July 9, 2020

People Column


Eli Binder, the 2019 winner of the Fritz Beebe Fellowship, has been covering Hong Kong’s political protests with The Wall Street Journal. Binder, a recent graduate of Brown University, has also written about international politics for the Brown Daily Herald. Binder’s fellowship took him to Hong Kong with the Journal. He submitted work about Chinese entrepreneurs working in Sri Lanka for his OPC Foundation application.

Rebecca Redelmeier, 2019 David R. Schweisberg Memorial Scholarship winner, was named a digital engagement associate for the Committee to Protect Journalists. She will work as part of the CPJ digital team that promotes press freedom through its digital channels – like social platforms and email newsletters.

Leticia Duarte, the winner of the 2019 Harper’s Magazine Scholarship in memory of I.F. Stone, was named among the Columbia Journalism School Postgraduate Reporting Fellows this academic year. She is one of three women on a Global Migration Project team that will spend six months investigating stories at the intersections of gender and issues surrounding refugees and immigration. They will work as a team on data projects and multimedia work, as well as individual long-form stories. Her team mates are Cristina Baussan and Ottavia Spaggiari.

Micah Danney, the 2018 Theo Wilson Scholarship winner, is now a reporter and editor for Religion Unplugged. He had an OPC Foundation fellowship with the GroundTruth Project in Jerusalem. Religion Unplugged is a non-profit news organization, funded by TheMediaProject.org.

Sarah Dadouch, 2017 winner of the Emanuel R. Freedman Scholarship, has been named Beirut correspondent for The Washington Post. She joins the Post from the Reuters bureau in Istanbul, where she has worked since her OPC Foundation fellowship there in 2017. During her two years at Reuters, she also reported from Beirut and Riyadh.

Patricia Rey Mallén, winner of the 2013 Theo Wilson Scholarship, is working as a producer for Al Jazeera in Doha, Qatar. She previously worked as a freelance journalist in Mexico City with bylines in Quartz, Roads & Kingdoms, Conde Nast Traveler and Univision, among others. She also worked for International Business Times.

Nizar Manek, winner of the 2012 Harper’s Magazine Scholarship in honor of I.F. Stone, recently co-wrote a Bloomberg piece about the death of a Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam project engineer with Marc Champion. Since winning the award, Manek has written for the Financial Times, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, and Bloomberg Businessweek, and now works as the Addis Ababa correspondent for Bloomberg News.

Longtime OPC member Christiane Amanpour accepted the University of Arizona’s John Peter Zenger Award in Tucson on Sept. 20, catching a dawn flight from New York and then blasting back on a redeye for the U.N. General Assembly opening. Her red cashmere is emblazoned with her new watchwords: Be truthful but not neutral. Mort Rosenblum, also a longtime OPC member who periodically returns from Paris to teach at the J-school, introduced her. “With rare humanity, prodigious knowledge and a firm grasp of the big picture, she gets to the heart of the most complex stories,” he said. “And she tells them in crystal clear terms with that plummy Anglo-Persian inflection the world knows so well. You can’t learn her kind of instincts. I always chuckle at one network house ad that features a correspondent in a war zone saying, ‘This is actually hell.’ If that were Christiane, she would skip the story at hand and get the devil on camera.”

Martha Mendoza of The Associated Press, a member of the investigative team that won the 2017 Malcolm Forbes and Hal Boyle Awards, was named among winners for The National Headliner Awards in the category of “investigative reporting in newspapers in top 20 media market” for her reporting along with partner Garance Burke, titled “The Innocents: How U.S. Immigration Policy Punishes Migrant Children.” They garnered third place in the category, while the “best in show” spot went to Julie K. Brown and Emily Michot of The Miami Herald for “Perversion of Justice,” in which the team tracked down Jane Does years after their violations by a serial pedophile, which sparked “a wave of outrage both in Florida and nationally that was felt in the hearings rooms of Congress.” Mendoza and Burke also won a Clarion Award in the investigative newspaper series for the same reporting. The Clarion Awards are given out by The Association of Women in Communications.

The “photo essay/story” category of the National Headliner Awards included two former OPC Award winners. First Place went to Rodrigo Abd of the AP for photos of the migrant caravan heading to the U.S. border last fall. Abd won the OPC’s Feature Photography Award for 2010 and 2014 for photos in Guatemala and Peru, respectively. Second place went to Nariman El-Mofty of the AP for a series titled “Yemen: Life in Ruins.” El-Mofty won this year’s Olivier Rebbot Award for his photos of conflict in Yemen, and was part of an AP team that won Citations for Excellence in both the Hal Boyle and Roy Rowan Awards.

Wa Lone, Kyaw Soe Oo and Reuters colleagues won first place in the “online investigative reporting” category for the National Headline Awards. That team also won this year’s Bob Considine Award for reporting on abuses against Rohingya in Myanmar, reporting for which the two were jailed. Ed Ou, co-winner of the 2017 David A. Andelman and Pamela Title Award along with Aurora Almendral of NBC, won first place with David Scott Holloway for an NBC News video exploring white nationalist extremism and radicalization in the U.S. The National Headliner Awards were founded in 1934 by the Press Club of Atlantic City.


