January 29, 2023

People Column

2022 July-December Issue

December 16, 2022

SCHOLARS

Hayley Woodin, the 2022 Emanuel R. Freedman Scholarship winner, has been promoted to editor-in-chief of the news outlet Business in Vancouver (BIV). She had been executive editor there since 2020. In her new role, she’ll be responsible for day-to-day editorial operations.

Amelia Nierenberg, the 2018 Flora Lewis Fellowship winner, wrote a piece for The New York Times on Dec. 5 covering the reactions of Chinese expatriates in the United States as they watch protests at home. “They fear that with the return of lockdowns, their families will again not have enough food,” she wrote. “They wait for friends to resurface online after attending demonstrations. They try to communicate and to evade censors’ algorithms on Chinese social media.” Nierenberg stepped into a new role at the Times in October as writer for the paper’s Asia-Pacific Morning Briefing.

Dake Kang, the Fritz Beebe Fellowship winner in 2016, wrote an extensive tweet thread about his visit to several fever clinics in Beijing on Dec. 13. Kang has been reporting for The Associated Press from China over the past few years, including coverage of the early days of the pandemic. He is now frequently filing stories on the new wave of COVID-19 outbreaks and policies. In his most recent social media posts, he wrote that “If the medical system here can hold up for the next couple of weeks, Beijing might just make it through without a large number of fatalities, which would be a huge relief.” His thread includes video clips from clinics and details about delivery driver shortages amid intensive lockdowns. Kang was part of an AP team that won the OPC’s 2020 Roy Rowan Award. His OPC Foundation fellowship was with the AP in Bangkok.

Anna Nicolaou, winner of the S&P Award for Economic and Business Reporting in 2014, won the Personality Profile award from the Los Angeles Press Club for a piece she co-wrote with colleague Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson for the Financial Times entitled, “The last mogul: an interview with Universal Music’s Lucian Grainge” The judges praised her profile about a movie mogul’s near-death experience from COVID. Nicolaou had an OPC Foundation fellowship in the Reuters bureau in Brussels.

The Newswomen’s Club of New York named Valerie Hopkins, an OPC member and winner of the Jerry Flint Internship for International Business Reporting in 2013, as the 2022 Marie Colvin Award for Foreign Correspondence for providing crucial updates and insights into the war in Ukraine and life under Russian occupation.

In addition, Gabriela Bhaskar, the 2017 David R. Schweisberg Scholarship winner, won in the Photography Feature category from the Newswomen’s Club of New York for a submission that included photographs from an abortion clinic, a funeral after the Buffalo mass shooting and the life of a teenager.

Marina Villeneuve, the 2013 Irene Corbally Kuhn Scholarship winner, has a new job as an investigative reporter covering veterans/military service for The War Horse, a non-profit news organization educating the public on military service. She spent the last six years with The Associate Press, where she covered state governments first in Maine and then New York. Her coverage will range from extremism to the Veterans Administration. “It’s full circle,” she said, “My dad’s quest for VA benefits fueled my zeal for journalism.”

AWARDS

Elisabetta Zavoli, an OPC member and photographer who Bulletin readers will remember was profiled in our last issue, has won an Italian Sustainability Photo Award (ISPA) from the photojournalist agency Parallelozero. She was honored in the category of best photo story, which comes with a cash award. Zavoli also received a special prize in that contest, the Nikon – Capture Tomorrow award, for her “Crime School” project focused on the theme of social rehabilitation in a prison context. Read her recent OPC profile here.

UPDATES

The New York Times has announced that Daniel Berehulak, an OPC member and photographer based in Mexico City, will join the paper as staff photographer correspondent. Berehulak has been a contributor for the Times since he began freelancing in 2013, most recently with coverage of the war in Ukraine. He began his photography career in 2000 and then joined Getty Images based in London and later New Delhi from 2005 to 2013, during which he won the OPC’s 2010 John Faber Award for coverage of floods in Pakistan. As freelancer, his work for the Times won the OPC’s 2015 Feature Photography Award for coverage of the earthquake in Nepal, and the 2016 Olivier Rebbot Award for photos documenting the Philippine drug war. He also won Pulitzer Prizes in 2015 and 2017, among many other accolades.

Netflix has released a drama series based on reporting by OPC member Eric Reidy, who is migration editor for The New Humanitarian, titled The Swimmers. The show follows the dangerous journey of Yusra Mardini and her sister, Sarah, as they fled war-torn Syria to Germany in August 2015. In August 2019, Reidy met Sarah Mardini after she returned to Lesvos, Greece to help other refugees. By that time, her sister had competed as a swimmer in the 2016 Olympic Games. A few weeks later, Sarah was imprisoned along with many other migrants as European governments used anti-smuggling laws to crack down on humanitarian assistance. Reidy was one of the freelancers to receive an OPC micro-grant to weather COVID-19 hardships. His original story for The New Humanitarian is here.

OPC member Rod Nordland is launching a non-profit literary journal aimed at working journalists, titled “Green Zone.” A call for submissions on the publication website says it aims at “encouraging and rewarding good writing, using literary and artistic techniques, by publishing online and in printed journals from time to time, poetry, short fiction, photography, and essays, by working journalists.” The best submissions will be published online, and “best of the best” collected into quarterly printed journals at a price that covers printing and shipping.

Two OPC members contributed to a BBC story from Western Sahara on Nov. 24 about stalled vaccination efforts in the disputed region. Jacob Kushner wrote the story, which was supported by the Pulitzer Center, with photos by Kang-Chun Cheng. Kushner wrote that last year Morocco claimed to have the highest vaccination rate in Africa at 63 percent. This followed country’s recording more than 1.2 million cases of COVID-19, more than any other in Africa except for South Africa. However, Western Sahara is a ”blank spot on the World Health Organization’s global map of COVID-19 cases and vaccines because Morocco refuses to publish data about how many Sahrawis have been vaccinated in this politically sensitive region.” Kushner received the Nathan S. Bienstock Memorial Scholarship in 2013 from the OPC Foundation.

