April 23, 2024

People Column


Juan Arredondo, the 2020 winner of the Harper’s Scholarship, gave a public lecture about his international reporting at The Center for Ethics in Journalism at the School of Journalism and Strategic Media at the University of Arkansas on Oct. 26. Arredondo, a Colombian-American visual journalist and filmmaker, was wounded in Ukraine in April in an attack by Russian forces while he was covering the invasion. His work has appeared in National Geographic, the New York Times, Vanity Fair and the Wall Street Journal.

Leticia Duarte, the 2019 winner of the Harper’s Magazine Scholarship in Memory of I.F. Stone, co-wrote a story with Charles Sennott of The GroundTruth Project for The Boston Globe on Oct. 28 about Brazil’s runoff presidential election, its implications for the country’s democracy, and “ what happens when journalism and truth itself come under attack.” Duarte had an OPC Foundation fellowship with GroundTruth and was a fellow for Democracy Undone, which focuses on the rise of authoritarianism around the world.

The 2016 Reuters Fellowship winner, Neha Wadekar, interviewed Zahra Joya, the founder of a media organization sharing women’s voices across Afghanistan, for the podcast Kabul Falling on Oct. 24. Wadekar, who serves as associate producer and host on the episode, talked to Joya about Rukhshana Media and shares her own story of escaping Afghanistan after the Taliban takeover. She also interviewed Shirin Yusofi, a Kabul-based journalist at Rukshana Media, who talks about why she remains in Kabul despite the risks.


The Deadline Club has announced that OPC member Edith Lederer will be inducted into the organization’s New York Journalism Hall of Fame at a ceremony at the Manhattan Manor on Nov. 16. Lederer will be recognized for her career as a pioneering reporter who spent more than five decades reporting for The Associated Press. A page about the event cites a few “firsts” of Lederer’s career, including first female resident war correspondent in Vietnam in 1972, first woman to head an AP foreign bureau, in Peru, and the first journalist to file a story announcing the start of the first Gulf War. She will be honored along with four other inductees, including media critic Ken Auletta of The New Yorker; veteran reporter Gay Talese; Carole Simpson, the first Black woman to anchor a network newscast; and Anthony Mason of CBS News.

Justin Doebele, an OPC member serving as editor and vice president of content for Forbes Asia, interviewed Erick Thohir, the Indonesian Minister of State-Owned Enterprises, in September at the Forbes CEO conference in Singapore. An event recap posted on Oct. 26 quoted Thohir as saying he would push for more state-owned businesses to go public to boost profitability and transparency. “This is one of the most important ministries in Indonesia,” Doebele said during his introduction, “because the state-owned sector covers one-third of the country’s the $1.3 trillion economy.” Thohir mentioned a plan to privatize PT Pertamina Geothermal Energy, which was reportedly trying to raise $500 million from the initial public offering.

OPC member Borzou Daragahi filed a piece for The Independent on Oct. 27 about Iranian protests across the country against the clerical regime to mark the symbolic 40th day since the Mahsa Amini died while in the custody of the morality police. He reported that at least 15 people had been killed after an attack on a shrine in the central Iranian city of Shiraz.

Max Becherer, a photojournalist who formerly worked for The Times-Picayune and now serves as photo editor on the national desk at The Washington Post, landed the cover image of a Wall Street Journal multimedia piece on Oct. 14 looking into why New Orleans has the highest murder rate in the U.S. The image depicts a roadside memorial marker decorated with flowers, with a caption saying the city’s homicide rate is up 141 percent compared to a comparable period in 2019. His photo had originally been published in The New Orleans Advocate and The Associated Press.

Emily Schultheis, an OPC member and freelance writer based in Berlin, contributed to an extensive Oct. 29 piece in Politico about a network of activists helping women to terminate pregnancies in countries that ban abortion, like Poland. The piece traces the roots of Poland’s underground network to U.S. organizations that have coordinated transportation and support for abortion services for decades as states introduced more than 1,300 restrictions between the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision in 1973 and the Dobbs decision in June.

OPC member Sudarsan Raghavan filed an article from South Africa for The Washington Post on Oct. 27 about the rise of rhino poaching and an effort by conservationists to preserve populations by moving them out of threatened areas and into more secure habitats. He wrote that some of the animals are getting sent to neighboring countries such as Mozambique, “part of an extraordinary, Noah’s ark-like effort to create cross-border sanctuaries, repopulate depleted national parks, and restore ecosystems that can fight climate change and attract tourists.”

OPC member Adriane Quinlan reviewed a new book for The Washington Post on Oct. 31 about the rise of HBO, and delved into what its brand of “nonfiction prestige” has meant for journalism. The book, It’s Not TV: The Spectacular Rise, Revolution, and Future of HBO, was written by media reporters Felix Gillette and John Koblin. Quinlan started her career at the Times-Picayune in New Orleans and then when the paper was foundering five years later began as a writer for VICE News Tonight on the cable network, which she called HBO’s “attempt to reinvent journalism.” She said she and her colleagues found themselves in a similar position in 2019 as HBO canceled its VICE series and forced producers to reinvent that show. Quinlan was the OPC Foundation’s Flora Lewis Internship winner in 2013.

OPC member Keith Bradsher wrote a piece for The New York Times on Oct. 18 about China’s priorities and economic status in the world as he covered the opening of the Communist Party’s national congress, a gathering of the country’s ruling elite that happens only twice in a decade. Bradsher wrote that Xi Jinping named politics and national security as top priorities, suggesting the economy would no longer be the top focus. He said China underscored this shift by delaying release of its growth data, normally a routine and “closely stage-managed release of data on how the economy fared in the past three months,” a move which a China specialist Victor Shih of the University of California, San Diego, said likely reflected fears that the numbers would detract from the “triumphant tone of the party congress.” Bradsher is the Times’ Beijing bureau chief. The piece was featured in the Times’ Asia Pacific Edition newsletter on the day it was published.

Elena Becatoros, an OPC member who covers Greece and other countries in the surrounding region for The Associate Press, wrote on Nov. 1 about the search for dozens of migrants who were reported missing after their sailboat capsized off an island near Athens. The incident is one among a series of shipwrecks with migrant passengers that has left dozens dead, she wrote. “The Kafireas Strait where the boat sank, between the islands of Evia and Andros, is notoriously treacherous, with rough seas common even in lighter winds,” Becatoros wrote.