from Tbilisi on Georgia’s Imedi network.


P.J. O’Rourke, a former OPC member, journalist and conservative political satirist who participated in book nights with the club, died on Feb. 15 at the age of 74. A New York Times obituary said that “as writers and commentators go, he was something of a celebrity, welcome on talk shows of almost any political bent and known for appearances on NPR’s comedy quiz show ‘Wait, Wait … Don’t Tell Me.’” In September 2010, he took part in an OPC book night to discuss DON’T VOTE: It Just Encourages the Bastards, during which he commented on the rise of the Tea Party, saying “like many populists groups, these people are not terribly articulate and many of their ideas are still inchoate. However, they grasp the ‘gimme rights’ or as political scientists like to say ‘positive rights.’ Tea Party supporters are well aware that an expansion of ‘positive rights’ beyond what’s wise, certainly beyond what we can afford, is a central problem in our politics and are willing to face that problem.”

Michele McNally, who led photojournalism at The New York Times as director of photography and as a top newsroom manager during her 14-year career at the paper, died on Feb. 18 at the age of 66. Dean Baquet, current executive editor for the Times, called her a “transformational figure in photojournalism.” OPC Past President Pancho Bernasconi, who is vice president for global news at Getty Images, said in McNally’s obituary that she “loved great photography along with the brave and dedicated photographers who made those images.” Times photojournalists won at least ten OPC Awards and six Pulitzer Prizes during her tenure at the paper.