Rod Nordland, OPC Governor and international correspondent-at-large for The New York Times, wrote about his diagnosis with a brain tumor while covering monsoons in India. In July, just as a monsoon began to hit, a stranger found Nordland on the ground in the midst of a seizure. He was taken to Moolchand Hospital in Delhi and sat comatose for two days while floods ravaged the country, killing dozens of people. Soon after, he was transported to Weill Cornell Medical Center and diagnosed with a glioblastoma multiforme. In the piece, titled “Waiting for the Monsoon, Discovering a Brain Tumor Instead,” Nordland describes a harrowing adventure to the hospital, writing about the Good Samaritan’s struggle to convince ambulance drivers to take him because they were afraid to be held accountable for Nordland’s injuries. The Samaritan was asked to leave his motorcycle as collateral, but the drivers compromised and allowed him to leave a smartphone instead. Nordland’s piece is blunt if not irreverent, recounting frustrating euphemisms for a tumor, “sub-cranial, space-occupying lesion,” and joking about a silver lining that his “toe-tag” in the hospital had flatteringly misjudged his age as 47 and a half, despite it being only days from his 70th birthday. Nordland underwent surgery in New York, and his neurosurgeon said that 99.99 percent of the tumor had been removed and the remainder would be radiated and treated with chemotherapy just in case. “We’re on a journey,” the doctor told him.

Longtime OPC member Andrew Lluberes is renting his Barcelona apartment from December 2019 until April 2020. Lluberes describes the apartment as being located “in Barcelona’s fashionable Sant Gervasi neighborhood, is large, (170 square meters), comfortable and elegant; has 2 bedrooms and 2.5 baths; a large combination living room and dining room, terrace with an unobstructed view from Tibidabo Mountain down to the Mediterranean; and includes art and music collections, library, and all the usual comforts. Cost is 3,000€ (euros) a month or 2,500€ a month if rented for the entire period. All utilities included. Apartment is available from the first week of December until the week after Easter.

OPC Treasurer Liam Stack is currently in Berlin on an Arthur Burns Fellowship. The fellowship is the longest running program of the International Center for Journalists, and aims to foster transatlantic relationships by helping U.S., German and Canadian journalists to live and work in each other’s countries.

OPC member Rebecca Fannin, founder of Silicon Dragon, organized an evening of panels and talks on Sept. 12, in partnership with the OPC, to discuss issues surrounding technology in China. The annual forum this year was titled “Tech Titans Of China – What Could Go Wrong?” and featured programs representing variations on that theme including venture capital, trade issues, and a presentation from a drone maker. OPC Past President William J. Holstein participated in a panel on U.S.-China technology and trade issues. Holstein recently published his new book, The New Art of War. Fannin’s book, Tech Titans of China, was published on Sept. 3.

OPC member John Koppisch left Forbes Asia at the end of May, after the magazine moved production from the U.S. to Singapore. He had edited for Forbes Asia since 2006 and worked at Forbes’ headquarters in Jersey City, NJ. Production in Singapore began with the February issue. The move came after a reorganization at Forbes Media near the end of 2017 shifted editorial control of Forbes Asia from the top editor in Jersey City to the top business executive in Singapore. Before Forbes, Koppisch worked at Bloomberg Businessweek and The Wall Street Journal and spent 12 years overseas, in South Africa and Hong Kong.

OPC member Peter Copeland has a book due to come out on Oct. 1. The book, Finding the News: Adventures of a Young Reporter, is a memoir of his storied career spanning three decades, starting in Chicago as a night police reporter, then working as a war correspondent in Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa before covering politics in Washington, DC, and ultimately bureau chief of the E. W. Scripps Company.

OPC member Rebecca Murray filed a piece on Sept. 11 about the war in Libya from Tripoli for the website Middle East Eye. Her long-form story titled “Gridlock: Libya Suffers as Haftar’s Tripoli Offensive Drags On,” covered the war’s international backers and devastating impact to human lives on the ground. Then on Sept. 26, Murray participated in a debate on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York to discuss issues surrounding the war. Other participants included Abdul Rahman Alageli of Chatham House and Jalel Harchaoui of the Clingendael Institute. The Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime sponsored the discussion.

OPC member and outgoing board member Vivienne Walt scored another cover story for TIME magazine’s Europe edition in late September with a story about French President Emmanuel Macron. She chronicles the former Economy Minister’s grassroots uprising and path to presidency, which started in May 2017. Walt spoke to Macron for the story and follows up on reporting from two years ago, remarking that he seemed relaxed and informal “in his shirtsleeves, he leaned back and reflected at length on his tumultuous time in office and what might lie ahead.”

OPC Governor Miriam Elder has returned to reporting after a stint as world editor for BuzzFeed News. Now based in New York, she formerly served as The Guardian’s Moscow-based correspondent. She has been with Buzzfeed since 2013.

OPC member Ilana Ozernoy is now the Global Head of Communications at Bloomberg Media. She had previously worked at News Corp, where she was the Vice President and Deputy Head of Communications.

Abrahm Lustgarten, winner of this year’s Whitman Bassow Award, filed a story in July for ProPublica about a US munitions burning site that has garnered some attention. In it, Lustgarden investigated the town of Colfax, Indiana, whose residents have to deal with the effects of the U.S. military burning thousands of pounds of explosives just miles away from their homes. Lustgarten won the Bassow Award for a report linking U.S. biofuel policy and corruption in Indonesia.

Maggie Steber, recipient of the OPC President’s Award in April this year, served as judge for the inaugural Leica Women Foto Project Award. The award, which will be awarded to three young female photographers, comes with $10,000, a one-year loan of a Leica Q2 camera, and a free replacement camera at the end of the loan period.

Reuters announced on Aug. 8 that Paritosh Bansal, Reuters journalist who was part of a team that won the 2017 Malcolm Forbes Award, will serve as the organization’s finance and markets editor. His previous role at Reuters was as managing editor for news in the Americas, in which he oversaw coverage of current events in the region. Bansal and his team won the Forbes award for “The Philip Morris Files,” an investigation into the business practices of Philip Morris.