PEOPLE REMEMBERED

Grant Wahl, a veteran sports journalist known for his soccer coverage, died on Dec. 9 while in Qatar reporting on the World Cup. On Dec. 14, his family announced following an autopsy that he died from an aneurysm. He was 49 years old. Wahl spoke at an OPC panel in September 2016 titled “Sports, Scandal and the Olympics,” in which he said he covered soccer because “it’s the global sport, and it has the widest variety of stories of any sport that touch on all aspects of society, politics and culture, and basically every country in the world plays this sport.” Wahl was in the middle of his eighth World Cup assignment this year, which involves working long hours and a taxing broadcast schedule. Wahl started his journalism career in 1996 at Sports Illustrated, where he worked for more than 23 years and began to focus on soccer as the sport’s U.S. profile started to grow. He also worked for Fox Sports and CBS News. A clip of his remarks at the OPC panel can be seen here.

Dec. 2 2022

SCHOLARS

Euan Ward, the 2022 winner of the Rick Davis-Deb Amos scholarship, filed a story for The New York Times on Nov. 24 about a Paralympian medalist who was recruited by the European Space Agency and could soon be headed for space. Ward write that John McFall, who lost a leg in a motorcycle accident when he was a teenager, has become the world’s first physically disabled astronaut. He was one of 16 to be selected among 22,500 applicants. In March this year, Ward was named the international reporting fellow for the 2022-2023 New York Times Fellowship Class.

UPDATES

OPC Governor Vivienne Walt filed a piece for The New York Times’ “DealBook” newsletter on Nov. 25 covering the World Cup in Qatar, with a roundup of controversies such as allegations by human rights organizations that thousands of migrant workers died in the process of building seven World Cup stadiums and other projects in the desert heat, the country’s criminalization of homosexuality, among others. Despite those issues, Walt wrote, “the biggest brands, including Visa, Sony and McDonald’s, were quick to sign up and showed little sign of jumping ship amid the controversy.”

A docuseries based on the book Deluxe by Dana Thomas, an OPC member and author based in France, is now streaming on Sky in the U.K. and HBO Max in the U.S. The four-part series, titled Kingdom of Dreams, covers the world of high fashion during a “golden age” from the early 1990s to the 2010s. It started streaming on Sky on Oct. 30. Separately, an award-winning documentary Thomas wrote about Italian footwear designer Salvatore Ferragamo, titled Salvatore: Shoemaker of Dreams, was released in U.S. theaters in early November. It premiered at the Venice Film Festival in 2020.

OPC member Adriane Quinlan started covering real estate for the news site Curbed on Nov. 28. She said in a tweet thread announcing the new post that the beat includes “where we live, where we want to live, how that’s changing, who’s making those calls, and how we’re fighting over it.”

Silicon Heartland, a new book by OPC member and CNBC contributor Rebecca A. Fannin, got a positive mention in Publishers Weekly as a “short but meaty travelogue that packs a punch.” For the book, Fannin returned to her homeland in the Midwest on a lengthy road trip in her “vintage Honda Element.” She explored how the Rust Belt is transforming as a Tech Belt – an economic comeback that she said “bodes well for boosting this nearly forgotten region when money and power shifted to Silicon Valley and to China.” Silicon Heartland is due out in early 2023 from publisher Charlesbridge/Imagine in Boston and distributor Penguin Random House. Fannin is also author of two other China-focused books: Silicon Dragon, published in 2008, and Tech Titans of China, published in 2019.

OPC member Amanda Florian wrote a longform piece for VICE News on Nov. 21 about how silent livestreams by deaf creators on TikTok and other platforms are attracting millions of viewers on social media around the world, but accessibility for disability communities is still sluggish. “There’s another, more sinister challenge facing deaf content creators. Florian wrote. “Online scammers who pretend to be deaf.” She spoke with many deaf creators who face skepticism or even harassment about their disability as a result of scam accounts.

On Nov. 23, the U.S. announced a ban on sugar imports from Central Romana Corp., citing an investigation into labor abuses from OPC award winners Sandy Tolan, Michael Montgomery, and Euclides Cordero Nuel. The team’s two-year investigation likened the company’s abuses of Haitian workers to forced labor. The company supplies large, multinational brands such as Domino and Hershey. The story, “The Bitter Work Behind Sugar,” was produced for Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting with support from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. The team won this year’s Morton Frank Award. It was distributed by PRX and a text version was published in Mother Jones. The OPC hosted a “How I Did It” program in June with the reporting team and OPC member Marina Walker Guevara, executive editor of The Pulitzer Center as moderator, pictured above.

Nov. 18, 2022

SCHOLARS

Iqra Salah, the Walter and Betsy Cronkite Scholarship winner for 2022, spoke to attendees at the Pulitzer Center’s Washington Weekend event on Oct. 27 about her project about statelessness in Zimbabwe and efforts to recognize undocumented people. Salah is a reporting fellow with the center, where she covers human rights stories. She said during a panel presentation that many people are born in Zimbabwe with no identification due to a history of discrimination in granting citizenship by ancestry.

Sophia Jones, the Reuters Fellowship winner in 2012, is now with the Human Rights Watch Digital Investigations Lab, where she will be conducting open-source investigations into war crimes and human rights violations around the world. Jones has had an award-winning career covering mostly the Middle East and was the executive editor and an investigative journalist at Starling Lab, a research center at Stanford University and the University of Southern California, exploring issues of disinformation and data integrity. She is based in Barcelona. The OPC Foundation funded her internship in the Reuters bureau in Ramallah.

