2015 July-December Issue
By Trish Anderton
Stephen Kalin, who won the Roy Rowan Scholarship in 2013, is now with the Reuters bureau in Baghdad covering political and some economic news. Most recently Stephen was with the Reuters Cairo bureau.
Max Strasser, 2008 Alexander Kendrick winner, has been named an editor of the op-ed section of The New York Times. Until recently an associate editor for Foreign Policy, Max spent several years in the Middle East, mostly in Cairo where he was the former news editor at Egypt Independent, the English-language sister paper of Al-Masry Al-Youm, Egypt’s leading newspaper. His writing has appeared online or in print in The Nation, The New Statesman, The London Review of Books, Foreign Affairs, The Atlantic, Newsweek, and elsewhere.
OPC member Lynsey Addario received the Gaudium Award on Nov. 9 from the Breukelein Institute, a charitable organization in Brooklyn. The award honors people whose efforts in the arts and public service have “illumined the horizon of human experience.” Michele McNally, assistant managing editor for Photography at The New York Times wrote that Addario’s “contributions to the stories of conflict, and the consequential human tragedies it produces, elicit emotional and powerful responses.”
2012 Robert Capa Gold Medal Award winner Manu Brabo has won the British Journalism Award for photojournalism. Brabo, who shared a Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Photography in 2013, is a freelancer who has photographed conflicts in countries including Libya, Egypt and Syria. Alan Rusbridger, former editor-in-chief of The Guardian, won the BJA’s Marie Colvin Award for courage in journalism.
OPC members Sheri Fink and Adam Nossiter have been honored by the American Association for the Advancement of Science for their reporting on the Ebola epidemic. Fink and Nossiter won a silver medal in the Online division of the Kavli Science Journalism Award, which they shared with New York Times colleagues Pam Belluck, Kevin Sack, Daniel Berehulak and the Times graphics team, along with Dan Edge of Frontline. The awards honor distinguished reporting for a general audience by professional journalists.
Two-time Thomas Nast Award-winner Rob Rogers will be honored with the Clifford K. & James T. Berryman Award for Editorial Cartoons by the National Press Foundation in February. “Rogers has a vivid visual style that invites you in. He tackles really heavy issues with a light-handed visual touch,” the judges wrote. Rogers draws for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
2013 Robert Capa Gold Medal Award-winner Tyler Hicks, 2014 John Faber Award-winner Bulent Kilic, and 2014 Olivier Rebbot Award-winner Jérôme Sessini have all been recognized in the Spot News division of this year’s World Photo Awards. Kilic won first place in the single-photo category for his picture of a young woman injured in clashes in Istanbul. Hicks claimed second with a photo of Palestinian boys on a beach killed by an Israeli missile. Sessini claimed first and second place in the multi-photo stories category for his coverage of the crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 and the conflict in Ukraine.
NEW YORK: The New York Times tried a new way of measuring the impact of its content this year: it looked at the total amount of time spent on a story by all readers. OPC Governor Rukmini Kallimachi’s groundbreaking story on systematized rape within ISIS placed in the top 20 for 2015, as did the investigation of the Navy’s Seal Team 6 co-bylined by member John Ismay.
The Columbia Journalism Review named OPC member Martin Smith’s Frontline documentary Inside Assad’s Syria to its Best Journalism list for 2015. CJR writes that the video “ventures into regime-controlled regions of the war-torn country, providing a rare glimpse at daily life on that side of the civil war” and reminding us that “in any conflict, most people are driven by simple motivations of keeping their families safe and lives intact.”
OPC member Lindsay Sarah Krasnoff is the new communications director for Salon Media Group, returning to New York after seven years with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Public Affairs, Office of the Historian. In her spare time, she continues to write about French soccer and basketball, with pieces this fall for Vice Sport and CNN International, and serve as communications consultant for the Sport in the Cold War project.
OPC member Ruth Gruber will have photos on display at the Brooklyn College Library Art Gallery through Feb. 12. Gruber, who recently turned 104, was a pioneering photojournalist. She documented, among other things, the flight of Jewish refugees from Europe in 1944 and life in the Soviet Arctic in the mid-1930s. According to the New York-based International Center of Photography, which organized the exhibit, the images will include “never-before-seen color photographs and vintage prints, made over more than half a century, on four continents, alongside contemporary prints made from her original negatives.” After the exhibit closes in New York it will tour other parts of the country.
The New York Times has offered buyouts to its video staff, and layoffs are possible as part of an ongoing video-desk reorganization, according to Politico Media. The paper is also hiring new video talent and has installed Alex MacCallum, who was previously an assistant managing editor overseeing audience development, to head up the team.
NEW LONDON: OPC Governor Rukmini Callimachi will be the keynote speaker at Connecticut College’s 98th Commencement on May 22, 2016. Callimachi, an investigative reporter for The New York Times, was chosen by a committee of Connecticut College students, faculty and staff. She will receive an honorary degree.
WASHINGTON, DC: National Geographic announced 180 layoffs in November, soon after 21st Century Fox expanded its ownership stake in the company. Rupert Murdoch, executive chairman of 21st Century Fox, tweeted that only four of the cuts came at the magazine while the rest were at the National Geographic Society. Fox now owns 73 percent of the company, while the National Geographic Society controls the remaining 27 percent.
OPC member Evan Osnos was invited to appear at the recent National Book Festival. Osnos spoke on the rise of individualism and ambition in China, the subject of his book published earlier this year, Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth and Faith in the New China.
LOS ANGELES: More than 80 Los Angeles Times staffers accepted buyout offers in late November, in an exodus felt throughout the paper. “Nearly every department got hit,” wrote CNN Money, “including metro, national and international desks, as well as sports, obits, food, education, business beats and the editorial page.” The paper’s parent company, Tribune Publishing, had signaled the impending cuts in October; it also owns the Chicago Tribune and Baltimore Sun.
Carol Williams, who shared the 2014 Bob Considine Award with Sergei Loiko for their coverage of the conflict in Ukraine, has accepted one of the early retirement buyouts at the Los Angeles Times. Williams writes that she plans “to stay engaged in international affairs with a focus on Russia” and is also in the process of moving to the Seattle area. The 2014 award was her third from the OPC. Also taking buyouts are former Baghdad bureau chief Tina Susman, who appeared on an OPC panel about female war reporters in 2013, and London bureau chief Henry Chu.
OPC member Rachel Boynton’s 2005 documentary about American campaign tactics in the Bolivian presidential race, Our Brand is Crisis, has inspired a Hollywood drama of the same name. The fictionalized Our Brand is Crisis stars Sandra Bullock and Billy Bob Thornton and was released on Oct. 30 to mixed reviews. If you missed Boynton’s documentary, which gets an impressive 92 percent favorable rating on RottenTomatoes.com, it’s available on Amazon.
