2014 July-December Issue
By Susan Kille
Jonathan Jones, who won the 2009 Harper’s Magazine Scholarship in Memory of I.F. Stone, teamed up with T. Christian Miller and Marcela Gaviria to produce a multiplatform investigation called “Firestone and the Warlord” about the secret relationship between the American tire company Firestone and the infamous Liberian warlord Charles Taylor. A 90-minute documentary aired on Frontline and a 20,000-word multimedia report published on ProPublica will become an e-book and a series of original digital shorts.
Jacob Kushner, winner of the 2013 Nathan S. Bienstock award, and his writing partner Tom Murphy, spent a year digging into the failures of a $1.42 billion project that was supposed to end the water crisis in Tanzania. Working with The GroundTruth Project and GlobalPost and funded by the Galloway Family Foundation, they produced a four-part series published on GlobalPost in November that examines what went wrong and what those affected are doing to survive.
Rawya Rageh, who won the 2006 Dan Eldon Scholarship, has received a Dart Center 2014 Ochberg Fellowship. Thirteen senior and mid-career journalists who have specialized in covering violence, conflict and tragedy were awarded the weeklong fellowships designed to deepen understanding and reporting of traumatic events through seminars and discussions at Columbia University with colleagues and experts in trauma science and journalism practice. Rageh, a roving correspondent for Al Jazeera English, has been covering Nigeria and Kenya for the past year, including the aftermath of brutal attacks by the armed groups Boko Haram and Al Shabab, and their impact on people’s lives.
William Daniels, a French photographer who works for the London agency Panos Pictures, was awarded the fourth annual Tim Hetherington Grant. Jobard’s winning project, “Roots of Africa’s Unholy War,” was shot in the Central African Republic. The grant of 20,000 euros, or about $25,000, was established by Human Rights Watch and World Press Photo to celebrate the life of Tim Hetherington, a photojournalist and filmmaker who bled to death in Libya in 2011 after being hit by a piece of shrapnel. After hearing fast action would have kept Hetherington alive until he reached a doctor, Sebastian Junger honored his friend and colleague by establishing Reporters Instructed in Saving Colleagues to train journalists in life-saving techniques. Junger and Hetherington shared in the 2007 OPC David Kaplan Award for an ABC News-Nightline report from the Korengal Valley in Afghanistan. Hetherington died eight days before he was to serve as co-presenter at OPC’s 2011 Awards ceremony and receive a citation for his own photography under fire in Afghanistan.
Jorge Ramos, co-anchor of the evening newscast “Noticiero Univision” on Univision, was presented Nov. 26 with the Burton Benjamin Memorial Award for his lifetime commitment to press freedom during the annual International Press Freedom Awards dinner of the Committee to Protect Journalists. He was presented the award by OPC member Christiane Amanpour, dinner host and international correspondent for CNN. For work described in the October Bulletin, four journalists received International Press Freedom Awards: Aung Zaw of Burma, Siamak Ghaderi of Iran, Ferial Haffajee of South Africa and Mikhail Zygar of Russia. Nguyen Van Hai, a Vietnamese blogger who was released in October after two years in prison, received his 2013 press freedom award in person and called for the release of journalists worldwide.
The Rory Peck Awards, which honor freelance news camera operators, were presented in November in London. Pacôme Pabandji from the Central African Republic won the news award for “CAR: Descent Into Chaos.” The features award went to a group of six anonymous cameramen from North Korea, who were trained during trips to China by the Japanese journalist Jiro Ishimaru and produced a film, “North Korea: Life Inside the Secret State,” that offered a rare look into a secretive nation. British freelancer Ben Steele received the Sony Impact Award for Hunted, which explores the world of Russian vigilante gangs who, encouraged by anti-homosexual legislation, catch, humiliate and abuse gay victims. The Martin Adler Prize, which recognizes the dedication and talent of freelancers who work under challenging circumstances in their own country, was awarded to Palestinian freelance journalist, fixer and translator Khaled Abu Ghali, who has covered intense periods of conflict in Gaza, most notably in 2006, 2009, 2012, and last summer. The Rory Peck Awards, sponsored by Sony, were established in 1995 and named after freelance camera operator Rory Peck, who was killed in Moscow in 1993.
Evan Osnos, a two-time OPC award winner who spoke in September at the China Hands Reunion co-hosted by the OPC, received the non-fiction prize at the 65th National Book Awards for Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China. Osnos reworked reporting he had done for The New Yorker’s “Letters From China” feature and added to it to trace China’s journey from poverty to a world power.
Gary J. Bass won the Arthur Ross Book Award and its $15,000 prize from the Council on Foreign Relations for the best book published in 2013 about international affairs for The Blood Telegram: Nixon, Kissinger, and a Forgotten Genocide. In the book, Bass, a professor at Princeton University, presents the first full account of Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger’s secret support in 1971 for Pakistan as it committed atrocities in Bangladesh that led to a war between India and Pakistan with major strategic consequences for today. Calvin Sims, first vice president of the OPC and president and CEO of International House, was a judge for the award.
KABUL, Afghanistan: Rod Nordland, a longtime-OPC member who is bureau chief here for The New York Times, has landed what people in publishing call a “major deal.” He has signed with HarperCollins imprint Ecco to write a book tentatively titled The Lovers, to be published next fall about an Afghan couple that married for love despite death threats from her family and criminal charges from authorities. It is a Romeo and Juliet story. She is Tajik and Sunni Muslim; he is a Hazara and a Shiite. Nordland won a Pulitzer Prize in 1983 for his work in Cambodia, Vietnam and East Timor for The Philadelphia Inquirer. He won the OPC’s Ed Cunningham Award in 1999 for best magazine writing from abroad while working for Newsweek, where he was chief foreign correspondent. He joined the Times in 2009 was named Kabul bureau chief in 2013.
WASHINGTON: Andrew L. Lluberes, a member of the OPC since 1974, is setting sail following 30 years of service to the country and 50 years in the workplace. After 12 years with UPI and Reuters, in Pittsburgh and then New York, Lluberes joined the former U.S. Information Agency in 1984 as the Latin American and Caribbean news editor and spent the next 11 years covering stories throughout the hemisphere. He also served as the spokesman for the United States at the Expo ’92 world’s fair in Seville; national spokesman in Spanish for the former Immigration and Naturalization Service; public affairs field director for the Department of Housing and Urban Development; public affairs chief of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; and, since 2007, as director of communications for intelligence and analysis and a senior adviser at the Department of Homeland Security. He will spend the winter in Cabo San Lucas, sailing and visiting friends throughout the Caribbean, and then relocate to Barcelona in the spring to research and write a book on his family’s history.
ATLANTA: Ronda Robinson has joined the Ebola communications response team at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta as a writer and editor. She is the author of Beyond Politics: Inspirational People of Israel, which was published in 2011.
