February 23, 2024

People Column


Micah Danney, the Theo Wilson Scholarship winner in 2018, has been named a general assignment reporter at Law360. Previously, he was an associate editor at The New York Daily News. Before that, he was a freelance political reporter in Alabama and a reporter and editor at Religion Unplugged. He had an OPC Foundation fellowship with the GroundTruth Project in Jerusalem.

Amelia Nierenberg, the 2018 Flora Lewis Fellowship winner, has taken a new post with The New York Times as writer for the Asia-Pacific Morning Briefing, which the paper said reaches 700,000 people across the region. Nierenberg joined the Times’ newsletters team in August 2020 and launched the paper’s “Coronavirus Schools Briefing.” In 2019 she was the inaugural newsroom fellow on the Times’ Food desk. Her OPC fellowship was with The Associated Press in Dakar, Senegal. As an intern with The Boston Globe, her reporting on education disparity was a finalist for the 2020 Pulitzer Prize in local reporting.


Many journalists in the OPC community garnered News and Documentary Emmy Awards this year. The announcement of winners on Sept. 28 included OPC Governor Hendrik Hinzel, who was part of a VICE News team that won in the category of Best Longform News Coverage for a program titled “Return of the Taliban.” Hinzel, who served as a producer on the project, tweeted photos of himself and the Emmy, saying that “after ten years in the US I just won my first Emmy AND got my green card in the same week! Brb. Crying a little.” He added that the announcement comes “a year after the immigration office told me I wasn’t good enough for my category because I ‘didn’t have an Emmy or equivalent award.’” Hinzel was also part of a VICE team that won an Online News Association (ONA) award in mid-September for digital video storytelling for a series titled “Transnational” about transgender rights around the world, which also won a Peabody earlier this year.

OPC Governor Singeli Agnew was part of a New York Times team that won a News Emmy in the category of Outstanding Investigative News Coverage: Short Form for “How a U.S. Drone Strike Killed the Wrong Person.” She was director of cinematography for the program.

OPC Governor Raney Aronson-Rath, as executive producer for FRONTLINE, is celebrating four Emmy wins, including one for Outstanding Investigative News Coverage: Long Form for “Yemen’s Covid Cover Up,” directed by Nawal al-Maghafi and Sara Obeidat, which also included a senior producer credit by OPC member Dan Edge. FRONTLINE also won in the category of Outstanding Business, Consumer or Economic Coverage for “Boeing’s Fatal Flaw” by director Tom Jennings. FRONTLINE also received nominations for two other awards including one for “A Thousand Cuts” about Maria Ressa, directed by Ramona Diaz.

OPC member Adriane Quinlan was head writer on a VICE News Tonight team that won in the category of Outstanding Edited Breaking News Coverage for a program titled “Inside the Battle for Jerusalem.”

Ed Ou, an OPC member and filmmaker, won an Emmy as director and cinematographer in the Outstanding Crime and Justice Coverage category for reporting on the rescue of migrants from the Libyan Coast Guard for The Outlaw Ocean Project and The Guardian.

Rebecca Blumenstein, an OPC member, was an executive producer for a New York Times team that won an Emmy in the Outstanding Live Interview category for their discussion with Adam Neumann, an Israeli-American businessman and investor.

A few of this year’s OPC Award winners were also among the News Emmy recipients. A VICE News Tonight team that won the Edward R. Murrow Award this year, including Isobel Yeung, Amel GuettatfiJavier Manzano and Ahmed Baidar, won an Emmy in the category of Outstanding Continuing News Coverage: Long Form for “Yemen: The Forgotten War,” the same reporting in Yemen that won the Murrow Award, which OPC judges said conveyed “the tragic cost of the conflict in just 18 minutes, portraying characters with insightful understanding.”

A VICE News team that won an Emmy in the category of Outstanding Feature Story in Spanish also won the OPC’s David A. Andelman and Pamela Title Award this year for the same reporting. The team includes David MoraJika GonzalezJose Flores and Craig Thomson, and the winning work for both awards, titled “After the Flood,” covered how climate migration intersects with violence and organized crime.