NEW ORLEANS: It’s not uncommon for OPC members to win prizes; however, being a prize is considerably rarer. The 2015 New Orleans Film Festival offered a consultation with Simon Kilmurry as part of its prize in the Documentary Features category. The winner was first-time Spanish director Irene Gutiérrez. Kilmurry himself received the OPC’s Edward R. Murrow award earlier this year.
DES MOINES, IOWA: 2012 OPC Lifetime Achievement Award winner Tom Brokaw will headline a key business event in Des Moines just days before the Iowa presidential caucuses. The former NBC News anchor will address the Greater Des Moines Partnership’s annual dinner on Jan. 25.
MOSCOW: 2011 Madeline Dane Ross Award-winner Andrew Higgins is joining the New York Times Moscow bureau as a correspondent. He previously covered the human crisis from Germany and the economic crisis in Greece for the paper. Higgins has been a foreign correspondent for The New York Times since 2012. Before joining the Washington Post in 2009, Higgins worked at The Wall Street Journal, The Independent and Reuters news agency.
HONG KONG: The South China Morning Post, Hong Kong’s venerable daily, has been bought by Chinese online giant Alibaba in a move that raises concerns for the paper’s editorial freedom. The English-language paper has a history of reporting on sensitive issues such as political protests and human rights. While Alibaba says it will not interfere with the Post’s operations or censor stories, some analysts have expressed concern over whether the company will soften its China reporting in order to curry favor with the government.
MANILA: OPC member Jaime FlorCruz was recently profiled in The Standard (Philippines), which traced his remarkable launch as a journalist. In 1971, as a 20-year-old business student, FlorCruz went to China for a study tour. While he was abroad, then-President Ferdinand Marcos suspended the writ of habeas corpus. Months later, Marcos would declare martial law. FlorCruz and 14 other student leaders stayed in China rather than face possible arrest at home. He studied Chinese history and learned Mandarin. As China began re-opening to the outside world, his skills came into demand. FlorCruz got hired by Newsweek and went on to become CNN’s Beijing bureau chief and the most senior foreign correspondent in China. FlorCruz retired in 2014 and is now working on his memoirs.
Barry Schweid, who covered some of the biggest international stories of the 20th century as diplomatic correspondent for the Associated Press, died on Dec. 10 from complications of a neurological condition. He was 83. Schweid wrote about the Camp David talks that resulted in a historic 1977 peace treaty between Egypt and Israel. He also chronicled the collapse of the Soviet Union while traveling with Secretary of State James Baker.
New York Times reporter Tom Buckley, who covered Vietnam for the paper and later wrote a book on U.S. relations with Central America, died on Nov. 19 from lung cancer. He was 87. In a nearly 30-year career at the Times, Buckley worked his way up from copy boy to U.N. correspondent and war reporter. He would also cover national and local news and even file book, movie and TV reviews.
By Trish Anderton
Congratulations to 2015 Flora Lewis Fellowship winner Makini Brice, who not only had her OPC Foundation fellowship extended in the Reuters bureau in Dakar, but has received a Reuters National Association of Black Journalists fellowship as well. The NABJ program recognizes “rising reporters, recent graduates or business professionals who demonstrate a clear commitment to a career in journalism and an ability to generate story ideas relevant for a Reuters audience, with a focus on multimedia, using text, video and/or graphics.” It will extend her stay for up to an additional nine months.
Devon Haynie, who won the Flora Lewis Fellowship in 2008, is now News Editor, International for U.S. News and World Report. The magazine is creating a new global team focused on news features and magazine-style journalism. In her new role, she’ll be covering international news stories and editing content from freelancers and others on staff. Devon spent her OPC Foundation fellow in the Johannesburg bureau of the Associated Press.
2013 Walter and Betsy Cronkite Scholarship winner Frederick Bernas recently co-bylined a story in The New York Times about a fictional candidate who has touched off a debate over race and politics in Argentina. “Omar Obaca” was invented by an advertising company as a satirical figure, and has become wildly popular. Bernas is working as a freelancer journalist, filmmaker and photographer in Latin America.
2009 Emanuel R. Freedman Scholarship winner Simon Akam is a visiting fellow at the Oxford University Changing Character of War program. He will use his time to work on his book The Changing of the Guard, an examination of the recent evolution of the British Army, to be published by Penguin Random House imprint William Heinemann. Simon spent his OPC fellowship in the Reuters bureau in Istanbul. He worked at The New York Times and subsequently spent several years in West Africa as a correspondent for Reuters and the Economist before joining Newsweek in the UK.
OPC member Marcus Bleasdale is a co-winner of the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund Fellowship. He was honored for “Financing the Failure of a State,” which documented the turmoil in the Central African Republic and how it is affecting citizens. He shares the award with fellow photographer Mary F. Calvert.
International columnist Mona Eltahawy, who lit the Press Freedom Candle at the 2011 OPC Awards Dinner, was honored at the Women’s Media Awards on Nov. 5. Eltahawy, a freelance writer and commentator on the Middle East, women’s issues and other topics, won the Speaking Truth to Power Award. PBS Newshour co-anchors Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff received the Pat Mitchell Lifetime Achievement Award.
NEW YORK OPC President Marcus Mabry has left The New York Times to lead Twitter’s curated trending news feature, Twitter Moments. He will oversee the U.S. curation team. Twitter describes the new handpicked Moments feature as “the best of what’s happening on Twitter in an instant.”
Mabry announced the news, appropriately, on Twitter. He had been Editor at large at the Times.
OPC Secretary Deidre Depke has joined American Public Media’s “Marketplace.” She will serve as New York Bureau Chief for the popular public radio offering. Depke previously managed a small consultancy working with new media startups and is a former editor of the Daily Beast.
After seven years, former OPC President David Andelman is stepping down as Editor of World Policy Journal. Andelman will become the Journal’s Editor Emeritus and will focus on book projects as well as expanding his speaking engagements. He will also continue in his role on the Board of Contributors of USA Today.
Longtime OPC member Micah Garen and documentary filmmaker Marie-Helene Carleton have finished work on a way for festivals and competitions to use a cloud-based video platform, ScreeningRoom, to host, share and comment on videos during the submission process. ScreeningRoom launched in April this year at the Hot Docs International Documentary Festival in Toronto. The company’s mission is to help build sustainability in the film and journalism community. Future plans include more web-based applications, including community fundraising and micro-payment digital distribution.
Abigail Pesta, Second Vice President of the OPC’s Board of Governors, has inked a deal with HarperCollins imprint Katherine Tegen Books to tell the extraordinary life story of Sandra Uwiringiyimana. As a child in Africa, Uwiringiyimana survived a machete massacre. She later came to America and began photographing her fellow survivors. Now in college in New York, she is becoming a voice for forgotten people around the world. Pesta says “We’ll tell her story in a young adult book that we will aim to get into schools across the country.”