AWARDS

MuckRock, a nonprofit journalism group where OPC Governor Derek Kravitz serves as investigations editor, has received the 2022 Community Champion Award from the Institute for Nonprofit News for the “Uncounted” COVID-19 project. The award was shared with reporting partner USA TODAY and the Documenting COVID-19 project that Kravitz founded. The investigation found that death certificates, long prone to error, had gotten worse during the pandemic and resulted in thousands of uncounted COVID-19 deaths. The project also won first place in the 2022 National Headliners Awards for online pandemic coverage or project and was shortlisted as one of the top data projects by the international competition Sigma Awards.

Italian director and OPC member Benedetta Argentieri received the Phoenix Award at the Cologne Film Festival for her documentary The Matchmaker on Oct. 27. She dedicated the award to the “brave people of North and East Syria.” The film follows Tooba Gondal, a native Londoner alleged to have recruited teenage girls to become the wives of ISIS fighters. News site Ajansa Nûçeyan a Firatê interviewed Argentieri about her film at the International Women’s Conference on Nov. 5 in Berlin. She said she dedicated her award to Syrians because the Ukraine war has crowded out coverage of other conflicts in the world and she hopes to draw attention to conflict in Syria as well as other violence, including recent chemical attacks by the Turkish government against Kurdistan Freedom Forces.

UPDATES

OPC member and former CNN Beijing Bureau Chief Jaime FlorCruz has been named as the Philippines ambassador to China. FlorCruz retired from CNN in 2014. He covered key events in China including the 1989 Tiananmen massacre, the death of Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping, the 1997 Hong Kong handover, and the 2008 Olympics, among others. He was an anti-Marcos activist who was exiled in China under the President’s father and namesake, the dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos, in the 1970s. He was appointed on Oct. 17.

Patricia Kranz, executive director of the Overseas Press Club, and 29 other women who were on the University of Michigan’s original six women’s varsity sports teams were honored on Nov. 11 and 12 at a series of events in Ann Arbor. The programs recognized the impact of 50 years of Title IX on women’s varsity athletics. Title IX is the most used name for the federal civil rights law that was enacted in 1972 and prohibits sex-based discrimination in any school or education program that receives federal funding. Kranz played on the first varsity women’s tennis team, winning a letter in 1974. The “Team One” athletes and hundreds of other letterwinners viewed their names on the new Letterwinners Wall in the Crisler Center that lists everyone who earned a varsity letter at the University of Michigan’s Ann Arbor campus since 1866. A story about the first efforts to recognize Kranz and other Title IX athletes at the University of Michigan appeared in the December 2016 issue of the Bulletin, which you can read here.

A documentary based on OPC Governor Charles Graeber’s book, The Good Nurse, premiered on Netflix on Nov. 11. A dramatized version of the book became a Netflix feature film this September with actor Eddie Redmayne portraying serial killer and nurse Charles Cullen and Jessica Chastain as his colleague and whistleblower, Amy Loughren. Graeber is among the sources interviewed in the documentary, titled The Killer Nurse. Graeber shared his thoughts about how the high rotation of hospital staffing set the stage for Cullen’s abuses. “People come and go and being transient is somewhat expected. The institution of private, for-profit health care, the business of health care, is one that Charlie Cullen was perfectly suited for. You become invisible. And he was, to many, a man without a face.” Graeber also spoke to Newsweek for a story on Nov. 3 that focused on Cullen’s claims that he was a “mercy killer” ending the suffering of patients, but “the murders had everything to do with what he needed at that moment and what worked for him, and absolutely nothing to do with those people,” Graeber was quoted as saying in the piece.

OPC member Amanda Florian wrote a piece for Foreign Policy magazine on Nov. 7 about how public health policies are using anti-foreign language and stirring xenophobia. She wrote that the head epidemiologist at the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Zunyou Wu, announced in September that citizens should avoid contact with foreigners to stop the spread of monkeypox. Florian said amid the country’s zero-COVID policies, disease stigma and mistrust have become commonplace over the last two years.

Mary Kay Magistad, a veteran public radio correspondent and OPC member who now works with the Asia Society, traveled to Greenland in September to report on climate issues for a CBS News piece that aired on Nov. 3. She reported that temperatures are rising four times faster than the global average, threatening ice sheets that stabilize global temperatures. This year marked the warmest September on record in Greenland, Magistad said.

OPC member Kathy Gannon spoke on stage at the Shorenstein Center on Nov. 15 during a program about the role of media in democracy. Gannon is serving as a Joan Shorenstein Fellow at the center this fall session. Brian Stelter, who covered media for CNN, also participated in the discussion. Gannon is an international correspondent and bureau chief with 30 years of experience, and was news director for Pakistan and Afghanistan for The Associated Press until May this year. She said that she bristles at the notion that journalists are responsible for preserving democracy. “It’s not my job. My job is to inform,” Gannon said. “My job is not about going out there with the intention of holding the powerful to account. If I’m going out for a specific purpose or bandwagon, you actually undermine democracy by the very fact of losing your independence to promote a system of government.”