Matthew Winkler is being replaced as editor in chief of Bloomberg News at the beginning of 2015 by John Micklethwait, who has been editor in chief of The Economist since 2006. A Dec. 9 announcement from Bloomberg said Winkler will assume the new title of editor in chief emeritus and work on strategic initiatives with Michael R. Bloomberg, who will return to the helm of his eponymous company in 2015 after serving 12 years as mayor of New York. Winkler left The Wall Street Journal in 1990 to become founding editor of Bloomberg News, where he built a global news organization with 2,400 reporters and editors in more than 150 bureaus. Micklethwait will oversee editorial content across all Bloomberg platforms, from the news posted on its terminals to its newsletters and the articles in Bloomberg Businessweek. He has been with The Economist since 1987 and had previously served as business editor and United States editor.
An art exhibit about war reporting that includes press credentials, reporting notes, business cards and other mementos contributed by OPC members and other war-zone journalists is on display in a street-level gallery at the prow of the Flatiron building on 23rd St. in New York. Artist Cindy Kane collected mementos from 50 journalists and collaged the material to Vietnam-era steel helmets. The show is dedicated to the memory of OPC member Anthony Shadid, who sent Kane a Saddam Hussein medallion, old currency and press badges before he died in 2012 while on assignment in Syria for The New York Times. Also contributing from the OPC were Lynsey Addario, Jonathan Randal and Charles Sennott.
Jim Gaines, a member of the OPC Foundation board, is leaving Reuters where last December he was named global editor at large. Gaines, a former top executive and editor at Time Inc. who was managing editor of Time, Life and People magazines, joined Reuters in April 2011 as editor, ethics, standards and innovation based in New York. After five months he became editor, Americas, followed by three years as editor in charge, global photography. In a note to colleagues he said: “I will be leaving Reuters at the end of the year. I have a book to finish, there are interesting jobs in the offing, and, though I take no great pleasure in leaving, the time is right.”
Jeff Fager in November said he would step down as chairman of CBS News to return as full-time executive producer of “60 Minutes.” David Rhodes, the president of CBS News under Fager, will assume leadership of the division but his title will not change. Fager and Rhodes were appointed in February 2011 after Sean McManus stepped down as chairman of CBS News to focus on his role as chairman of CBS Sports. Fager’s appointment as chairman was in part seen to provide experienced leadership and to mentor Rhodes, who joined CBS from Bloomberg News. Fager’s full-time return to “60 Minutes,” where he has had a long association, was not considered a surprise.
Rita Cosby, an OPC member and an Emmy-winning TV and radio host, celebrated her 50th birthday as the guest of honor at the Wounded Warrior Gala Nov. 17 at The Hotel Edison in New York. Geraldo Rivera of Fox News was master of ceremonies at the star-studded party benefiting support services and programs for injured veterans. Cosby, a special correspondent for CBS’s Inside Edition, wrote movingly about the life of her veteran father in Quiet Hero: Secrets From My Father’s Past, a bestseller published in 2010.
A group of journalists who created the Ed Kennedy Pulitzer Project is again trying to convince Pulitzer Prize administrators to posthumously bestow the prestigious award to Ed Kennedy, a former Associated Press reporter who reported the unconditional surrender of Germany a day ahead of his competition. Kennedy defied the military’s instructions to withhold the story until a public announcement was made. He was vilified by his peers and fired by AP. The campaign began after the 2012 publication of Kennedy’s book, Ed Kennedy’s War, and an apology by Tom Curley, an OPC member who was then CEO of AP, who said AP was wrong to fire Kennedy. Curley wrote the book’s introduction with John Maxwell Hamilton, an OPC member and the founding dean of the Manship School of Mass Communication at Louisiana State University. The group’s nomination of Kennedy for a Pulitzer in 2013 failed but it is asking award administrators to reconsider its decision this year.
IRIN, an United Nations news agency, was about to become a victim of the humanitarian crises it writes about when it was rescued by the Jynwel Foundation, a charitable foundation backed by the family of Hong Kong billionaire Jho Low. A tight budget from increasing aid needs caused the U.N. to cut funding to IRIN as of Dec. 31. In November, the Jynwel foundation said it would put up $25 million over 15 years to save the agency, originally known as Integrated Regional Information Networks. With an audience of aid workers, academics, government staff and members of the media, IRIN serves as sort of a trade publication for the $22 billion humanitarian industry. It also has syndication deals with the Guardian and Al Jazeera.
Jon Stewart is not a journalist but as host of the popular “The Daily Show” on Comedy Central, Stewart ranks as a key news source for many young Americans. With the release in November of “Rosewater,” Stewart’s first movie as a director, he is drawing his wide audience to a story about the dangers journalists face working in repressive regimes. “Rosewater” was adapted from a memoir by Maziar Bahari, a London-based journalist, about his incarceration in Iran. Bahari won OPC’s 2009 Joe and Laurie Dine award for best international reporting dealing with human rights.
A new fellowship at the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute at New York University will allow international journalists to pursue a master’s degree in one of 10 reporting concentrations over a 16-month period. The deadline to apply is Jan. 4.
Michel du Cille, a 58-year-old Washington Post photojournalist, winner of the OPC’s John Faber award in 2000 and a three-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize, died Dec. 11 while on assignment in Liberia. Marty Baron, executive editor of The Post, said du Cille suffered a heart attack and collapsed during a hike from a village where he had been covering the Ebola crisis. Du Cille, who won two Pulitzer Prizes for photography with the Miami Herald in the 1980s, joined The Post in 1988 and shared his third Pulitzer in 2008, with Post reporters Dana Priest and Anne Hull, for a series on the treatment of veterans at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. He served as The Post’s director of photography and as an assistant managing editor before returning to be a full-time photographer, the job where he said he was most comfortable. His work covering Ebola put him in the news in October when Syracuse University withdrew an invitation for him and his wife Nikki Kahn, also an award-winning photojournalist at The Post, to review portfolios at a journalism conference. Although du Cille was symptom free after a 21-day monitoring period following a return from Liberia, university officials told him not to come because of fears about Ebola. “I am disappointed in the level of journalism at Syracuse, and I am angry that they missed a great teaching opportunity,” du Cille said at the time. “Instead they have decided to jump in with the mass hysteria.” Baron said du Cille had returned to Liberia two days before his death.
Lester Bernstein, who died Nov. 27 at his home in Lido Beach, N.Y., was a former top editor of Newsweek who also wrote for The New York Times, served as a foreign correspondent for Time magazine and while working at NBC, helped organize the first televised debate between presidential candidates. He was 94. His wife, Mimi, whom he had been married to for 65 years, died eight days earlier. Bernstein was Newsweek’s chief editor from 1979 to 1982 and also was a theater columnist for The Times; a Rome and London correspondent for Time; and a senior Newsweek editor in the 1960s and ’70s. As vice president of NBC in 1960, he worked with members of CBS, ABC and the staffs of then-Vice President Richard M. Nixon and then-Sen. John F. Kennedy to arrange the historic 1960 television debates. His three surviving children are journalists: Nina Bernstein, a reporter of The Times; Lynn Brenner, a personal finance journalist; and Paul Bernstein, a former Washington Post editor.