New York Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. has outlined plans for his succession. Sulzberger, 64, told the paper’s employees during his annual “State of The Times” speech that a deputy publisher would be named within two years. Sulzberger underlined that his family is “deeply committed to The Times for the long term,” according to CNN Money. New York Magazine reported in August that there were three contenders for the job: Sulzberger’s son Arthur Gregg “A.G.” Sulzberger; his nephew David Perpich, 38; and Sam Dolnick, 34, the son of Sulzberger’s cousin.
VICE News has launched its fourth European website. VICE News Italy joins the company’s existing operations in the U.K., France and Spain. Editor-in-Chief Jason Mojica tells the Guardian that further expansions are planned in the Netherlands, Germany, Brazil and Australia before the end of the year. “These aren’t outposts for American journalists to go work out of,” Mojica adds. “They are local teams who know the lay of the land and are surfacing true enterprise journalism and stories that are generally unreported in mainstream media.” Things are busy at VICE: it’s launching four new verticals in 2016 – health, money, travel and gaming – according to TheMediaBriefing.com, and a U.S. TV network plus a dozen European ones, CNBC reports.
VICE has hired OPC member Alberto Riva to be its U.S. Managing Editor. He will be based in Brooklyn. Riva had previously been senior world news editor at International Business Times, where he supervised reporters and freelancers around the globe and helped coordinate content between the IBT and Newsweek after the latter’s purchase in 2013.
Time magazine has promoted OPC member Bryan Walsh from foreign editor to international editor. Walsh told Politico he was focusing on “trying to integrate the international edition with the brand as a whole” and “trying to figure out how we can best grow our audience globally.” He added that the magazine is expanding its bureau in India to produce content for the large numbers of English speakers there.
BOSTON: OPC member Aaron Schachter, who shared the 2014 Lowell Thomas Award with Marine Olivesi, is leaving Public Radio International’s “The World” for a post at the network’s parent company, WGBH Boston. Schachter will serve as executive producer and editor in WGBH Radio’s expanding newsroom.
ATLANTA: OPC member Lynsey Addario gave a sold-out talk at the Fernbank Museum of Natural History in late October, where some of her photos are also on display in the “Women of Vision: National Geographic Photographers on Assignment” exhibit. The talk was part of the Atlanta Celebrates Photography festival.
CBS News correspondent Lara Logan drew a standing room only crowd for her featured address at the Radio Show in Atlanta on Sept. 30. Logan recently signed a new two-year deal with CBS News, according to the New York Post. She is still battling to recover from injuries she suffered in a sexual assault while covering the Tahrir Square uprisings in Egypt in 2011, and was hospitalized earlier this year. Logan and her crew won the 2006 David Kaplan Award for their reporting from Ramadi, Iraq.
BERLIN: Berlinica Publishing, founded by OPC member Eva Schweitzer, is bringing out a new title in December. Leipzig! One Thousand Years of German History celebrates the “city of books and music,” where Martin Luther debated the future of Christianity and J.S. Bach composed cantatas. The author is Leipzig novelist and tour guide Sebastian Ringel.
OPC member Anders Melin’s recent Bloomberg story on the $32 million pension payout that is likely coming to Martin Winterkorn, the disgraced former head of Volkswagen, was widely cited by other media outlets. Winterkorn, Germany’s second-highest paid CEO, stepped down in September after the stunning revelation that the company had outfitted millions of its diesel cars with software designed to fool emissions tests.
OPC member Gail Edmondson began a new job Oct. 1 as global editor at the management consulting firm Bain & Company. The position is based in Berlin. Edmondson was formerly a foreign correspondent at BusinessWeek.
LISBON, PORTUGAL: Dennis Redmont, an OPC member, has succeeded in declassifying the Political Police dossier compiled on him when he was an AP foreign correspondent under the dictatorship of Portugal’s Antonio Salazar. He wrote about his file, and the anti-government activists he covered in those years, in a story for Politico.com. “The Portuguese have not forgotten about their past,” Salazar writes. “They endlessly debate the dark days of the Salazar “Estado Novo” in their now uncensored media – like the mournful national Fado music that echoes in the country’s heart.”
LONDON: Francesco Guerrera, former global finance editor at The Wall Street Journal, will join Politico Europe as associate editor and chief financial correspondent. Politico launched its European arm last spring, and plans to roll out a financial services news product early next year to tie together coverage of EU politics and regulatory policy with the world of finance.
SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA: The McClatchy newspaper company is closing its remaining foreign bureaus in Beijing, Mexico City, Istanbul and Berlin, and reorganizing its Washington, DC bureau, it announced on Oct. 12. “Our foreign correspondents, many of our most veteran reporters, will return to the U.S. to play prominent roles at home,” the company said in a memo. The Washington operation will “place most of its emphasis on regional stories and political coverage.”
SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, CALIFORNIA: Robert Nickelsberg, an OPC Board of Governors member, is known for his photographs of conflicts in places like Kashmir, Iraq, Sri Lanka, India and Afghanistan. But recently he documented a more intimate struggle: his father’s death at home in California. The photos ran on the Al Jazeera America website along with Nickelsberg’s comments and those of his father’s hospice nurses. Nickelsberg expresses admiration for the hospice workers, noting how well they work as a team and quoting their insights on death and dying.
WASHINGTON, DC: The National Journal will cut 25% of staff and reorganize into a paid subscription service, Atlantic Media has announced. Some of the departing staffers will go to The Atlantic, which is expanding and absorbing some of the Journal’s functions. The company had already gone digital-only with the 46-year-old magazine earlier this year, cancelling its print edition.
OPC member Sandy Ciric sat on the judging panel for the 2015 Women Photographers of Washington exhibit, which debuted at D.C.’s FotoWeek in early November. The show, which features 26 images on women’s issues, will later make the rounds of universities and galleries across the United States.
BEKAA VALLEY, LEBANON: OPC member Alessandria Masi of the International Business Times wrote an interesting story in early November about Hezbollah’s non-denominational military unit. The Saraya al-Muqawama, or Resistance Brigades, gives Sunnis and Christians a way to fight alongside Hezbollah’s Shiites. “Lebanon is my country… I am patriotic. I wanted to join the resistance and Hezbollah came by and they offered the ideology of resistance,” explains one brigade member. A Hezbollah recruiter says enrollments are rising due to concerns about the strength of Islamic State in the region.
