June 20, 2021

People Column

SCHOLARS

Annie Rosenthal, the Sally Jacobsen Fellowship winner in 2020, has been named a 2021 Report for America corps member. She will be the border reporter at Marfa Public Radio in Marfa, TX. Last year, as a Yale Parker Huang Fellow focused on migration and criminal justice and fluent in Spanish, she helped to produce a bilingual radio show, tracked Covid-19 deaths in U.S. prisons, and freelanced for publications like Politico Magazine and the Los Angeles Review of Books. Rosenthal has an OPC Foundation fellowship with AP in the Buenos Aires bureau.

Genevieve Finn, the 2020 Richard Pyle Scholarship winner, has been working as a staff reporter at The Malibu Times. On May 5 wrote about homelessness in Malibu. Finn next heads to Trinity College Dublin for a master’s degree in Creative Writing, focusing on poetry and creative nonfiction. She has an OPC Foundation fellowship in the Mexico City AP bureau.

Olivia Crellin, the Theo Wilson Scholarship winner in 2014, is head of multimedia at Open Democracy, an independent media organization based in the UK. She was previously with BBC News. Crellin had an OPC Foundation fellowship with The Wall Street Journal in Madrid.

Valerie Hopkins, the winner of the Jerry Flint Internship for international Business in 2013, has been named a Moscow-based correspondent for The New York Times. Most recently, she was the Southeast Europe correspondent for the The Financial Times covering Hungary, Romania and the former Yugoslavia. Hopkins had an OPC Foundation fellowship in the Reuters bureau in Belgrade.

Michael E. Miller, the Stan Swinton Scholarship winner in 2009, has been named Sydney bureau chief of The Washington Post, starting in mid-July. This is a new bureau, part of an ongoing expansion of the Post’s international footprint. Miller has been with the Post since 2015. He started as a reporter on Morning Mix, the overnight reporting team, before moving to the Local Enterprise team. Miller has reported for the Post from Afghanistan, Mexico and Northern Ireland. He won a National Press Foundation award in 2017 for his eye-opening reporting on MS-13, including work showing how the gang benefitted from U.S. refugee programs. Miller had an OPC Foundation fellowship in Mexico City with The Associated Press and spent five years at the Miami New Times.

Yi-Ling Liu, the Fritz Beebe Fellowship winner in 2017, has an article in the May 14 New Yorker about how Chinese people have embraced use of the word “involution.” She explained how the Chinese term neijuan was described by one anthropologist as an “endless cycle of self-flagellation,” or being locked in endless, meaningless competition. It has been used on social media to refer to the mental state of stressed university students, the flagging post-pandemic economy, and strained workers in the country’s tech industry. Liu had an OPC Foundation fellowship in The Associated Press bureau in Beijing.

Jesse Coburn, the winner of the Harper’s Magazine Scholarship in memory of I.F. Stone in 2016, started a new job on May 18 as an investigative reporter for Streetsblog New York, where he said he would be “digging into all things transportation in the city.”

AWARDS

OPC member and award winner Aurora Almendral of NPR won a merit award for Explanatory Feature Writing in the 25th Human Rights Press Awards for coverage of teen moms in the Philippines. Her August 2020 piece featured photos of teen moms in the Philippines from photojournalist Hannah Reyes Morales. She wrote about an anticipated baby boom this year due to unplanned pregnancies during the pandemic. Almendral won the 2017 David A. Andelman and Pamela Title Award along with colleague Ed Ou for their coverage of the drug war in the Philippines.

UPDATES

OPC member and photojournalist Nicole Tung spoke on a panel on May 20 about the Anja Niedringhaus Courage in Photojournalism Award, which is open for applications this year until May 28. Tung received an honorable mention for the award in 2017. She spoke with Nadine Hoffman, the deputy director for the International Women’s Media Foundation. The award celebrates “courageous work of women journalists” and honors Anja Niedringhaus, who was killed in 2014 in Afghanistan while on assignment for the Associated Press. She was reporting with OPC member Kathy Gannon who was injured critically in the attack.

Sudarsan Raghavan, an OPC member and winner of multiple OPC awards, filed a longform piece for The Washington Post on May 8 about a Libyan town grappling with past and present atrocities. The Kaniyat militia killed dozens and possibly hundreds of civilians in the pastoral town of Tarhuna last year, Raghavan wrote, and “no one had stopped the militiamen or held them to account,” including Libya’s internationally recognized government or the United Nations. Officials have unearthed mass graves there in recent months, revealing the full scale of the Kaniyat’s atrocities that residents, human rights activists and former U.N. investigators had reported on as early as 2017. Raghvan won a 2001 Joe and Laurie Dine Award, a 2008 Bob Considine Award, and a 2018 Hal Boyle Award for work in the Ivory Coast, Iraq and Yemen, respectively.

A film based on the murder of an OPC member received a New York Times review on May 18. The 2019 film Georgetown closely tracks events surrounding the August 2011 strangulation and beating death of Viola Drath, an OPC member who was well known in diplomatic and social circles. Drath was 91 when Albrecht Muth, 44 years her junior and husband of more than 20 years, reported to police that he had discovered her body in their Georgetown home. OPC member and former People columnist Susan Kille recalled writing an item about the guilty verdict against Muth in 2014, when she wrote that more than a dozen witnesses supported the prosecution’s argument that Muth verbally and physically abused his wife. In the film Georgetown, actor-director Christoph Waltz plays a character named Ulrich Mott who is based on Muth.

Barbie Latza Nadeau, an OPC member, reported for CNN as two Californians on trial for the murder of an Italian police officer. Finnegan Lee Elder and Gabriel Christian Natale-Hjorth were charged with extortion and murder in the stabbing death of Mario Cerciello, an officer with Italy’s Carabinieri paramilitary police force, on a street corner in Rome in on July 26, 2019, after a botched drug deal. Since Nadeau’s report, both Americans on May 5 were convicted and sentenced to life in prison. Separately, Nadeau also reported on May 11 for CNN about the discovery of bones of nine Neanderthals found in Italian cave.

MEDIA NEWS

The Washington Post on May 11 announced that Sally Buzbee, the executive editor of The Associated Press, will serve as the paper’s next top editor. Buzbee will become the first woman to serve as the Post’s executive editor since its founding in 1877 when she takes the helm on June 1. Buzbee, who served as Cairo bureau chief for the AP from 2004 to 2010 and led coverage of conflicts across the region, has had strong unofficial – but important – ties with the OPC Foundation and recently attended the virtual scholarship program in April. OPC Past President and current OPC Foundation President William Holstein said that AP under Buzbee “was one of the Foundation’s biggest media supporters, placing foundation winners in their bureaus every year, thereby launching many careers.” He said during her time, the foundation expanded the number of scholarships and fellowships in the name of AP heroes from one to four: Stan Swinton, Sally Jacobson, Richard Pyle and Edith Lederer.