Richard Eder, who died at age 82 on Nov. 21 in Boston, joined The New York Times in 1954 as a copy boy, reached his goal of becoming a former foreign correspondent and then made a shift to arts critic. He won a 1987 Pulitzer Prize for his book reviews in The Los Angeles Times. His first foreign assignment for The Times was as Latin America correspondent and he interviewed Fidel Castro in Havana in 1964. During various postings in Europe, he wrote about a Greek military coup, unrest behind the Iron Curtain, strife in Northern Island and a rebellion that deposed the fascist government of Portugal. He was bureau chief in Paris from 1980 to 1982. He was a theater and film critic for The Times in the late 1970s before moving to The Los Angeles Times as book critic. In 1987 he won both the Pulitzer and the National Book Critics Circle’s citation for excellence in reviewing.
By Susan Kille
Anders Melin, who received a Reuters internship in 2013 from the OPC Foundation, in October was named executive compensation reporter for Bloomberg News. A native of Sweden, Melin spent his internship in the Reuters bureau in Brussels.
John Ismay, who won the 2013 Jerry Flint Fellowship for International Business Reporting, was listed first among those contributing to an Oct. 14 investigative report by C.J. Chivers in The New York Times about previously untold discoveries of chemical weapons in Iraq during the U.S. occupation of the country. Ismay, a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy who served in Iraq as an explosive ordnance disposal officer, wrote in the At War blog about his personal experience with chemical weapons in Iraq. Ismay and Chivers responded online to readers’ questions about the munitions.
James Foley, who was murdered by ISIS forces in Syria last summer, was named this year’s recipient of the Nackey S. Loeb First Amendment Award, an annual honor given to New Hampshire residents who fight to protect the First Amendment. The award is named for the former president and publisher of the Union Leader, New Hampshire’s only statewide newspaper.
Evelyn Leopold, an OPC board member and a veteran reporter at the United Nations, chaired the Dag Hammarskjöld Fund for Journalists Annual luncheon. The Oct. 28 lunch honored four young journalists who are finishing one-year fellowships at the U.N. sponsored by the fund: Olefumi Akande from TVC News of Nigeria; Abdel Aziz Hali from La Presse of Tunisia; Ana Maria Macaraig from Rappler in the Philippines; and Tuan Anh Pham from the online outlet Dan Tri of Vietnam. Former Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay and singer-songwriter Angelique Kidjo, a UNICEF goodwill ambassador, were guests of honor.
Kenyan journalist Joseph Mathenge in October received African Journalist of the Year honors, the top prize at this year’s CNN MultiChoice African Journalist 2014 Awards Ceremony. His work, which appears in The Standard in Nairobi, was chosen from entries from across the African continent.
Two Associated Press journalists working overseas, Dalton Bennett and Muhammed Muheisen, won the annual Oliver S. Gramling Journalism Awards, the highest AP staff honor. Bennett, a video journalist based in the United Arab Emirates, was described as “one of AP’s go-to video journalists, specializing in compelling visual storytelling from Europe to the Middle East and beyond. Muheisen, chief photographer in Pakistan, was twice part of AP teams that won the Pulitzer Prize for covering the wars in Iraq and Syria.
Since 1990, the International Women’s Media Foundation has honored some of the world’s bravest — and most embattled — female reporters and editors with Courage in Journalism Awards. Awards were presented in October to Arwa Damon, a CNN war correspondent; Solange Lusiku Nsimirem, editor-in-chief of Le Souverain in the Democratic Republic of the Congo; and Brankica Stanković, a reporter for RTV in Serbia. The IWMF has received a $1 million grant from the Howard G. Buffett Foundation to establish an annual award for photojournalism in honor of AP photographer Anja Niedringhaus, who was killed in Afghanistan in April.
The Milwaukee Press Club inducted OPC member Dickey Chapelle into its Hall of Fame on Oct. 24. Chapelle, a photojournalist who covered the battles of Iwo Jima and Okinawa, died in 1965 while photographing a U.S. mission in Vietnam. A Marine walking in front of Chapelle tripped a booby trap and
an explosion blew shrapnel into her neck, killing her within minutes. She was one of the first American correspondents killed in Vietnam, and the first American woman journalist to be killed in combat. She served on OPC’s Freedom of Information Committee and testified before Congress to promote greater
access for journalists and to loosen official restraints against them. She won the OPC’s George Polk Award in 1962 for her coverage of Vietnam. OPC President Marcus Mabry sent a letter to the Milwaukee Press Club saluting Chapelle’s induction. “Dickey was one of us,” he wrote, “an involved OPC board member and an outspoken advocate for reporters trying to tell readers and listeners at home what was going on in Hungary, Cuba, Vietnam, and all those other places she traveled to, wrote about and photographed.”
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif: Jonathan Dahl left The Wall Street Journal, where he was editor-in-chief of WSJ.Money magazine and executive director of page one, to become managing editor of Ozy, a digital news startup named after Shelley’s poem Ozymandias. Ozy Media is a year-old online magazine backed by Laurene Powell Jobs and other Silicon Valley luminaries plus German publisher Axel Springer. Dahl, who resigned as OPC secretary as part of his shift to California, joined theJournal in 1985, and worked in the Dallas and Chicago bureaus in addition to starting a travel column and helping create the Weekend Journal. He had also been editor-in-chief and executive editor of SmartMoney. The Financial Times reported that Dahl would oversee about 12 staff members and 20 freelancers.
OTTAWA, Ontario: Chrystia Freeland, a former OPC board member who is now a member of the Canadian Parliament, was inside the Centre Block of Parliament on Oct. 22 when she heard shooting as a gunman ran through the building after killing a soldier outside. She told MSNBC she took off her high heels and ran. She said she was given a bulletproof vest to wear and she hid in the canteen used by staff.
SCARSDALE, N.Y.: Seymour and Audrey Topping celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary on Nov. 8 with a party for family, friends and colleagues at their home.
The cake served at the party was a close replica of their original tiered wedding cake. Last month, Top and Audrey did an archival interview about their long careers in journalism which is on the OPC website. Top is a longtime member of the OPC and serves on the club’s board.
NEW YORK: In her first interview since she was severely wounded in April in an attack in Afghanistan, Kathy Gannon, an OPC member and a veteran Associated Press correspondent, vowed to return to Afghanistan. She said she had re-lived the decisions that led to the death of her friend Anja Niedringhaus, an AP photographer, but would do nothing different. “We weren’t careless or cavalier about the security arrangements …,” Gannon said in an interview at AP headquarters. Gannon said her physical recovery has been grueling and is still a work in progress.
Deidre Depke, was elected by the OPC board in October to replace Jonathan Dahl, who resigned, as club secretary. Depke has been a reporter and editor in New York for 25 years, working as senior news editor at BusinessWeek, as the foreign editor and an assistant managing editor for Newsweek
and as the editor of Newsweek.com and The Daily Beast. In addition, she worked as the general manager for TheWeek.com, concentrating on business development and technology creation. She currently manages a small consultancy that works with new media startups, including Tina Brown’s Live Media company.