TEL ALO, SYRIA: OPC member Roy Gutman probed a new set of U.S. allies in Syria and found their loyalties mixed and their priorities often poorly aligned with the Obama administration’s goals. The administration has recruited a local tribal militia and a Kurdish force to help roust Islamic State from its home base in Raqqa, Syria. Gutman found the groups downplayed the importance of Raqqa and wanted to pursue their own agendas, including fighting Wahabi Islam and capturing an unrelated stretch of land that is strategically important to the Kurds. The differences in goals, Gutman writes, “are the latest sign that Obama administration decisions to fix one problem could have long-term and unintended implications.”
Susan Topping, daughter of longtime OPC member Seymour Topping, has died of cancer at age 64. An actor and dancer, Topping performed in Joseph Papp’s theater company and other companies in New York and Los Angeles. She was also a lighting designer, choreographer, director and writer, and was well known for her animal rescue work. “She was a very special person and a real fighter,” Seymour told TheMountainMall.com.
BBC and ITN reporter Sue Lloyd-Roberts died Oct. 13 at age 64. Lloyd-Roberts was known for going undercover in dangerous locations. According to the Guardian, she was the first journalist into Homs, Syria in 2011, having herself smuggled in under a false ID and pretending to be deaf and mute. She continued to report from China after being given a seven-year sentence in absentia for a story she did on the human organ trade in 1994. “She went to dangerous places to give a voice to people who otherwise would not be heard,” BBC director general Tony Hall told the paper.
By Trish Anderton
2015 Emanuel R. Freedman scholarship winner Ben Taub has another piece in The New Yorker. “Whom Can You Trust on the Syrian Border” describes the difficulties of trying to decipher people’s affiliations and stay secure as a reporter on the Turkish border in 2013.
After an OPC Foundation fellowship with the Associated Press in Uganda, J.p. Lawrence, the 2015 H.L. Stevenson Fellowship winner, has begun his job as a breaking news re porter on the crime beat for the Albany Times Union in Albany, NY.
Beth Dickinson, who won the 2007 I.F. Stone Scholarship, has been awarded a grant of $6,000 from the International Women’s Media Foundation for an in-depth writing project that challenges traditional narratives on women’s rights in the Persian Gulf. Dickinson is a member of the global journalist cooperative Deca, and is based in the Arabian Peninsula. She also has a new Kindle Single out called “Godfathers and Thieves: How Syria’s Diaspora Crowd-Sourced a Revolution.”
2013 Nathan S. Bienstock Memorial Scholarship winner Jacob Kushner has the cover story in the September/October edition of Moment magazine. “Birthright Denied” is an in-depth look at the Dominican Republic’s campaign to strip citizenship from the children of Haitian immigrants. The story was funded by Moment’s Daniel Pearl Investigative Journalism Initiative.
2015 Walter and Betsy Cronkite Scholar Ted Andersen has landed his first New York Times story with the Associated Press. He wrote about American companies fracking in Thailand.
Jenny Starrs, winner of the 2015 Nathan S. Bienstock Memorial Scholarship, completed her OPC Foundation fellowship with the GroundTruth Project – founded by OPC member Charles Sennott – in Washington, D.C. Her multimedia project shows how the U.S. lags behind much of the world in terms of women’s participation in politics. Starrs starts soon as the overnight digital video editor for the Morning Mix at the Washington Post, where she’ll provide both standalone videos and video content to embed in articles posted in the morning.
Tom Finn, winner of the H.L. Stevenson Award in 2013, is headed to Dohar as the Qatar correspondent for Reuters. Most recently a reporter for Middle East Eye, Finn will be writing about Qatar’s dominant gas sector, tracking its preparations for the 2022 World Cup and looking at Qatar’s stormy relations with its neighbors rooted in Doha’s alliance with the Muslim Brotherhood. Finn was an OPC Foundation fellow in the Reuters bureau in Cairo and previously worked with the Yemen Times.
Congratulations to Frederick Bernas, Walter and Betsy Cronkite Scholar in 2013, on being named an International Reporting Project fellow. He will join 10 other international journalists for 11 days in October in Ecuador reporting on that country’s healthcare and development, specifically the discrepancies that persist between the quality of care and resources available at public and private facilities. A freelance journalist based in Buenos Aires, his work has been published by AP, the BBC, CNN, The New York Times, Reuters, The Guardian, VICE, Al Jazeera and others. Bernas had an OPC fellowship in the AP bureau in Buenos Aires.
OPC Second Vice President Abigail Pesta has won a Front Page Award in the Interview category from the Newswomen’s Club of New York for “Chelsea Manning: No More Secrets,” co-bylined with Sara Austin. The Marie Colvin Award for Foreign Correspondence went to 2009 Hal Boyle Award winner Farniz Fassihi of the Wall Street Journal.
OPC member Kathy Gannon of the Associated Press is slated to receive the Committee to Protect Journalists’ Burton Benjamin Memorial Award for lifetime achievement in November. Gannon was badly injured in a shooting while covering the 2014 presidential elections in eastern Afghanistan; her reporting partner, AP photographer Anja Niedringhaus, was killed in the attack. “Gannon is widely known as one of the most thoughtful and dedicated journalists covering the region,” said CPJ board chair Sandra Mims Rowe, adding that Gannon’s commitment to journalism “has transcended personal risk and tragedy.” In June, Gannon was honored with the James Foley Medal For Courage in Journalism – a prize given by Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism to recognize “moral, ethical or physical courage in the pursuit of a story or series of stories.”
New York Times Paris bureau chief and OPC member Alissa J. Rubin has won the 2015 John Chancellor Award for Excellence in Journalism. The prize, named after longtime NBC News anchor John Chancellor, is presented annually by the Columbia University School of Journalism to honor a reporter for his or her cumulative accomplishments. “Both quietly courageous and fiercely intellectual, Rubin covers conflict through human stories of the soldiers, victims and survivors of war,” wrote the school in a statement. “Her work is marked by a deep understanding of the Middle East and its people, from besieged Yazidis and female Iraqi insurgents, to Afghan women struggling to gain their rights.” Rubin, who won the 2009 Ed Cunningham award, is back reporting from the region after suffering serious injuries in a helicopter crash in Iraq last year.
OPC governor Martin Smith presented an Emmy to his wife, Marcela Gaviria, at the 36th Annual News & Documentary Emmy Awards on Sept. 29. Gavira won for Outstanding Research on Frontline’s “Firestone and the Warlord,” about the relationship between the global tire giant and Liberia’s Charles Taylor. Not to be outdone, Smith took home two statuettes himself: one for Outstanding Coverage of a Current News Story – Long Form and the other for Best Documentary. Both awards were for his work as a producer of Frontline’s “United States of Secrets,” about mass surveillance in the post-9/11 era.
Simon Kilmurry, an OPC member, won two Emmys for his work as executive producer on two POV documentaries. “After Tiller” shared the Best Documentary award with “United States of Secrets.” It follows the lives of the only four doctors in America still providing late-term abortions. “When I Walk” tells the story of independent filmmaker Jason DaSilva and his battle with multiple sclerosis; it won the award for Outstanding Informational Programming – Long Form.