A story for NPR’s Goats and Soda blog written by Ruchi Kumar, an OPC member and freelance journalist, got a surprising postscript on Nov. 1 from an editor who worked on the piece. Pierre Kattar served as visuals editor for Kumar’s article, which focused on 16-year-old girl Marzia Mohammadi, one of 53 people, mainly girls, killed in a suicide bombing attack on Sept. 30 in Kabul. Kumar’s story last month used excerpts of Mohammadi’s diary, provided to NPR by her uncle, to explore her goals and dreams. Kattar wrote that soon after working on Kumar’s story he attended a protest in Rome where he is based, and ran into Mohammadi’s teacher, who was holding a poster displaying a photo of Mohammadi and her friend. The teacher, Hamidullah Hussaini, said he had taught the two girls math for seven years. Hussaini himself had narrowly escaped the Taliban later in October when members showed up at his school and questioned him about a lecture they had seen in which he told students the economy had worsened since the Taliban banned women from getting an education or working. He fled Kabul the next day and ended up in Rome. “My main dream is that one day the Taliban will be removed from Afghanistan, and I’ll go back and teach the young women in my school,” Mohammadi said.

PRESS FREEDOM

OPC member Amberin Zaman, the UK-based senior correspondent for the Al-Monitor news website, has faced a wave of online harassment and death threats by Turkish public figures and others. The Association of European Journalists said in an alert on its website that Turkish pro-government newspapers and other influential media have “spread malicious misinformation, falsely calling her a supporter of terrorism, inciting popular hostility. The widespread dissemination of death threats and explicit warnings of rape and sexual violence, accompanied by lurid and unfounded attacks on her reputation, raise acute fears for the journalist’s personal safety.”

 

Nov. 3, 2022

SCHOLARS

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

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

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

UPDATES

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Oct. 20, 2022

SCHOLARS

Neirin Gray Desai, the 2022 Nathan S. Bienstock Scholarship winner, is now a contributor with Rest of World. A recent story covered how children in the Philippines were earning hundreds of dollars via cryptocurrency and NFTs from an online video game called Minecraft, until new rules from the game company prohibited the use of NFTs “and sent the community into a tailspin.”

Olivia George, the 2022 Irene Corbally Kuhn Scholarship winner, is now a reporter covering transportation and tourism for the Tampa Bay Times. Her bylines include many breaking news stories and features such as an Oct. 5 piece about hurricane Ian’s effect on business and owners treading a careful line in their messaging, “letting visitors know the region is unscathed with open arms, while being mindful that vast swaths of the state are reeling from destruction.”

After a virtual OPC Foundation Fellowship in 2021 with the Reuters bureau in Sao Paulo, Jimin Kang, the 2021 Rick Davis-Deb Amos Scholarship winner, met with her colleagues in person this summer when she spent the month of August working with Reuters in the Brazilian capital. Her first story, “Black Brazilians in remote ‘quilombo’ hamlets stand up to be counted,” covered a change in the country’s census that for the first time included communities founded by people who fled slavery.

Rajiv Golla, the Walter and Betsy Cronkite Fellowship winner in 2017, has launched a new podcast, titled “Running Smoke.” Produced by Campside Media, Running Smoke is true-crime story about “fast cars, organized crime and a NASCAR driver fighting for the future of his nation.” Golla had an OPC Foundation fellowship with the Reuters bureau in Nairobi.

Kim Chakanetsa, the 2011 Stan Swinton Scholarship winner, has written a new book titled Africana: An encyclopedia of an amazing continentA native of Zimbabwe, Chakanetsa joined the BBC in 2013 as a producer and presenter for the program Focus on Africa. She presents The Conversation on the BBC World Service. Chakanetsa had an OPC Foundation fellowship in The Associated Press bureau in Johannesburg.

AWARDS

OPC Vice President Azmat Khan received a Freedom of the Press Catalyst Award from the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. A short video honoring her award included statements from many editors and colleagues lauding Khan’s reporting on the human cost of U.S. airstrikes. The speakers included Khan’s sister, Noorain Khan, who said that “one of the messages of [Azmat’s] work is that this kind of work takes time, that it can take years and years, and it’s absolutely worth it.” OPC member Lila Hassan, an investigative journalist, said on the video that “just be being exposed to the way that [Khan] works, I feel like she has raised the standard of what it means to be an investigative journalist.”

OPC member Kenneth R. Rosen received this year’s Kurt Schork Freelance Award winner for reporting on the frontlines in Ukraine to shine a light on Russian cyber warfare, in Syria to cover the control of oil resources, and across Europe to write about inhumane treatment of migrants. The judges wrote that the award honors his “courageous and balanced reporting,” in which he “not only ferreted out new facts but gave essential context and depth.”

The Texas Tribune, where OPC member Sewell Chan has served as editor-in-chief since October last year, received an Edward R Murrow Award for overall excellence in the category of large digital news organizations from the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTNDA). The Tribune also shared a national Murrow Award with ProPublica and Mountain State Spotlight for a series on carcinogenic air pollution.

UPDATES

Rest of World has named OPC Governor Anup Kaphle as its first editor-in-chief. Kaphle joined Rest of World as executive editor in February 2020 and helmed its launch during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since then, the organization has published nearly a thousand stories, covering 94 countries in eight languages. The nonprofit publication focuses on “exploring the impact of technology beyond the Western bubble.” Before joining Rest of World, Kaphle spent two years in his home country of Nepal as the editor-in-chief of The Kathmandu Post.

OPC Governor Farnaz Fassihi wrote a piece for The New York Times on Oct. 13 about the two Iranian teenagers who were killed by Iranian security forces during a crackdown on protests, and have become “the new faces of the protests that have convulsed the country for the past month, the largest and most sustained bout of civil unrest to grip Iran since 2009.” She wrote that their names have become a rallying cry against authoritarian rule under of the Islamic Republic.