Calvin Sims, OPC’s first vice president and president of New York City’s International House, and Charles Sennott, co-founder of GlobalPost and a board member of the OPC Foundation, worked together for months to plan Generation Jobless, a two-day conference focused on finding solutions to youth unemployment that was co-sponsored by their organizations and held Oct. 24 and 25 at International House. Sennott is executive editor of GroundTruth, a nonprofit initiative training young foreign correspondents that has reported from 11 countries about youth unemployment. “The consequences of not addressing youth unemployment are dire and have the potential to leave young people around the world without a future,” Sims said.
Azmat Khan, an OPC board member, will be become an investigative reporter for BuzzFeed. In December she will join an investigative unit of 10 reporters led by Mark Schoofs, a former senior editor at ProPublica who was part of a team at The Wall Street Journal that won a Pulitzer for coverage of the Sept. 11 attacks. Khan currently leads the digital team at Al Jazeera America’s flagship show “America Tonight” and had been a digital reporter and producer for the PBS series “Frontline.” Her work earned an Online News Association award in 2012, the Gannett Foundation Award for Innovative
Investigative Journalism in 2013 and an Emmy nomination in 2014.
Charles Graeber, an award-winning freelance journalist, has joined the OPC board. He won the OPC’s 2011 Ed Cunningham Award for “After the Tsunami, Nothing to Do but Start Again” written for Bloomberg Businessweek and is the author of The Good Nurse, a 2013 best-selling book about America’s most prolific serial killer, Charles Cullen, whose 16-year long nursing career left as many as 300 dead. He has contributed to publications that includeWired, GQ, The New Yorker, New York Magazine, Vogue, National Geographic, Men’s Journal and The New York Times.
Time magazine promoted Brian Walsh from senior editor to foreign editor in October and filled two top posts at international bureaus. Walsh served as Tokyo Bureau chief from 2006 to 2007 and joined Time in 2001. Nikhil Kumar, who had been a senior editor, was named South Asia Bureau chief, based in New Delhi. Aryn Baker leaves her post as Middle East Bureau chief, based in Beirut, to become Africa Bureau chief, based in Cape Town.
Get the Picture, a documentary based on the book of the same name by OPC member John Morris, was shown at the Time-Life building on Oct. 17 for an audience of Time-Life alumni and OPC members.
The documentary, directed by Cathy Pearson, follows the remarkable and long career that Morris has had in photography. He was photo editor of Life magazine during World War II and a founder of Magnum Photo Agency who worked with many of the greatest names in photojournalism. The film features stories from prominent photojournalists such as James Nachtwey and Peter Turnley, who attended the event. OPC member Norman Pearlstine generously sponsored the screening and a luncheon. This private screening was the first time that the film was shown in New York City.
Ben Bradlee, the legendary executive editor of The Washington Post, died Oct. 21 at his home in Washington.
Bradlee, who was 93, led the Post’s newsroom for 26 years and transformed it into one of the world’s leading newspapers.
Under his tenure, the Post won a Pulitzer Prize for its coverage of the Watergate scandal, which forced President Richard Nixon to leave office under threat of impeachment in 1974. Two years earlier, the Post joined The New York Times in defying pressure from the government not to publish stories based on the Pentagon Papers, a secret government account of the Vietnam War.
David Hoffman, an OPC member who served as assistant managing editor for foreign news at the Post, was among the thousands who gathered Oct. 29 at the Washington National Cathedral to say farewell to Bradlee. Hoffman tweeted: “Magnificent farewell to a remarkable man today. Ben Bradlee loved the lines ‘I am the captain of my soul.’ And so he was. Goodbye, captain.”
The OPC was saddened to learn that Sonya K. Fry, who retired last spring as our executive director, suffered the loss of her sister, Linda A. Paranko, who died Oct. 30 after battling multiple sclerosis for more than 20 years. Paranko, who lived in East Lyme, Conn., had worked as a dental assistant and was an avid bowler and dancer before MS took its toll.
By Susan Kille
Tom Finn, who won the OPC Foundation’s 2013 H.L. Stevenson Scholarship, has joined Middle East Eye, a news website founded in 2014 that focuses on the Middle East and North Africa. He will be based in London and make occasional trips to the region. Finn was an OPC Foundation fellow in the Reuters bureau in Cairo and previously worked as an editor with the Yemen Times.
Mateo Hoke, who won the 2013 Harper’s Magazine Scholarship in memory of I.F. Stone, and Cate Malek, with whom Hoke has worked since 2001, have compiled and edited Palestine Speaks: Narratives of Life Under Occupation, a book being published by McSweeney’s in November. Hoke based his winning scholarship essay on his experiences researching the book and collecting oral histories of men and women from the West Bank and Gaza describing how their lives have been shaped by the intractable conflict between Israel and Palestine.
Martin Smith, an OPC board member who is a writer, producer and correspondent for Frontline and RAIN Media, has been named the 2014 winner of the John Chancellor Award, which has been presented each year since 1995 to journalists “with courage and integrity for cumulative professional accomplishments.” The prize, administered by Columbia University, has a $25,000 award. During his career, Smith has won nearly every major journalism award including multiple Emmys, Peabody Awards, Polk Awards and duPont Batons.
Sean Carlson, an OPC member, received a bronze Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Award from the Society of American Travel Writers in September for a story about his mother’s village of Moyvane, in County Kerry, Ireland, that was featured in The Irish Times in print and online via the paper’s Generation Emigration blog.
The Committee to Protect Journalists was awarded the 2014 First Amendment Award by the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon accepted the award Aug. 7 in Montreal.
CPJ’s International Press Freedom Awards annual benefit dinner will honor four courageous journalists: Aung Zaw, founder and editor-in-chief of The Irrawaddy, which was branded an “enemy of the state” by the former military regime in Burma and remains under pressure from the current government; Siamak Ghaderi, an Iranian freelancer and former editor and reporter for the Islamic Republic’s official news agency IRNA, who was released in July after spending four years in prison; Mikhail Zygar, editor-in-chief of Dozhd, a Russian independent TV channel that provides a rare alternative to Kremlin-controlled stations; and Ferial Haffajee, who has published reporting as editor-in-chief of City Press in South Africa that has brought fierce criticism and threats of violence against herself and her staff. Christiane Amanpour, anchor and chief international correspondent for CNN and an OPC member, will be the host for the Nov. 25 dinner in New York City.
Russian photographer Emil Gataullin received the Alfred Fried Photography Award on Sept. 15 for a series of black-and-white images capturing the rhythms of rural life in Russia. The award, given by the International Press Institute and its partners, is in its second year and celebrates photos on the theme of peace. More than 5000 entries were received.
OPC member Susan Glasser, the founding editor of Politico magazine, was promoted in September to editor of Politico with full authority over the company’s journalism. Politico co-founders John Harris and Jim VandeHei and Politico chief operating officer Kim Kingsley worked with Glasser at The Washington Post, where she was assistant managing editor for national news. Glasser was editor-in-chief of Foreign Policy before joining Politico.