OPC members Sheri Fink and Adam Nossiter, along with fellow New York Times staffers Kevin Sack, Pam Belluck and Daniel Berehulak, were finalists in the Explanatory Reporting category of this year’s Online News Awards for their reporting on Ebola. The Times team won a Hal Boyle award` for its Ebola coverage earlier this year.
OPC member C.J. Chivers was a finalist for the ONA’s Al Neuharth Excellence in Investigative Journalism Award for his New York Times story, “The Secret Casualties of Iraq’s Abandoned Chemical Weapons.” Chivers won the OPC’s Best Investigative Reporting award with that story earlier this year.
NEW YORK: OPC member and former Bulletin correspondent Susan Kille went home from the hospital and happily consumed non-hospital food following her lung transplant surgery, but the road to recovery is bumpy. She thanks everyone for their kind thoughts.
Four Corners Media, co-founded by OPC member Micah Garen, had a documentary air on Al-Jazeera English in early October. Off the Rails: A Journey Through Japan travels to big cities and rural backwaters by train, exploring what the country’s railways reveal about Japan’s changing society.
Former McGraw Hill Executive Vice President Ted Smyth has been appointed vice chair and chief of staff at global PR behemoth Edelman. PR Week reports that Smyth, an OPC member, will serve as senior strategist in the food and beverage and financial sectors, among other duties. Before his six years at McGraw Hill, Smyth worked at HJ Heinz.
New member Kaya Yurieff has joined the new digital team at Worth Magazine, where she’s conducting interviews, writing for the websites, editing and covering events. Worth is a financial and lifestyle magazine founded in 1992 and re-launched by Sandow in 2009.
OPC member Sally Jacobsen is a co-editor of the new interactive e-book version of the AP Stylebook. The Associated Press released the new edition in September with Basic Books, which also publishes the print version of the vaunted style guide. While an interactive version was already available on the web and in apps, “Stylebook fans have asked for an e-book version for years,” the organization said in a press release. With more than 5,000 entries, this year’s edition is also the biggest ever.
BOSTON: The GroundTruth Project, launched in 2014 by OPC member Charles Sennott, has received $300,000 from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The grant will provide general operating support of $300,000 over two years for reporting projects on “climate change, youth unemployment, global health and the legacy of the Arab Spring,” Sennott said in a press release. Meanwhile, Sennott’s previous project, GlobalPost, is being acquired by public broadcaster WGBH. GlobalPost’s operations will merge with those of WGBH’s Public Radio International group, which produces the radio show “The World.” “This new chapter for GlobalPost is exciting and a very positive development for all involved,” said Sennott in a statement. “It demonstrates PRI and WGBH’s commitment to and investment in international news in a dramatic way.”
Atish Saha, winner of this year’s Madline Dane Ross award, is exhibiting his photos of the Rana Plaza factory collapse at the EMW Gallery in Cambridge. The 2013 disaster in Dhaka, Bangladesh claimed more than 1,100 lives. Saha’s photos are being shown alongside Bryan MacCormack’s pictures of the perilous trek migrants make across the Sonoran Desert of Mexico and Arizona, in an effort to highlight the individual tragedies underlying large death tolls. Saha has returned to Bangladesh after months of travel in the U.S., and hopes to come back next year.
PROVO, Utah: John Hughes retired as a professor of international communications at Brigham Young University on Sept. 1. An OPC member, Hughes won the Pulitzer Prize for international reporting in 1967 and the OPC prize for best reporting from abroad in 1970 as a foreign correspondent for The Christian Science Monitor. He was a Nieman fellow at Harvard in 1962. Later, as editor of the Monitor for nine years, he served on the Pulitzer selection board, and as president of the American Society of Newspaper Editors. His biography, Paper Boy to Pulitzer, was published by Nebbadoon Press in 2014.
WESTPORT, Conn.: OPC member Gordon Joseloff recently gave a speech about his journalism career to the Y’s Men of Westport Weston, a club for retirees. His talk was titled “Westport to Westport: A Journalism Journey,” because he got his start reporting for the local newspaper and is now, at 70, the editor and publisher of WestportNow.com. In between, he worked for United Press international and CBS News in New York, London, Moscow, Tokyo and other places. Joseloff has also served as a Westport selectman.
HOUSTON: A new campaign has been launched to raise awareness of the fate of journalist Austin Tice, who has been missing since August 2012. Tice disappeared while preparing to travel from Syria to Lebanon. He is believed to be held somewhere in the region, and not by ISIS. His family and Reporters Without Borders unveiled the #FreeAustinTice campaign in September. Supporters are encouraged to take a photo wearing a blindfold, to symbolize what the world would be like without journalists, and post it with the #FreeAustinTice hashtag. Partners in the effort include Gannett & USA TODAY, GlobalPost, Hearst Newspapers Group, National Press Club, Newseum, The New York Times, TalkRadioNews, The Atlantic Media Group, The GroundTruth Project, The Huffington Post, McClatchy Newspapers, and the Washington Post.
SAN FRANCISCO: Vanity Fair editor and OPC member Graydon Carter interviewed famed photographer Annie Leibovitz onstage at the magazine’s New Establishment Summit in early October. The invitation-only event also featured Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk, Lena Dunham, and dozens of other speakers. It promised “inventive programming and inspiring conversations around the ideas and innovations shaping the future.” In addition, Carter keeps high-profile company in a recent Washington Post story compiling some of the many people who’ve been called losers by Donald Trump. “Losers: A List by Donald Trump” also includes Bill Maher, Seth Meyers, Salon.com and the Huffington Post.
OPC member Kristina Shevory landed a long piece in the Summer issue of The Believer, McSweeney’s literary magazine. “A Common Language” tells the story of a military and State Department vet who helps fellow veterans write their way through PTSD.
Longtime OPC member George Burns has died at age 86. Burns joined the OPC in 1965 and had just passed the 50-year mark as a member at the time of his death. He served as treasurer for many years and did extensive research and writing on the OPC’s history. Having helped lead the organization out of serious financial trouble in the mid-1990s, he is remembered by many as “the man who saved the OPC.” Born in Scranton, Penn., Burns began his career as a public information officer in the U.S. Air Force. After leaving the military, he ran the Pismo Beach Times in California and then tackled communications roles at PAN AM, TWA and Citibank. “He loved the travel and the people, but most of all he had fun,” states his obituary. “He was never too busy to help a friend, or tell a joke, host a dinner party, or meet up in a bar.” His wife, Barbara, who maintained her husband’s membership even while he was suffering with Alzheimer’s Disease, has been given an Honorary Membership to the OPC.