Nelson Ryland, an OPC member who was part of the VICE team that received a Citation for Excellence this year in the OPC’s David Kaplan category for reporting in Afghanistan, was also credited as editor in the Emmy Award for Yemen coverage. Adam Desiderio and Ben C. Solomon, who received the same OPC citation for their work in Afghanistan, were on the Emmy-winning team from VICE for Best News Coverage: Long Form for “Return of the Taliban.”

In other award news, Columbia University’s Documenting COVID-19 project, which was founded by OPC Governor Derek Kravitz through the Brown Institute for Media Innovation, won two first-place prizes for health coverage in the 2022 Missouri Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest. The project, a collaboration with MuckRock and the Missouri Independent, won first place for best COVID-19 coverage by a daily publication and for best health story. Kravitz was a reporter and editor for the project, which found that an internal study by Missouri Governor Mike Parson’s office indicated that mask mandates had saved lives in Missouri’s biggest cities during the delta variant wave, but the findings were not made public until the team made an open-records request.


CNN has named OPC Past President Marcus Mabry as senior vice president of digital editorial and programming at the cable news channel. He will oversee the teams for CNN Digital Global Programming, Features, and Visuals teams as well as CNN Opinion, CNN Style, and CNN Travel. Mabry had been serving in an interim role for the post since May, when his predecessor Meredith Artley left the network. “Not many boys raised by a single mom in Trenton get to occupy these positions of responsibility in American journalism,” he said in a statement. “I could not be more excited to lead these talented teams at such a consequential time for our platforms, our network, and our world.” Mabry has been with CNN since 2016.

Kiana Hayeri, an OPC member and freelance photographer, wrote and took photos for a piece for The New York Times on Sept. 30 from Kabul documenting the effects of Taliban rule on women one year after the group returned to power last summer. She followed the stories of several women and documented changes in everyday life in the city, including small groups of women protesting restrictions who were dispersed by Taliban gunshots into the air, while Taliban fighters celebrated last year’s victory in overwhelmingly larger numbers.

OPC member and photojournalist Nicole Tung has been on the ground covering Ukraine for The New York Times over the last few weeks, most recently with text and photos on Oct. 2 documenting a field hospital close to the front line in southern Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia region where a civilian and soldier were treated side by side. She filed photos and reported in Ukraine in June with images of sites where 300 Ukrainans were imprisoned for nearly a month, and a soccer stadium littered with shrapnel. In the most recent stint, she filed the first of four stories from Ukraine on Sept. 22.

OPC Governor Farnaz Fassihi was a guest on the New York Times podcast The Daily on Sept. 28 to discuss the role of women in Iran and the uprising and widespread protests that have followed the Sept. 13 death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini while she was in police custody. Fassihi said Amini was traveling from her hometown in the province of Kurdistan to Tehran with her family when she was arrested by so-called “morality police” at a subway station and taken to a detention center for violating rules surrounding mandatory hejab covering for women. Fassihi, who is Iranian-American and lived in Iran before, said many Iranian women are familiar with the detention center, known as Vozara. “Even I’ve been taken to that same detention center because I was showing too much hair and my robe was too short. I had to pledge that I would never violate the hejab law ever again in order to be released,” she said. “Vozara is this place in Iranian women’s minds that is feared – a place where bad things can happen to you.”


Bill Plante, a veteran conflict reporter and CBS News correspondent for the White House under four presidents, as well as a past OPC member, died on Sept. 28 at the age of 84. Plante covered the Vietnam War in four separate tours spanning 1964 to 1975, winning an Emmy Award in 1972 for that work in December 1971 and the OPC’s 1975 Lowell Thomas Award for CBS News coverage of the fall of Vietnam and Cambodia. He also won an OPC Award for best radio spot news for coverage of the funeral of Egyptian President Gamel Abdel Nasser in 1970 and won in the same category the next year for coverage of the India-Pakistan war in 1971.