William Dermody, an OPC member, has become vice president of policy at the American Beverage Association. Dermody had been deputy managing editor at USA Today, which he joined as deputy night news editor in 1999. He began his journalism career as a reporter with Suburban Newspapers outside of Boston and worked for The Associated Press as a national editor and reporter from 1992 to 1994.
Juan O. Tamayo retired in September after 32 years at the Miami Herald/El Nuevo Herald, where he was foreign editor, chief of correspondents and for many years took the lead in the paper’s coverage of Cuban affairs. He also headed bureaus in the Middle East, Europe and the Andean region. In 1999, he received Columbia University’s Maria Moors Cabot award, a top prize for journalists reporting on Latin America. He said he plans to devote more time to Spanish-to-English translations and organizing his files on the Tamayo family tree.
David Alpern, an OPC member, has ended production of For Your Ears Only, an independent, non-profit, syndicated radio and Web program that he produced and hosted for more than 32 years. In an email to the OPC, Alpern thanked the group and his fellow members for their support. The show began life as Newsweek on Air before becoming financially and editorially independent of Newsweek. A full, free, searchable archive of past shows is being established at the non-profit Internet Archive: https://archive.org/details/foryourearsonly.
Honors continue for John Morris, the London photo editor for Life throughout World War II and a longtime OPC member, who recently published Quelque Part en France: L’été 1944 de John G. Morris (Somewhere in France: John G. Morris and the Summer of 1944). The Anglo-American Press Association of Paris paid tribute to Morris at a reception on Sept. 11 at the Hotel Scribe, which after the liberation of Paris became a center for renowned journalists, broadcasters and photographers such as Ernest Hemingway, William Shirer and Robert Capa, whose celebrated photos of the D-Day landings Morris helped edit. Robert Pledge, an OPC member, was master of ceremonies.
The New York Times announced Oct. 1 that it will eliminate 100 newsroom jobs, or about 7.5 percent of the staff. Buyouts are being offered but layoffs will occur if not enough people volunteer to leave. The company said it would continue to expand and invest to support growth in areas that include digital technology, audience development and mobile offerings. At the same time, the company ended NYT Opinion, a mobile app dedicated to opinion content, because it did not attract enough subscribers.
Integrated Whale Media Investments, a Hong Kong-based international investment group, in September completed a deal to take over a majority stake in Forbes Media officially ending 97 years of family control. The Forbes family, which has controlled the firm since its founding in 1917, is retaining a minority stake.
His daily commute from Croton-Harmon to Grand Central gave Patrick Oster, managing editor for legal news at Bloomberg News and the husband of OPC Foundation Vice President Sally Jacobsen, inspiration that led to publication of The Commuter, published in July by the Perseus Books Group. The book, described as a quirky thriller, is about a laid-off office worker and avid birder who tracks the clandestine and criminal lives of his fellow commuters. Oster said he wrote much of the book during his commute, but also during weekends and vacations.
Paul Moakley, an OPC board member and deputy photo editor of Time magazine, was among the judges for the 40th annual Light Work Grants in Photography. Established in 1975, Light Works has one of the longest-running photography fellowship programs in the country. Each recipient receives a $2,000 award, has their work exhibited at Light Work’s gallery in Syracuse, N.Y., and published in Contact Sheet: The Light Work Annual.
Tainted Waters, a multimedia project that is the first iBook from 100 Reporters, was released in September with a familiar byline: Chad Bouchard, the OPC’s website manager and social media editor. In late 2013, before the fall of Sinjar to the Islamic State, Bouchard went to northwestern Iraq to investigate claims of corruption in the district’s water systems and drinking water that was making people sick. A grant from the Fund for Investigative Journalism made his reporting possible. As a foreign correspondent based in Indonesia for four years, Bouchard’s coverage appeared in The Sunday Telegraph, The Financial Times, Scientific American, the Washington Post Magazine and other publications.
Changes have occurred in the publishing ranks of major U.S. newspapers. In August, Austin Beutner, a former Wall Street investment banker, became publisher and chief executive of the Los Angeles Times, succeeding Eddy W. Hartenstein. Jeff Bezos, the chief executive of Amazon who bought the Washington Post in 2013, in September replaced Publisher Katharine Weymouth, whose uncle, grandmother, grandfather and great-grandfather were Post publishers, with Politico’s first chief executive, Frederick J. Ryan Jr., a former Reagan administration official. And in The New York Times, a modest piece on the Aug. 31 Vows pages announced the marriage of Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr., the chairman and publisher, to Gabrielle Elise Greene, a partner in an investment firm. The credit line on the standard-size announcement photo was a standout for that page: Damon Winter, a Pulitzer Prize winner.
David Nydick, a longtime OPC member, died on Sept. 20, 2013. He was an educator who shared his knowledge and experience as an education specialist for United Press International and in his syndicated column, “You, Your Child and School.” He had a long tenure as superintendent of Jericho Public Schools on Long Island and held other positions at school districts in the region. He was a director of the Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind and an adjunct professor at the C.W. Post Campus of Long Island University, now known as LIU Post. His daughter, Leslie Nydick, said her father was proud to be a member of the OPC. “My Dad always and proudly carried his OPC membership card with him – and it is still in his wallet,” she said.
David Lomax, a reporter for the BBC’s flagship current affairs program Panorama, died Sept. 25 at age 76. He traveled the world on hundreds of assignments, was jailed in Zimbabwe for a week and was once pinned down in a ditch for four hours by sniper fire in Lebanon. His notable interviews included Idi Amin, Robert Mugabe and Steve Jobs, who walked out of his interview. While interviewing Mugabe, Lomax virtually accused him of being responsible for the murder of hundreds of members of the opposition party led by Joshua Nkomo. Mugabe allowed the interview to continue, and Lomax later said he was much relieved when he and his film where on the next plane to London.
By Susan Kille
Alexander Besant, who won the OPC Foundation’s Alexander Kendrick Memorial Scholarship in 2011, began work in July as a curator of Facebook’s mobile application Paper, which is intended to serve as a phone-based equivalent of a newspaper or magazine. Besant, a contributor to the OPC’s Global Parachute, has written for GlobalPost, The Associated Press, Hearst Newspapers and The Globe and Mail.
Anna Nicolaou, a 2014 OPC winner, started work in August as a digital editor and reporter for Financial Times in New York. She won the 2014 Standard & Poor’s Award for Economic and Business Reporting and had an OPC Foundation fellowship in the Reuters Bureau in Brussels.
Jad Sleiman, the 2013 David R. Schweisberg Memorial Scholarship winner, is now a staff reporter based in Germany for Stars and Stripes. Sleiman, a former Marine, covers Afghanistan, the Middle East and Africa.
Two Americans are among the four 2014 winners of the Maria Moors Cabot Prizes for outstanding reporting on Latin America and the Caribbean, the oldest international awards in journalism. Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, which administers the prizes, chose Frank Bajak, chief of Andean news for the AP; Tracy Wilkinson, Mexico Bureau chief for the Los Angeles Times; Paco Calderon, cartoonist for El Heraldo de Mexico; and Giannina Segnini, who was until recently the editor of the investigating team of La Nacion in Costa Rica. A special citation is being given to Tamoa Calzadilla and Laura Weffer for work they did with the investigative unit at Ultimas Noticias of Venezuela. The awards will be presented Oct. 15 at Columbia University. Members of the Cabot Prize board include OPC member Abi Wright, executive director of Professional Prizes at the Columbia Journalism School.