To read more about George Burns’s contribution to the OPC, including a 2013 article from William J. Holstein, go to our web page at www.opcofamerica.org/news/people-remembered-george-burns.
By Trish Anderton
Laura Rena Murray, who won the 2011 Irene Corbally Kuhn Scholarship, has been named a Lambda Literary Fellow and was invited to join the 2015 class of the Writers Retreat for Emerging LGBTQ Voices. The retreat was led by leading LGBT authors/mentors. Laura is an investigative journalist who tackles public interest and accountability stories that highlight corruption, mismanagement and human rights violations across the world. She has written for The New York Times, The Guardian, Al Jazeera America, the San Francisco Chronicle, SF Weekly, 100Reporters and the Center for Public Integrity.
Two Scholars have emerged as stars of The Wall Street Journal’s coverage of China. LingLing Wei, who won the Reuters Scholarship in 2001, has been the Journal’s lead reporter on China’s decision to devalue its currency. And 2012 S&P Award winner Eva Dou is covering the technology sector, including the government’s recent move to embed cybersecurity police units at major Internet companies.
James Reddick, 2015 Irene Corbally Kuhn Scholarship winner, is now at reporter in Phnom Penh for the Khmer Times, an English-language daily started by OPC member James Brooke. As noted below, the paper is rolling out a nationwide distribution system this month. James has previously worked as a reporter in Beirut.
2014 Irene Corbelly Kuhn Scholarship winner Maddy Crowell has published a long story and photos on Slate.com. The piece, part of a weekly series co-produced with the website Roads and Kingdoms, delves into South India’s Auroville, the world’s largest spiritual utopia.
Emily Witt, the Flora Lewis Internship winner in 2009, has just written a new book entitled Future Sex, published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. It’s described as a funny, fresh and moving antidote to conventional attitudes about sex and the single woman. Emily captures the experiences of going to bars alone, dating online, and hooking up with strangers.
2015 Jerry Flint Fellowship winner Tim Patterson has filed two stories from the AP bureau in Mexico City. His first piece is on the 90th anniversary of a cantina that some consider to be the home of mariachi music; the second is about the artisans who lovingly rehabilitate Mexico’s old Volkswagen Beetle taxis.
2015 Stan Swinton Fellowship awardee Miriam Berger has written a major AP story from Israel about a new law allowing the force-feeding of prisoners on hunger strike. The prisoner’s life must be in danger for the law to be invoked, and a judge must approve the feedings. The law has divided Israeli doctors, with some protesting that force-feeding is unethical while others argue that it’s their duty to keep a patient alive. Miriam has an OPC Foundation fellowship in the AP bureau in Jerusalem.
2013 Robert Spiers Benjamin Award winner Simon Romero is among five winners of the Maria Moors Cabot Prize, international journalism’s oldest award. Romero has reported for The New York Times since 1999, most recently as Brazil bureau chief. Columbia University, which sponsors the prize, praised Romero for “fairness and thoroughness in highly polarized situations.” The other winners include Mark Stevenson of the AP; Lucas Mendes of GloboNews, a 24-hour news channel; Raul Penaranda of Pagina Siete; and Ernesto Londono, also of The New York Times, who received a special citation.
New York Times reporter and OPC member C.J. Chivers, who won the 2014 Best Investigative Reporting Award for his remarkable story on U.S. troops’ exposure to chemical weapons in Iraq, is now a finalist for an Online News Association Award. The Secret Casualties of Iraq’s Abandoned Chemical Weapons is up for the Al Neuharth Innovation in Investigative Journalism Award. The Times’ ebola coverage, for which Adam Nossiter, Nori Onishi, Helene Cooper and Sheri Fink won the 2014 Hal Boyle Award, is also up for an Online News Association Award in the Explanatory Reporting category.
The American Society of Journalists and Authors has given its Conscience in Media Award to three American freelancers who names have become synonymous with the dangers of modern-day reporting: James Foley, Steven Sotloff, and Austin Tice. Foley and Sotloff were executed by the Islamic State in 2014, and Austin Tice was kidnapped in 2012 and is still missing. “These three men represent the highest values of journalism: courage, sacrifice and a firm commitment to the truth,” said ASJA President Randy Dotinga.“Their bravery and dedication is especially inspiring to us as fellow independent writers.” The Conscience in Media Award is given selectively and has been awarded only 11 times since 1975.
Austin Tice has also been honored with the National Press Club’s John Aubuchon Award for Press Freedom, along with the Washington Post’s Jason Rezaian and Radio Free Europe reporter Khadija Ismayilova. All three journalists have been detained for doing their jobs: Rezaian is currently imprisoned in Iran, while Ismayilova is jailed in Azerbaijan. “We are looking to put a spotlight on the great work being done by journalists in the face of adversity,” said National Press Club President John Hughes, “and to call attention to the cases of three journalists who are currently being wrongfully detained and who should be released immediately.”
ROCHESTER, NH: On August 19, the one year anniversary of freelance journalist James Foley’s death at the hands of ISIS, Foley’s parents announced their son would be remembered with a 5K run in his home town of Rochester. According to the James W. Foley Legacy Foundation website, the race “will commemorate Jim’s life and raise funds for American hostage advocacy, press freedom and educational opportunities for disadvantaged youth, which were passions for Jim.” The James Foley 5K can be run virtually or in person. More details are available at foleyfoundation5k.org. Foley’s legacy is being honored in other ways this fall, including a scholarship in his name at his alma mater, Marquette University; an Online News Association award; and a Middle East reporting fellowship sponsored by the GroundTruth Project.
BOSTON: The GroundTruth Project, founded and directed by OPC member Charles Sennott, has announced a $1 million initiative to bolster coverage of climate change around the world. According to GroundTruth, the initiative “will build a robust and diverse editorial team of reporting fellows and editors to lead a multimedia reporting project over the next three years that will track the impact of global warming.” Applications for up to five reporting fellowships are being accepted on the organization’s website.
NEW YORK: Board member Lara Setrakian has launched a new project on the California water crisis. “Water Deeply” pulls together reporting from veteran journalists and freelancers along with op-eds and daily news summaries. The site promises a more thorough and contextual look at the ongoing drought in the style of Setrakian’s other projects, “Syria Deeply” and “Ebola Deeply.” The new site is partnering with the Associated Press and McClatchy to reach a broad audience.
OPC Board of Governors member Rukmini Callimachi’s reporting on Islamic State’s horrific use of systematized rape has sent ripples across the news universe. Outlets ranging from Cosmopolitan to the Christian Science Monitor have picked up the story and credited Callimachi. She has also been interviewed by programs including PBS NewsHour and Public Radio International’s The Takeaway. Callimachi’s reporting in The New York Times detailed how Islamic State has created a system to kidnap Yazidi women and hold them in sexual slavery – and how the promise of rape has been used as an enticement to recruit young men into the ranks.
