July 15, 2024

People Column


Ben Taub, the 2015 winner of the Emanuel R. Freedman Scholarship who is also an OPC member, wrote a longform story for The New Yorker digging into the scandal surrounding financial tech company Wirecard and its fraudster CEO, Markus Braun. Taub chronicled the investigation of Financial Times fledgling reporter and former banker Dan McCrum as he pursued and ultimately broke the story, along with his colleagues, of Wirecard’s malpractices and ties to Russian intelligence.

Adrian Quinlan, the 2013 Flora Lewis Internship winner and an OPC member and former Governor, filed a story for the New York-focused online magazine Curbed about the arrival of a Chanel Beauty store in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and the implications of a new phase of gentrification as the neighborhood enters a possible “Fifth Avenue Era.”


OPC member Edith Lederer was among several journalism icons inducted into the Deadline Club’s Hall of Fame on March 23. In a luncheon ceremony to honor the inductees, she was joined by Robert Caro, Gay Talese, Ken Auletta, Carole Simpson and Anthony Mason. The celebration marked the first in-person event since the COVID-19 pandemic, after it was rescheduled from Nov. 16.


John Daniszewski, a longtime OPC member and head judge for this year’s OPC Annual Awards, wrote a special report from Baghdad for The Associated Press published on March 17 covering changes over the last 20 years in Iraq since the U.S. invasion in 2003. Daniszewski and the photographer for the piece, Jerome Delay, had both covered the invasion from Baghdad two decades ago. “The long, staggeringly costly experience in Iraq exposed the limitations of America’s ability to export democracy and chastened Washington’s approach to foreign engagements, at least temporarily,” Daniszewski wrote. The piece focuses on interviews with young Iraqis and examines how the legacy of the war affects those who do not remember or did not experience it firsthand.

OPC Governor Beth Knobel is scheduled to participate in a panel about a new Russian archive project on April 11 at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time. The project, the Russian Independent Media Archive, seeks to preserve independent journalism about Russia, a project led by PEN America and the Gagarin Center at Bard College, made in collaboration with Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine. Knobel will join three New Yorker staffers, Masha Gessen, Susan Glasser and David Remnick, along with Anna Nemzer of the Russian TV channel Dozhd.

OPC Past President Larry Martz penned a letter to the editor in The New Your Times on March 4 about journalistic objectivity. The note was in response to a Feb. 10 opinion piece by columnist Bret Stephens called for more focus on objectivity in reporting and bemoaned the decline of objective journalism “that is now going out of fashion.” Martz, a former editor at Newsweek International, wrote that he agreed with many of Stephens’ points but wished he had not pushed for objectivity as the center of reform, adding that journalists are humans before reporters and editors. “We’re not recording machines, detached and disinterested,” he said. “We have values, instilled by the culture and shared by our audience. Our reports are grounded in these values.”

OPC Governor Rod Nordland is calling for submissions for a new publication he is launching, The Green Zone Literary Journal. He is seeking poetry, short fiction or novel extracts, and non – fiction essays or “outstandingly well-written pieces of journalism from working journalists” and photos with “a high level of artistic merit as well as journalistic content.” Submission guidelines and instructions can be found on the journal’s website here.

Khushnood Nabizada, the founder of Khaama Press who received one of the OPC’s grants for Afghan journalists living in the U.S., has launched a page on the website dedicated to covering women and girls in Afghanistan. The page will serve as a platform “to bring attention to the latest news, stories, and events related to the lives of women in Afghanistan. It will feature articles, interviews, and multimedia content that highlight the resilience, strength, and accomplishments of Afghan women while also addressing the hardships they continue to endure.” Khaama Press is a prominent Afghan-owned and Afghanistan-based online news agency established in 2010 to promote journalism in the country.

Photographs taken 49 years ago by OPC member Steve Raymer, an emeritus professor in the journalism department at Indiana University, have been published for the first time in a new edition of a book covering conflicts in Cambodia and Vietnam. Raymer had been on assignment in Cambodia for National Geographic in 1974, part of a world-spanning trip to document hunger crises, when he was wounded by shrapnel from a Communist Khmer Rouge rocket targeting a U.S. food distribution program. He was evacuated to a U.S. air base in Thailand. At the time, the story he was working on, “Can the World Feed Its People,” was published without his photographs of Cambodian refugees. A black and white portfolio of Raymer’s work from the final months of the conflict are now included in a new edition of a book by former foreign correspondent Arnold Isaacs, originally published in 1983, titled Without Honor: Defeat in Vietnam and Cambodia.

Veteran NPR journalist Sylvia Poggioli has announced her retirement from the network after 41 years. Mostly based in Rome, NPR’s longest-serving correspondent has also covered major stories during her tenure including Prague’s Velvet Revolution, the Balkans, Myanmar and Iraq. Poggioli won numerous awards for her work over the years, including her reporting on Serbian atrocities in Kosovo that contributed to the NPR team’s 2000 Lowell Thomas Award. Poggioli’s goodbye message to colleagues included a special thanks to OPC Governor Deborah Amos, “from whom I learned so much about radio reporting as we covered Mafia revelations, repentant domestic terrorists and Italy’s bourgeois Communist Party.” In a farewell interview with host Scott Simon on March 25, she recalled a high point in her career during the Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia, “the way they brought down that government was done with such incredible people power,” she said. “It was just such a happy time.”