Asma Shirazi, a journalist in Pakistan, has become the second woman to win the Peter Mackler Award for Courageous and Ethical Journalism. Shirazi, who has been described as Pakistan’s first female war correspondent, was host of a popular television talk show that was banned by former military ruler Pervez Musharraf. The award, which is administered by Global Media Forum in partnership with Reporters Without Borders and Agence France-Presse, will be presented Oct. 23 at the National Press Club. It honors journalists who fight courageously and ethically to report the news in countries where freedom of the press is either not guaranteed or not recognized. The award is named for Peter Mackler, a veteran journalist who was chief editor for North America at AFP when he died in 2008. OPC members Marcus Brauchli and Rebecca Blumenstein serve on the award’s board.
Four days after Alissa J. Rubin, Paris Bureau chief for The New York Times, was seriously injured in an Aug. 12 helicopter crash in Kurdistan, she was back on the front page with a story she dictated here from her hospital bed. She said she knew she was alive when she heard herself groan. The helicopter was carrying aid to Yazidi refugees in the Sinjar Mountains. The crash killed the pilot and injured other passengers, but none as seriously as Rubin who suffered broken bones and a fractured skull. Adam Ferguson, a freelance photographer working for the Times who was accompanying Rubin, pulled her from the wreckage. She won an OPC award in 2009 for best magazine writing from abroad.
John Morris, a longtime OPC member, was described in an Aug. 14 posting on the Lens blog of The New York Times as “perhaps the best-known living photo editor.” Lens wrote about the publication of Quelque Part en France: L’été 1944 de John G. Morris (Somewhere in France: John G. Morris and the Summer of 1944), a book that was featured in the June issue of the Bulletin. Photos from the book were displayed this summer at the International Center of Photography in New York. Morris, 97, was the London photo editor for Life throughout World War II, where he edited the photographic coverage of the war in Europe including Robert Capa’s photos from the D-Day invasion. He later became picture editor of Ladies’ Home Journal, executive editor of Magnum Photos, an assistant managing editor at The Washington Post and picture editor of The New York Times. Morris is the subject of “Get the Picture,” an award-winning documentary that was released on DVD in August.
Stefania Rousselle, an OPC member, reports that she and multimedia editor Mimi Chakarova are working to have their feature-length documentary “Men: A Love Story” ready in time for the Sundance Film Festival that begins in January. Rousselle described it as “an unprecedented dark comedy about men’s thoughts on women, sex and love” presented in a “collection of stories told in an honest, uncensored, uncompromised, unapologetic and definitely not politically correct narrative.” She is an award-winning freelance video journalist based in Paris.
Tsinghua University Press will publish a Chinese translation of On the Front Lines of the Cold War: An American Correspondent’s Journal From the Chinese Civil War to the Cuban Missile Crisis and Vietnam by Seymour Topping, an OPC board member. The book, originally published in 2010 by Louisiana State University Press, documents Topping’s travels and reporting for the International News Service, the AP and The New York Times during a tumultuous period.
OPC member Kathy Eldon reports that she and her daughter, Amy Eldon Turteltaub, had the opportunity in August to meet Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teen-age activist who was shot in the head in 2012 by the Taliban for advocating for girls education. Eldon described Malala as a “true hero” and “creative activist extraordinaire, who is using the power of story telling to impact the world.”
It’s a Black/White Thing by OPC member Donna Bryant has been shortlisted for the City Press Tafelberg Nonfiction Award, given for books that add to the understanding of society, history and politics in South Africa. The book was reviewed in the June
Brian Bremner, who had been assistant managing editor of Bloomberg Businessweek, is headed to Tokyo to become managing editor for enterprise for Bloomberg News in Asia. He spent 15 years in Asia, with stints in Tokyo and Hong Kong, and won the 1998 Overseas Press Club of America’s Morton Frank Award for coverage of the Asian financial crisis.
Steve Centanni, a veteran foreign correspondent for Fox News, is retiring. He traveled throughout the Middle East and reported from the Gaza Strip, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq and he also covered the 2011 murder trial of the Somali pirates who killed four Americans after hijacking their yacht. He and Olaf Wiig, a freelance cameraman from New Zealand, were kidnapped in Gaza and held for 13 days in August 2006. Ten days after the kidnapping, a video was released showing the two men in Arab robes reading from the Koran to indicate their conversion to Islam. Centanni said he and Wiig had been forced at gunpoint to make the video. For the last several years, Centanni has been based in Washington.
Fred Ferguson, an OPC member since 1984 who once edited the Bulletin, died Aug. 22. He was 82. Ferguson began his career as a stringer on Pacific Stars and Stripes during the Korean War covering the southern Japanese Islands. He spent 27 years at United Press International, where his father had also worked, and served as a reporter and editor at bureaus in Mississippi, New York and New Jersey. He later became regional executive for New Jersey, Eastern Pennsylvania and Delaware. One of his fondest memories was escorting former President Harry S. Truman on his daily walks. At the OPC’s first Tchotchke Night in 2010, Ferguson shared a story about hiding a walkie talkie under a baby carriage to dictate scoops from outside a Russian mission on Long Island. After leaving UPI, Ferguson worked in public relations, first for 8 years at an agency now known as Ogilvy PR and then at PR Newswire for 15 years. A favorite phrase of his was: “Now I’m a flack instead of a hack!” Ferguson was a second-generation member of the Silurians. His father, also named Fred, was a boyhood friend of Roy Howard (of Scripps-Howard fame) and spent many years as president of the Newspaper Enterprise Association.
In a career that spanned Morse code to satellites and the Internet, Tony Beard, the longtime communications manager in the London Bureau of The New York Times, was often compared to Q, James Bond’s technology expert. He died Aug. 17 at age 80. He spent 46 years in the bureau – 1955 to 2001 – seeking faster, easier and less cumbersome ways to transmit stories and photos. John Burns, a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner and former London Bureau chief, said Beard “had seen the likes of me – young man in a hurry, impatient of cautions from those minding the home front, eager to escape the office and head out to the badlands – many times over the years. He had grown accustomed to his meticulously prepared technological wizardry disappearing out the door of his base in the London Bureau, only to return, if it ever did, abused and battered, and to the expectations that he could somehow wring replacements from his stores, and explain it all to the budget overseers in New York. And he did all of this with a meticulous courtesy, a tolerance for overblown stories of derring-do, and a good humor that marked him out as a truly civilized man.”