OPC member Kim Hjelmgaard, for his Oct. 7 piece in USA Today, conducted interviews with protesters in Iran over an encrypted communications channel to hear directly about their demands and to understand how they have experienced the protests. The paper’s audience editor, Amy Nakamura, interviewed Hjelmgaard about his reporting. “I used long-standing contacts in the country to make introductions. I then vetted them to make sure they were genuine. After that, I communicated with them through an encrypted channel,” he said.

OPC Past President Marcus Mabry was named on Variety magazine’s “New Power of New York” list following his recent posting as senior vice president of digital editorial and programming for CNN. “It will fall to Mabry to expand CNN’s footprint at a time when the network is under pressure from its new corporate parent, Warner Bros. Discovery, to keep growing,” an Oct. 12 piece covering the list of 53 noteworthy people said.

Daniella Zalcman, an OPC member and photojournalist based in New Orleans, discussed Indigenous rights at Northwestern Medill School of Journalism from Oct. 13 to 14. Zalcman and journalist Brandi Morin presented their work during the two-day visit. Zalcman, a Vietnamese-American, is a 2021 Catchlight fellow, a multiple grantee of the National Geographic Society and the Pulitzer Center, a fellow with the International Women’s Media Foundation, and the founder of Women Photograph, a nonprofit working to elevate the voices of women and nonbinary visual journalists. She has focused her work on the legacy of Western colonization, including the rise of homophobia in East Africa and forced assimilation education of Indigenous children in North America. Morin is a French, Cree, and Iroquois journalist from Treaty 6 in Alberta, Canada, and specializes in sharing Indigenous stories.

Oct. 7, 2022

SCHOLARS

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

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

AWARDS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

UPDATES

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

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

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

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

PEOPLE REMEMBERED

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

Sept. 22, 2022

SCHOLARS

Fatima Bhojani, the 2015 Theo Wilson scholarship winner, wrote a piece for Foreign Policy on Sept. 15 about the devastating effects of climate change in Pakistan. She wrote that monsoon floods in 2022 have submerged an area about the size of Italy, describing a cycle that begins with deadly heat waves and drought, then “more water than usual evaporates from the Indian Ocean and is eagerly embraced by a warmer atmosphere. When the seasonal monsoon hits, it hits hard, with rainfall three times the national average of the past three decades.“ Bhojani said developing countries like Pakistan bear the brunt of climate crises caused by industrialized wealthy nations, exacerbating fragile situations such as food insecurity and political power struggles. Despite recent pledges from G-7 nations, “it’s not clear that the even loftier needs of climate mitigation and adaptation will be met for the countries, like mine, most in need.

Anders Melin, an OPC member who received a Reuters internship in 2013 from the OPC Foundation, moved from the U.S. to Malaysia in August to write for Bloomberg Wealth and Businessweek. On Sept. 20, he tweeted that he’d filed his first byline out of Kuala Lumpur with a story about Southeast Asian governments floating new plans for visa programs that target professionals, retirees or other affluent people. “Several started taking applications, calling on tycoons, ‘rainmakers’ and digital nomads to consider a new harbor,” he wrote. A native of Sweden, Melin spent his 2013 internship in the Reuters bureau in Brussels.

UPDATES

After years of development, a movie based on a book by OPC Governor Charles Graeber premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) on Sept. 11. The film, based on Graeber’s book The Good Nurse, follows the story of a serial killer, Charles Cullen, played by Eddie Redmayne, who as a nurse murdered dozens – if not hundreds – of patients. It also stars Jessica Chastain as Amy Loughren, a nurse who helped police catch Cullen. Graeber attended the opening for The Good Nurse with his father, and tweeted photos with him and with Loughren and her daughter, saying “It’s surreal for them, me too.” The film, directed by Danish filmmaker Tobias Lindholm, will open more broadly in theaters on Oct. 19, and on Netflix on Oct. 26.

Evgeny Afineevsky, a filmmaker and OPC member, showed his documentary at this year’s TIFF. The film, Freedom on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom, is Afineevsky’s follow-up to his 2015 Oscar-nominated Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom. A Hollywood Reporter piece covering TIFF highlights said the new film “proved to be the definitive portrait, thus far, of the ongoing Russian atrocities — and remarkable resistance to them — in Ukraine.” It premiered on Sept. 7 at the 79th Venice International Film Festival. Freedom on Fire is still seeking U.S. distribution.

OPC member and filmmaker Benedetta Argentieri also premiered her documentary The Matchmaker at the 79th Venice International Film Festival this year. The film follows Tooba Gondal, a native Londoner alleged to have recruited teenage girls to become the wives of ISIS fighters. Argentieri interviewed Gondal in Syria before she was deported to France at the end of 2019.

OPC member Mehr Sher, an investigative journalist, has joined Report for America as a corps member and is now reporting on environmental issues at the Bangor Daily News in Maine. She has been working at the paper since August, filing stories on shortcomings of bottled water testing in the state, the ongoing drought crisis, and most recently on Sept 15 on the impact of climate change on small scale wild blueberry farmers who lack access to a consistent water supply.

OPC member Alice Driver spoke as guest lecturer at Arkansas State University on Sept 12 about immigration and femicide along the U.S.–Mexico border, a topic she has frequently covered over the last 10 years. Driver, a native of the Ozarks Mountains of Arkansas now based in Mexico, was supported by an OPC micro-grant in 2021 to help weather effects of the pandemic and to help her at the time to continue reporting on deaths of meat processing workers. She wrote a book about femicide in Mexico in 2015 titled More or Less Dead for the University of Arizona press, and a new book on labor rights and immigration, titled The Life and Death of the American Worker, is in the worksIn a 2019 Q&A feature for the OPC, she urged correspondents to “learn languages or take the time to understand the cultural context of events when they are reporting outside of their home country.”