Retired OPC Executive Director Sonya Fry recently visited Ruth Gruber, the OPC’s oldest living member. Gruber turns 104 in September. In a long and storied career, she escorted Holocaust refugees to America, covered the Nuremberg trials, and spent more than 18 months traveling Alaska by plane, train, truck, paddle-wheel steamer, and dogsled to write a groundbreaking social and economic study. Gruber won the OPC’s Fay Gillis Award in 2009 – a special prize for women journalists that is given out on an ad hoc basis, only when there is an exceptional person to give it to. She keeps the award in a prominent place on her mantel.
Martin Smith, an OPC governor who ran for re-election, was not able to attend the Aug. 25 annual meeting to hear the results in person because he had his appendix removed that afternoon. In a note sent to the OPC following surgery, Martin said, “The surgeon thinks the infection likely came from my three weeks in Syria!!” Martin, a producer and correspondent at PBS Frontline, is recuperating at home. He was re-elected.
Former OPC Bulletin writer Susan Kille underwent lung transplant surgery in late August as she continues fighting a rare lung disease. Her husband Tom reports: “As they prepared to move her to the operating room someone asked if she was nervous, and she said no, she was excited!” Kille has been hitting all her postoperative milestones. Her family is grateful for the many supportive emails and Facebook posts from friends.
Long-time OPC member Sylvia (Sibby) Christensen reported that she broke her hip this summer and expected to return home in late August following surgery and a month-plus tour of the hospital/rehab world. That didn’t stop her from voting online in the OPC election on her iPod Touch hours before the deadline.
2009 Hal Boyle Award winner Farnaz Fassihi recently wrote about her experience of being attacked as a spy in the Iranian media. Fassihi is a senior correspondent on Iran and the Middle East for the Wall Street Journal. Conservative news organizations in Iran claim Fassihi acted as a go-between for the Obama administration and the opposition Green Movement in 2009. Fassihi writes in the Journal that it is heartbreaking to think that she might never be able to return to her homeland, but adds: “I take comfort in knowing that even my grandmother, who longs to see me one more time, has never asked me to stop doing what I do.” The Journal has condemned the accusations as “outlandish and irresponsible.”
KETCHUM, Id.: OPC member Sheri Fink appeared at the Sun Valley Writers’ Conference in Ketchum in July. The New York Times investigative reporter spoke about covering humanitarian disasters, and about Five Days at Memorial, her award-winning book on how the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina played at out one hospital – Memorial Medical Center in New Orleans.
PARIS: OPC member Christiane Amanpour has been named UNESCO’s Goodwill Ambassador for Freedom of Expression and Journalist Safety. The CNN Chief International Correspondent received the honor at a ceremony this spring. In her acceptance speech, Amanpour emphasized the role of journalists as “pillars of reform, freedom and democracy” whose task is to “strengthen civil society.”
PHNOM PENH: OPC member James Brooke reports that the Khmer Times, the newspaper he launched in 2014, is going nationwide this month. The paper is establishing news racks in all major Smart Mobile shops in the 25 provincial capitals in the Kingdom.
DECATUR, Ga.: OPC member Christopher Dickey was scheduled to give back-to-back talks at the Decatur Public Library Auditorium on Sept. 2 and 3. The first was on the last book by his father, poet James Dickey. The second was on his own new book, Our Man in Charleston: Britain’s Secret Agent in the Civil War South. The book tells the story of Robert Bunch, Britain’s consul in Charleston from 1853 to 1863, who played a key role in preventing his country from getting involved in the American Civil War. Dickey, who lives in Paris, is foreign editor for The Daily Beast.
MARSHALL ISLANDS: OPC member Coleen Jose has published a story in The Guardian with Kim Wall, also an OPC member, and Jan Hendrik Hinzel on a nuclear containment facility that threatens to spill tons of radioactive waste into the Pacific. The Runit Dome holds more than 111,000 cubic yards of debris from 12 years of nuclear tests. The concrete structure is already leaking, and scientists fear a catastrophic weather event could tear it open.
SACRAMENTO, Cal.: The McClatchy Company is denying rumors it plans to close its overseas bureaus. “We have not made any decision to close our foreign bureaus and are proud of the reporting our staff has provided to our readers over the years,” McClatchy President and CEO Pat Talamantes said in a statement sent to Politico. The newspaper chain currently has offices in Beijing, Berlin, Istanbul, Mexico City and Erbil, Iraq.
Longtime OPC member Arnold Crane died on November 2, 2014. Crane was a member of the White House Press Photographers Association whose work behind the lens took him around the world. He is perhaps best known for his portraits of great photographers, which were published in 1998 as On The Other Side of the Camera. “Over a period of more than four decades, Crane created a body of artistic work of immeasurable value and historic importance,” wrote the e-zine The Handmade Photograph, adding that he created “sensitive photographs that both revealed and revered his subjects.”
Foreign correspondent and investigative reporter Ray F. Herndon died on August 16 at the age of 77. Herndon covered the early days of the Vietnam War for United Press International. Peter Arnett of the Associated Press, who was also writing about the war at that time, recalled Herndon as a “fierce competitor in the daily grind of war coverage” and “fearless.” He later worked in Singapore and Paris before moving back to the U.S. and long stints with the Dallas Times Herald and the Los Angeles Times.
Former Washington Post diplomatic correspondent Don Oberdorfer died on July 23 in Washington. Oberdorfer joined the Post in 1968 and retired in 1993, covering stories including the Pentagon Papers, the Vietnam War, and the Cold War. His coverage of diplomacy took him to more than 50 countries. He wrote several well-received books, including Tet!: The Turning Point in the Vietnam War and The Two Koreas: A Contemporary History.
By Trish Anderton
OPC members Felix Golubev and Simcha Jacobovici have won the Canadian Association of Journalists Prize for their documentary, “Tales from the Organ Trade.” The film, which won the OPC’s Edward R. Murrow award last year, shows how a kidney is sold on the illegal organ market and reaches a transplant recipient. Along the way, it challenges assumptions about the ethics of the organ trade. Golubev and Jacobovici were honored along with Ric Esther Bienstock, also an OPC member.
OPC member Jerome Delay has won an Associated Press Media Editors Award for his photograph of two young refugee girls from the Central African Republic. “Once again, we see innocent children amid conflict,” the judges said. “But we also see hope. We see that even amid bleak circumstances, friendship blooms.” Delay is AP’s chief photographer for Africa. He has won or shared the OPC’s John Faber Award three times.