Chapman Pincher, a British journalist who unmasked Soviet spies and tormented prime ministers, was 100 years old when he died Aug. 5 at his home in Kintbury, England. He had an extraordinary 30-year career unearthing state secrets as the defense and science correspondent of The London Daily Express, then England’s best-selling newspaper. Pincher, who was known as “the lone wolf of Fleet Street,” worked as a one-man investigative unit producing scoop after scoop of postwar military secrets. He was proud of being likened to a kind of official urinal in which ministers and defense chiefs could stand patiently leaking. He retired from the Express in 1979 and went on to write more than 30 books. His best-known book was 1981’s Their Trade Is Treachery, where he made the case that Roger Hollis, a former director general of MI5, was a Soviet spy. Those charges were denied. Pincher published his last book in February, a memoir titled Dangerous to Know. His son said Pincher had made a final joke shortly before his death: “Tell them I’m out of scoops.”
Jim Frederick, a foreign correspondent, editor and author died July 31 in Oakland, Calif. He was 42 and his wife said the cause of death was cardiac arrest. Frederick wrote Black Hearts: One Platoon’s Descent into Madness in Iraq’s Triangle of Death, an account of the 2006 murders of an Iraqi family, and the rape of their 14-year-old daughter by four U.S. soldiers. Frederick worked for Men’s Journal and Working Woman magazines, but spent most of his career at Time Inc., where he was a reporter and editor for Money and Time magazines. At Time, his jobs included managing editor of Time.com, Tokyo Bureau chief and senior editor in London in charge of the news weekly’s international coverage. In 2008 while he was in Tokyo, he was the co-author of The Reluctant Communist, with Charles Robert Jenkins, a U.S. soldier who deserted his post in Korea in 1965, crossed the border and remained in North Korea for 40 years. After leaving Time Inc. in 2013, Frederick had traveled extensively with his wife, Time senior editor Charlotte Greensit, whom he met while stationed in London.
Kenneth B. Noble, a reporter who headed the West Africa bureau of The New York Times from 1989 to 1994, died July 17 in Gainesville, Fla. He was 60 and died of congestive heart failure. Noble also covered business in Washington and was the newspaper’s Los Angeles bureau chief during the O. J. Simpson trial. While reporting from two dozen countries along Africa’s west coast, Noble covered the civil wars in Liberia and Angola, the AIDS pandemic in Zaire and coup attempts in Nigeria. After leaving the Times in 1997, he taught journalism at the University of Southern California and at the University of California, Berkeley.
By Susan Kille
Mark Anderson, who won the 2014 Emanuel R. Freedman Fellowship from the OPC Foundation, began a new job in June covering global development for The Guardian in London. Anderson, who is fluent in Swahili, has a Master’s degree in journalism and African studies from the University of California, Berkeley.
Haley Sweetland Edwards, a political correspondent in Time magazine’s Washington bureau, received an honorable mention in this year’s MOLLY National Journalism Prize competition, which honors the memory of Molly Ivins, the legendary reporter, columnist and former editor of The Texas Observer. Edwards, who won the 2009 Irene Corbally Kuhn Scholarship, was recognized for “He Who Makes The Rules,” an exploration of the workings and power of the rule-making process that she wrote for The Washington Monthly.
The Presidents Award of the National Press Club is presented “only on special occasions” and requires approval of the club’s Board of Governors. On July 30, the award will be given to Anja Niedringhaus and Kathy Gannon of The Associated Press. Niedringhaus, a photographer, was killed and Gannon, a reporter and OPC member, was injured April 4 while covering the lead up to elections in Afghanistan. The two had worked together repeatedly in Afghanistan since the 2001 U.S.-led invasion. An exhibition of Niedringhaus’s photos will be on display at the end of July in the club’s lobby in Washington.
The OPC was well represented in June among winners of this year’s Gerald Loeb Awards. Peter S. Goodman, the editor-in-chief of The International Business Times who is running for a seat on the OPC board, won the commentary award for work he did at The Huffington Post. Four Loeb awards were presented to reporters who won OPC awards for the same work in April. Steve Stecklow shared honors for explanatory writing for “Assets of the Ayatollah” with his Reuters colleagues, Babak Dehghanpisheh and Yeganeh Torbati. “The Shortest Route to Riches” in Forbes won the international award for Kerry Dolan, who was once editor of the Bulletin, and Rafael Marques de Morais. Other OPC members among the Loeb winners were Cam Simpson of Bloomberg Businessweek for “Stranded: An iPhone Tester Caught in Apple’s Supply Chain” and Alex Blumberg of NPR for “Planet Money Makes a T-Shirt.”
OPC member Matthew Winkler, editor-in-chief of Bloomberg News, and his boss, Michael Bloomberg, won the President’s Award For Impact on Media on June 30 at the 56th Annual Southern California Media Awards Ceremony sponsored by the Los Angeles Press Club. Winkler attended and spoke, but Bloomberg appeared only on video.
In honor of his remarkable career in journalism, OPC member Dan Rather received the DeWitt Carter Reddick Award in April from the Moody College of Communication at The University of Texas at Austin. Established in 1974, the Reddick award recognizes excellence in the field of communication.
To mark World Refugee Day on June 20, the Committee to Protect Journalists released its annual report on journalists in exile. During the last five years, CPJ has supported more than 400 journalists forced to flee their home countries because of their work. The top countries that journalists fled in the past five years were Iran, Syria, Somalia, Ethiopia, and Eritrea. These countries consistently rank poorly on other press freedom ratings. Iran is one of the world’s leading jailers of journalists; Syria was the most dangerous country for journalists for the past two years; Somalia is the most lethal country for journalists in sub-Saharan Africa.
Press freedom has been a casualty of the offensive launched in June in north and west Iraq by the Jihadi group Islamic State in Iraq and Syria that is allied with Sunni tribal groups. ISIS has seized media outlets in captured territory and Iraqi authorities have taken a number of measures affecting communications, including the blocking of social networks and the suspension of telecom services in captured areas. Two weeks after the start of the offensive, Al-Ahad TV cameraman Khaled Ali Hamada became the first media fatality when he was killed June 17 in Diyala, northeast of Baghdad. Al-Ahad TV is linked to the Shiite Islamist group Kutla Asaib Ahl Al-Haq.
After 32 years of publication, the Ecuador newspaper Hoy ceased daily publication June 30, blaming government harassment and a related advertising slowdown. Hoy, known as an opposition paper, will publish online and has plans for a weekly print edition. According to CPJ, the government of President Rafael Correa has stifled independent media through the Communications Law, an “official straightjacket on the press” adopted last summer. Earlier in June, Hoy and three other newspapers were accused of violating the Communications Law for not providing what the government viewed as adequate coverage of Correa’s two-day trip to meet with Chile’s president and received an honorary university degree. If the papers are found guilty, they could be fined thousands of dollars.
Rwandan journalist Agnès Uwimana Nkusi was freed June 18 after serving a four-year sentence on charges prompted by her reporting. Her unflinching commitment to information freedom led Reporters Without Borders on May 3 to name her one of 100 “information freedom heroes.” Nkusi, who had written articles critical of President Paul Kagame, initially faced up to 17 years in prison on charges including inciting “civil disobedience” and “harming state security.” Her charges were later reduced but she served a year longer than Saidat Mukakibibi, a colleague who was arrested with her.