Photojournalist and past OPC Award winner Lynsey Addario has won a 2022 Courage in Journalism Award from the International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF). She will be honored along with other awardees at the IWMF’s ceremony on Nov. 9. Separately, an exhibit of her work is currently on exhibit at the School of Visual Arts (SVA) Chelsea Gallery through Oct. 29. Addario, who has also won a MacArthur Genius Grant and Pulitzer Prize for her work, began her 20-year career in 1996, and has covered conflict in Afghanistan, Iraq, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Libya, Somalia, Syria, South Sudan and Ukraine. She won the 2010 Olivier Rebbot Award for her series on Afghan women for National Geographic, a Citation for Excellence for the same year in the Feature Photography category for covering maternal mortality in Sierra Leone for TIME, and in 2017 received a citation in the Kim Wall category as part of a team from TIME following a refugee family from Syria. The SVA event is part of the school’s annual Masters Series Award and Exhibition, and was originally planned for fall of 2020. Admission is free and open to the public. SVA also hosted a conversation on Sept. 9 with Addario and Kathy Ryan, the director of photography at The New York Times Magazine.

Katie J.M. Baker, 2019 Whitman Bassow Award winner, has joined The New York Times as a correspondent covering social and cultural conflicts that divide the U.S. She previously worked as senior reporter on BuzzFeed News’s national desk. Baker took part in an OPC program in December 2020 about her award-winning reporting on a rights abuses exacerbated and ignored within the largest conservation organization in the world, the World Wide Fund for Nature.

Sept. 8, 2022

SCHOLARS

Humza Jilani, the Roy Rowan Scholarship winner in 2022, has earned his first byline for Reuters. The Sept. 1 story covers looming closures for pubs in the United Kingdom amid surging energy costs and a struggle to recover from the past COVID-19 years. Jilani, a Harvard graduate studying at Oxford as a Marshall Scholar, has an OPC Foundation fellowship in the Reuters bureau in London.

Meena Venkataramanan, the Emanuel R. Freedman Scholarship winner in 2021, will be staying on at The Washington Post after her internship at the paper ended last week, to write more stories and anchor the About US newsletter “on identity, an initiative to illuminate conversations around race, gender and other crucial (and underreported) aspects of selfhood.”

Sam McNeil, the Walter and Betsy Cronkite Scholarship winner in 2014, now a video journalist who has been in the Beijing bureau for The Associated Press, has returned to the Middle East in the AP’s Jerusalem bureau. McNeil has been with AP since his OPC Foundation fellowship in AP’s bureau in Cairo.

Valerie Hopkins, winner of the Jerry Flint Internship for International Business Reporting in 2013, has continued to cover the war in Ukraine for The New York Times. She returned to Moscow for the first time in six months for a front page story published on Sept. 6 about the insulated nature of life in Moscow, where the war and even economic impacts felt elsewhere in the country have not appeared to change life for most residents in the city.

Alex Pena, the first Walter and Betsy Cronkite Scholarship winner in 2011, is now a producer and digital journalist for VICE News. Pena spent the last seven years at CBS News, ultimately as a producer for the CBS Reports Documentary News Series. He began his career as reporter for Stars & Stripes.

UPDATES

The New York Times announced on Aug. 26 that OPC Vice President Azmat Khan will join the paper’s staff and will serve as investigative reporter for both the newsroom and The New York Times Magazine, where she has been a contributing writer. “She has demonstrated again and again the difference that tenacious journalism — rigorous, principled and committed to holding power to account — can make in the world,” Jake Silverstein, editor-in-chief of the Times magazine, wrote in an announcement post. Khan is a professor at Columbia Journalism School and heads the Li Center for Global Journalism. She won the OPC’s 2017 Ed Cunningham Award for “The Uncounted,” a story in the Times magazine about civilians killed by drones in Iraq, and lead the team that won this year’s Roy Rowan Award for “Airstrikes Gone Wrong,” a piece expanding on her earlier drone reporting. She started her new post on Aug. 29.

OPC Treasurer Sandra Stevenson started a new job on Sept. 6 as deputy director of photography at The Washington Post overseeing international, climate and health. She was previously associate director of photography at CNN. Before CNN, Stevenson was at The New York Times, where she oversaw digital visual editors on the news desk and worked on visual content for Race/Related and Gender.

OPC member Barbie Latza Nadeau published a book on Sept. 6 about women in organized crime, titled The Godmother: Murder, Vengeance, and the Bloody Struggle of Mafia Women. She wrote that women in Italy-based criminal groups such as the Camorra “are making far more progress climbing the ladder and being treated as equals than their law-abiding peers.” Nadeau is an American journalist and author who has lived in Rome since 1996. She has worked as the Rome bureau chief for Newsweek Magazine and is currently bureau chief for The Daily Beast.

Rebecca Wright, an OPC member, television presenter and journalist based in New Zealand, has become co-host of the political current affairs show Newshub Nation on the national TV channel Three. She will join Simon Shepherd on the program, replacing Oriini Kaipara, who stepped down from the role in August. She said in an interview that “it’s a fascinating time with the political landscape changing so much and I’m looking forward to diving into the issues on behalf of our audience.” Wright has more than 15 years of experience in television reporting.

Many OPC Governors and members are slated to speak at the 2022 International Press Institute (IPI) World Congress that runs from Sept. 8 to 10 at Columbia University. The event, which is held online and in person, will have welcome remarks from OPC member John Daniszewski, a “town meeting” program featuring OPC Vice President Azmat Khan and OPC member Michael Slackman, a program about the Pulitzer Prizes with OPC Governor and Pulitzer Prizes administrator Marjorie Miller, a program about local news with OPC President Scott Kraft and OPC member Sewell Chan, and other speakers from the OPC community such as Charles Sennott and Karen Toulon. To find out more, the schedule is posted here.