OPC members Gerard Ryle and Rod Nordland have been honored with SOPA Awards from The Society of Publishers in Asia. Ryle won the Excellence in Explanatory Reporting award in Group B for “People’s Republic of Offshore.” The investigative story explored leaked documents to shed light on the hidden offshore holdings of China’s elite. Nordland received an Honorable Mention in the Group A Excellence in Human Rights Reporting award for “The Ballad of Zakia and Mohammad,” the story of an Afghan couple facing death threats for attempting to marry against her family’s wishes.
The US Marine Corps Correspondents Association has posthumously honored OPC member Georgette Louise “Dickey” Chapelle with the 2015 Brig. Gen. Robert L. Denig Sr. Distinguished Service Award. Chapelle got her start as a war photographer in Okinawa and Iwo Jima in World War II, and then covering the Marines in Vietnam in the early 1960s, often traveling with the troops. The Milwaukee Press Club inducted Chapelle into its Hall of Fame on Oct. 24.
2010 David Kaplan Award winner Richard Engel has won the Fred Friendly First Amendment Award from Quinnipiac University. The award, named for the former CBS News president, honors defenders of free speech. “Fred used to say that the job of the journalist is to explain complicated stories,” Friendly’s widow, Ruth, told Engel. “That’s what you do, Richard. You illuminate and elucidate the news, at times risking your life.”
The late CBS News correspondent Bob Simon was also honored at Quinnipiac’s 22nd annual Fred Friendly First Amendment Award luncheon. Simon was recognized with the 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award. “We all think of him as the quintessential foreign correspondent,” said Jeff Fager, executive producer of 60 Minutes, who accepted the award on behalf of Simon’s family. “He wasn’t seeking the spotlight. He thought of himself as just a regular reporter. He never inserted himself into the story.” Simon died in a car crash in February in New York. Among his many awards was the OPC’s President’s Award for lifetime achievement, which he received in 2014.
OPC member and former OPC Bulletin columnist Susan Kille is on the waiting list for a lung transplant at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center as she continues battling a rare lung disease. Kille left her part-time job at The New York Times in January due to her health issues. “Should I win this lottery and get a transplant, I could have a different and improved life for some years ahead,” she writes. Please join us in wishing Susan the best of luck in her quest for recovery.
NEW YORK: OPC board member Peter S. Goodman wrote a Modern Love column for The New York Times on July 9. The piece deals with how he and his wife, Deanna Fei, have navigated challenges – first, the demands of his career as a foreign correspondent and hers as a writer, and then the experience of having a premature baby with significant health needs. His wife’s book, Girl in Glass, has just been published. It’s about the health struggles of their child, Mila, and the surrounding political and social issues. Mila’s birth made national headlines when AOL CEO Tim Armstrong referred to her as a “distressed baby” and blamed her for increasing the company’s health costs. Happily, Goodman, his wife and nearly three-year-old Mila are all doing well now.
New York Times columnist and OPC member Roger Cohen is moving from London back to New York this month. Cohen, who was born in London, moved to Europe to work on his recently-published memoir, The Girl from Human Street, which was featured during an OPC book night in January.
OPC Board of Governors member Martin Smith’s latest documentary aired on PBS’s Frontline on May 26. Obama at War examines how a president who pledged to extract the U.S. from military conflicts has nonetheless found his administration mired in them. Newsweek called the film “first-rate,” adding that it was “crisply written, reported and produced.”
Marlene Sanders, a trailblazing television journalist for ABC and CBS, died of cancer on July 14 at the age of 84. Sanders became the first woman to anchor a network newscast when she filled in for Ron Cochran in 1964 at ABC, where she worked for 14 years. She was also the first female television journalist to report from Vietnam during the war in 1966. She is the mother of CNN and New Yorker journalist Jeffrey Toobin, who wrote on his Facebook page the “she informed and inspired a generation. Above all, though, she was a great Mom.” Sanders co-authored Waiting for Prime Time: The Women of Television News. She taught at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism and New York University.
Former Associated Press foreign correspondent Stevenson Jacobs, 37, died on June 8 in New York of an apparent heart attack. Jacobs covered political unrest in Haiti in the mid-2000s following the ouster of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Before that, he wrote for the AP in Jamaica and served as an editor and reporter in Puerto Rico. “He was kind-hearted, hard-working and people trusted him enough to tell him their most intimate stories,” said Paisley Dodds, a former AP Caribbean news editor, as quoted by the AP. Jacobs was a partner and head of business development at ShearLink Capital at the time of his death.
Dick O’Regan, a longtime correspondent in Europe for the Associated Press, died in Geneva on June 1 at the age of 95. O’Regan got his start working for newspapers in Britain as a teenager, according to the AP. He decided to move to the U.S. during the early part of World War II, and during the voyage he saw a Nazi U-Boat torpedo a British Navy ship. He wrote a story and offered it to the Philadelphia Bulletin, which not only ran the piece but offered him a job. After a stint at the paper and another at the United Press in New York, he signed on with the AP and was sent to Germany to cover the aftermath of the war. He advanced to bureau chief in Vienna and later Frankfurt, where he oversaw news and business in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Eastern Europe and the Balkans. He eventually became director of AP operations in Europe, Africa and the Middle East.
Longtime Associated Press reporter and editor Laura Myers died on June 19 at age 53. Myers grew up in Nevada and launched her career at the Reno Gazette-Journal in 1984. She began working for the AP in 1988, eventually becoming a top member of the editorial team. Myers was one of three senior editors in charge of war coverage during the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts. When not working as a journalist, Myers traveled extensively and pursued humanitarian activities, training journalists at Arabic and French-language newspapers in Algeria and building houses with Habitat for Humanity in Uganda and Mongolia. “She put her career on hold for years at a time to help the needy,” said former AP Washington bureau chief Sandy Johnson.
Journalist and author Donald Neff died in York, Pennsylvania on May 10 at the age of 84. Neff began his journalism career in York in 1954. He joined the Los Angeles Times in 1960, working as a Tokyo correspondent, and then moved to Vietnam to cover the war for Time magazine. During his 14 years at Time, he served as bureau chief in Houston, Los Angeles, Jerusalem and New York. He wrote numerous books, including a trilogy about the Arab-Israeli conflicts of 1956, 1967 and 1973. In a review of his Fallen Pillars: U.S. Policy Towards Palestine and Israel Since 1945, Foreign Affairs magazine wrote: “Neff succeeds in showing the intensity of the political debates in the bureaucracy and the broader public arena. Even those who disagree with Neff will have to acknowledge the thoroughness of his research.”
Veteran CBS Radio correspondent David Jackson, 70, passed away July 2 at his home in Kula, Hawaii. Jackson covered some of the biggest international news stories of his time. He was on the scene during the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989; he was also present when Pope John Paul II was shot in 1981, and in Germany when the American hostages being held in Iran were released in 1981. “He helped CBS News deliver the best broadcast journalism in the world,” read the letter announcing his departure from CBS in 1999.