Press freedom organizations welcomed the U.S. Supreme Court’s unanimous ruling on June 25 that the police need warrants to search the cellphones of people they arrest. “Today’s decision closes a dangerous loophole faced by journalists who use mobile devices for newsgathering and reporting,” said Geoffrey King, CPJ Internet advocacy coordinator. “Under the old rule, an officer could search a reporter’s electronic devices with an arrest for any alleged minor offense.”
Three Russian journalists were killed in June in eastern Ukraine. Anatoly Klyan, a cameraman for Russia’s Channel One TV station, died June 29 after a bus he was traveling in was attacked by gunfire. Klyan was on a bus of mothers traveling to a military base in Donetsk to demand that their sons be allowed to go home. According to reports, Ukrainian forces opened fire when the bus approached the military base. Two correspondents from VGTRK, a Russian central television and radio broadcasting company, special correspondent Igor Kornelyuk and sound engineer Anton Voloshin, were killed June 17 during a mortar attack near Luhansk while filming a report about militias helping to evacuate refugees from the combat zone.
The June 9 death of Edgar Pantaleón Fernández Fleitas, a radio host and a lawyer, was the second murder within a month of a journalist in Paraguay. Fernández was killed in his home office in Concepción by a gunman who entered and then fled. Fernández had just returned home after hosting his radio program “City of Fury,” which was harshly critical of local judges, lawyers, and officials.
Elisabeth Blanche Olofio, a radio journalist in the Central Africa Republic, died June 23 from injuries sustained during a brutal January 2013 attack by armed rebels who accused her of having “a sharp tongue.” The rebels attacked and destroyed Olofio’s home, reportedly in response to her reporting.
Yusuf Keynan, a Somali journalist, was murdered June 21 when a bomb planted under the seat of his car exploded as he started the vehicle to travel to work in Mogadishu. Keynan, who worked for privately owned Radio Mustaqbal and a U.N. humanitarian station, is the second journalist to be killed this year in Somalia.
Nilo Baculo Sr., a Filipino radio journalist who was denied protection in 2008, was gunned down June 9 by a gunman on a motorcycle as he was going home in Calapan, in the central province of Mindoro Oriental. Baculo, who made many enemies because of his investigative coverage of crimes and irregularities involving local officials, had been granted provisional protection after he was told in 2008 that a price had been put on his head. An appeals court later rescinded the order for lack of evidence and Baculo went into hiding, although he continued working.
Daniel Sieberg, an associate OPC board member, was the keynote speaker in June for a reception for the top individual and institutional clients of Oman Arab Bank.
Sieberg, who had been a technology reporter for ABC News, CBS News, CNN, BBC News and the Vancouver Sun, is a senior marketing manager at Google. He spoke about using technology to achieve a balance between productivity and efficiency.
Beverly Pepper told The Telegraph in London that Curtis Bill Pepper, a long-time OPC member who died in April, was “the perfect husband. He was never threatened by my work. He did everything to make it possible and I did everything for him. We were a good team.” At 91, Beverly still works as a sculptor and opened her first show in London in July at Marlborough Fine Art. Her work has been collected by major museums around the world. Her site-specific pieces include three cast iron sculptures called Manhattan Sentinels that stand in New York City’s Federal Plaza. The Peppers made their home in Italy, where Bill worked for United Press, CBS News and Newsweek before becoming an author.
For the first time, a woman will head the global news operation of Agence France-Presse, which has 2,260 journalists spread across almost every country. Michèle Léridon, who joined the news agency in 1981, was named to replace News Director Philippe Massonnet, who announced he was stepping down for personal reasons. Léridon, who will begin her new job Aug. 1, has been Rome bureau chief since 2009. She has worked in senior positions at AFP’s Paris headquarters and in Africa, including as Abidjan deputy bureau chief, deputy editor-in-chief for Europe and Africa, head of the social affairs service and as managing editor from 2006 to 2009.
OPC member James Brooke in July became editor-in-chief of The Khmer Times. “The KT is the youngest newspaper for this fast growing nation,” Brooke wrote in an e-mail. “Only two months old, the paper has a lot of energy, a lot of color, and a lot of enthusiasm. Making the KT a must-read in Cambodia’s competitive media market is going to be a lot of fun!” Brooke first visited Cambodia in 2004 on assignment for The New York Times. He returned in March for a short stint at The Cambodia Daily. Brooke, who has reported from almost 100 countries, was a correspondent for The Times in Africa, Latin America, Canada, Japan and the Koreas. This year he left as bureau chief for Voice of America in Moscow, where he moved in 2006 to report for Bloomberg.
In foreign postings, competitors often become friends but rarely collaborators. Now, senior correspondents for two of the world’s biggest news agencies have together written Lisbon Water Kills, a crime novel set during the Portuguese financial crisis. The authors are Axel Bugge, who has reported from Portugal for Reuters for nine years, and Barry Hatton, who covered the country since 1977 for The Associated Press.
The Newseum in June added the names of 10 journalists to a memorial now listing 2,256 journalists who have died while covering the news since 1837. International organizations that work to protect journalists have counts that range from 70 to 120 for journalists killed in 2013. Gene Policinski, Newseum chief operating officer, said the decision to limit the number of names was made this year because the expansion of digital media makes it difficult to determine who is a journalist and who has died pursuing the news.
Martin Dickson, a former OPC board member, retired in June from a 37-year career at the Financial Times with plans to return home to London. As U.S. managing editor since September 2012, he oversaw print and online editions in North America and led the FT to numerous honors, including a Gerald Loeb Award. Gillian Tett, who Dickson succeeded in 2012 when she went on book leave, is returning as managing editor. Dickson has held senior writing and editing positions at the FT and has won numerous awards, including Business Journalist of the Year and Best Opinion Writer of the Year in Business Journalist of the Year Awards and a Wincott Foundation award as Senior Financial Journalist of the Year.
Sonya K. Fry may have stepped down as executive director of the OPC but she says she doesn’t want to step away from the many friends she made during 20 years with the club. She can be reached at her personal e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
OPC member David Muir, who served as presenter at this year’s OPC awards banquet, will succeed Diane Sawyer on Sept. 2 as anchor of “ABC World News.” Muir has been a lead correspondent for the ABC on major news stories, a weekend anchor and since 2011 served as Sawyer’s chief substitute. Sawyer will become a full-time anchor for investigative reports and major interviews. Muir will continue to anchor ABC’s magazine show “20/20.” In a break from tradition, the “World News” anchor will not be the lead anchor for breaking news coverage: that job will go to George Stephanopoulos, a co-host of “Good Morning America” and the host of the Sunday talk show “This Week.”
Mike Pride, the former editor of The Concord Monitor, will replace Sig Gissler in September as the administrator of the Pulitzer Prizes. Pride served four times as a juror for the Pulitzers and was a Pulitzer board member from 1999 through 2008. Gissler, former editor of the Milwaukee Journal, oversaw the prizes for 12 years, succeeding Seymour Topping, an OPC board member and former managing editor of The New York Times who held the post from 1993 until 2002.