PEOPLE REMEMBERED

Anne Garrels, longtime foreign correspondent for NPR who served in recent years as a judge for the OPC awards, died on Sept. 7 at the age of 71. She was a judge for this year’s Lowell Thomas Award as well as previous years, and in 2016 held a book night with the OPC to discuss Putin Country, a book about Chelyabinsk, an industrial “middle Russia” city about 1,000 miles east of Moscow. Garrels’ colleague, OPC Governor Deborah Amos, in a piece for NPR remembered meeting Garrels soon after she arrived in 1988 after serving as ABC News bureau chief in Moscow and Central America. “She’d had this long and remarkable career before she landed here … She was always braver than me, and I always understood that she was braver than me,” Amos said.

Bernard Shaw, an OPC Award winner who served as CNN anchor for 20 years, died on Sept. 7. He was 82. His career spanned the founding of CNN in 1980 and the two decades as anchor before his departure in 2000 included live coverage of events at Tiananmen Square in 1989 and live coverage of the First Gulf War from Baghdad in 1991. Shaw won the 1989 David Kaplan Award along with Dan Rather for coverage of China and was part of a CNN team that won the Edward R. Murrow Award in 1996 for a program looking back at the Gulf War. He was presenter for the OPC Annual Awards Dinner in 1990.

Aug. 26, 2022

SCHOLARS

Sarah Trent, the 2020 Roy Rowan Scholarship winner, on Aug. 23 was named one of two new interns for High Country News magazine. She recently moved to Vancouver, Washington, and said in an introduction that she is “looking forward to exploring climate stories in a region that is significantly impacted, but less covered by the national media.” Trent had an OPC Foundation fellowship on the science desk at The Wall Street Journal.

Dake Kang, the Fritz Beebe Fellowship winner in 2016, has been reporting on how mineral mines in northern Myanmar have affected indigenous communities. The minerals are needed for components in green energy technology. “Their cost is environmental destruction, the theft of land from villagers and the funneling of money to brutal militias, including at least one linked to Myanmar’s secretive military government. As demand soars for rare earths along with green energy, the abuses are likely to grow.,” Kang and AP colleagues Victoria Milko and Lori Hinnant wrote in the piece. Kang was part of an AP team that won the OPC’s 2020 Roy Rowan Award for reporting on China’s human rights violations against the country’s Uighur minority. His OPC Foundation fellowship in 2016 was with the AP in Bangkok.

UPDATES

OPC Governor Marjorie Miller, the administrator of the Pulitzer Prizes, was profiled in Editor & Publisher magazine on Aug. 15 to discuss this year’s awards, which have been called the most diverse to date. Miller told the magazine that it stemmed from greater diversity in newsrooms, and “then you get more diverse juries, and the board, over time, has gotten more diverse, and so they help present more diverse winners.” Miller served as vice president and global enterprise editor at The Associated Press. She became administrator of the Pulitzer Prizes on April 21, before juries began to select this year’s winners.

OPC Governor Derek Kravitz, who is a project editor at Columbia’s and Stanford’s Brown Institute for Media Innovation and investigations editor at MuckRock Data, was among the researchers who created a new archive to help academics and journalists make sense of the early days of COVID-19. In a piece for The Intercept on Aug. 20, Kravitz is named as the leader of an effort to request records from state and local agencies for sensitive records like COVID-19 death tolls and conditions in meatpacking facilities. The new archive will expand and compliment that work, according to the article.

OPC member Abigail Pesta wrote a feature for Rolling Stone magazine on Aug. 21 about a survivor of child sex trafficking who has become an activist and organizer working to thwart predators. She wrote that Jose Alfaro, a gay man from a small Texas town, had broken his silence and is telling his story, “as he has done in criminal and civil court, providing deeply personal insight into how traffickers ensnare young men and boys, exploiting them emotionally, physically, and sexually.”

Emily Schultheis, an OPC member and freelance journalist based in Berlin, wrote a longform piece for the online news site .coda on Aug. 4 about death threats and harassment from anti-vaxxers leading up to the suicide of physician Lisa-Maria Kellermayr in Austria. She writes that Kellermayr faced seven months of coordinated harassment before the closure of her practice in late June then taking her own life on July 29. Police called her initial reports of cyberbullying “false” and dismissed subsequent threats to her life without investigation, Schultheis wrote. Police are now investigating a man alleged to have sent a message suggesting a “tribunal of the people” would convict and execute Kellermayr.

Yasmine Mosimann, an OPC member and freelance journalist based in Baghdad, produced and presented a video piece for France 24 on Aug. 23 covering Iraq’s worst political crisis since the U.S.-led invasion. The country’s judiciary suspended work on Aug. 23 after supporters of powerful Shiite cleric, Moqtada al-Sadr, demanded that the body dissolve parliament. Mosimann said the more halted all legal processes across the country. “This just marks another escalation of what is now an over ten-month process to form the government.”

OPC members Robert Cooper (left photo) and Will Cathcart wrote a story published in Air Mail on Aug. 20 about a program to sponsor military support for Ukraine by allowing donors to sign grenades launched at Russian soldiers. They wrote that for $2,000 on SignMyRocket.com, a Ukrainian soldier will write a message on a grenade, drop it from a drone onto a Russian soldier, and send a video of the attack to the donor. Other donation offerings include writing a message on a tank turret or howitzer shell. Cooper and Cathcart said that the project has raised more than $200,000 for an NGO that has donated vehicles, medical supplies and food to Ukrainian fighters. Most donors are American and European, the two reported.

PEOPLE REMEMBERED

Longtime Associated Press correspondent and editor Marcus Eliason died on Aug. 5 in New York at the age of 75. OPC member John Daniszewski, former international editor for the AP, told the AP in a remembrance that Eliason was “a wonderful writer and editor, erudite, wise and supporting.” He began covering global news in the late 1960s, eventually landing in the AP Paris bureau in 1978. Over his career spanned the 1967 Six-Day War, apartheid-era South Africa, war in Afghanistan, turmoil in Belfast, Ireland, the fall of the Iron Curtain, and the handover of Hong Kong.

Tim Page, a renowned British photojournalist and OPC Award winner who was wounded four times while covering the Vietnam War, died on Aug. 24 at his home in Australia at the age of 78. Page covered Vietnam from 1965 to 1969, having arrived at the age of 20. He co-published a book in 1997 with Horst Faas, titled Requiem, that included the work of 135 photographers who died in the war. The book won a Robert Capa Gold Medal Award, as well as a George Polk Award. He was known as a risk taker and renegade whose personality inspired Dennis Hopper’s character in Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now. In 2013 he told VICE that “any war picture is an antiwar picture.” He added that while photography didn’t necessarily stop the war, “I think it contributed to swaying public opinion.”

Aug. 11, 2022

SCHOLARS

Ha-kyung Kim, the 2022 Fritz Beebe Fellowship winner and an OPC Foundation fellow with The Wall Street Journal in Seoul, earned her first byline on July 22: The piece, titled “South Korean Shipbuilder Daewoo, Workers Reach Deal to End Strike,” covered a deal between one of the world’s largest shipbuilders and subcontract workersthat ended a weekslong strike that cost about $600 million in losses delayed deliveries of liquefied natural gas. Kim recently graduated from the Stern School of Business at New York University.

Sandali Handagama, the Jerry Flint Fellowship winner in 2020, was named deputy managing editor of the policy and regulations team at CoinDesk. Based in Italy, she oversees digital economy policy updates and news for Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

Max Strasser, the Alexander Kendrick Scholarship winner in 2008, will be the new editor of the recently renamed and redesigned Sunday Opinion at The New York Times. Strasser, who has been with the paper’s opinion desk for seven years, went to London at the start of 2018 to oversee its international coverage, leading a team of editors across three continents. For the past year, he was on the desk’s special projects team where he has been instrumental in projects like “Postcards From a World on Fire” and the recent “I Was Wrong” package from Times columnists.

UPDATES

OPC member and freelance journalist Nicolas Niarchos was arrested and detained in the Democratic Republic of the Congo for five days in July while setting up an interview about alleged ties between mining groups and separatists in the country. In a statement on July 20, Niarchos wrote that his passport was seized by the Agence Nationale de Reseignements and a photo of the passport was leaked on social media. He said neither he nor his Congolese colleague Joseph “Jeef” Kazadi, who was also arrested but detained for a longer period, were charged with a crime. He tweeted a photo of Kazadi on Aug. 4 saying he had been freed after 22 days. “Journalism is not a crime, is is the fertile soil from which a democratic society can grow,” Niarchos said in his statement. A government official told Agence France-Presse (AFP) that Niarchos was questioned about his contact with armed groups, particularly the separatist group Bakata Katanga. Niarchos writes for The Nation and The New Yorker, which he thanked along with press freedom organizations who supported him and Kadadi during the ordeal.

Kathy Gannon, a longtime OPC member who recently retired as Associated Press news director for Pakistan and Afghanistan, was named among the 2022 Joan Shorenstein Fellows on Aug. 4. In a release, the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy announced three fellows, including Phillip Martin, senior investigative reporter for The GBH News Center for Investigative Reporting and Seth K. Goldman, honors associate professor of communication at University of Massachusetts-Amherst. Gannon will be researching conflict reporting, with a focus on international reporting on conflict in Afghanistan and its effects on policy and public perception.

OPC member Nicholas Kristof has rejoined The New York Times after stepping down as columnist for the paper in October last year to pursue the gubernatorial race in Oregon. His bid to appear on the Oregon ballot was rejected after state courts decided he did not meet residency requirements. A Times release about his return to the Opinion desk said that he would resume his column this fall after he completes a new book. Kristof worked as reporter, editor and columnist for Times for 37 years before his departure from the paper last year. He won two OPC awards during his career, including the 2011 Best Online Commentary. He won the 1989 Hal Boyle Award along with his wife Sheryl WuDunn for their reporting on the pro-democracy movement in China and at Tiananmen Square.

OPC member Edith Lederer, who has reported for The Associated Press more than four decades, spoke to AP colleague Allen G. Breed for a July 25 story about her role in breaking the so-called Tuskegee Study in which hundreds of Black Americans were denied treatment for syphilis and became unwitting medical research subjects. Lederer received a sheaf of documents from a friend and health researcher who had acquired 10 reports from the Communicable Disease Center about the study. The researcher, Peter Buxtun, reported the unethical study to superiors, but was shut down. He later passed them to Lederer, who did not feel prepared to take on the story herself, so in the press room of the 1972 Democratic National Convention, she passed the documents to a colleague with more investigative skills, Jean Heller. “I knew that I could not do this,” Lederer said in the recent story. “AP, in 1972, was not going to put a young reporter from San Francisco on a plane to Tuskegee, Alabama, to go and do an investigative story.”

OPC members Ruchi Kumar and Hikmat Noori filed a piece on July 27 for NPR about the plight of women in Afghanistan under Taliban rule. The article for NPR’s Goats and Soda blog spotlights a surge in rates of child, early and forced marriage since last year. According to UNICEF, even before the Taliban returned to power, nearly 28% of Afghan women and girls between the ages of 15 to 49 years were married before age 18. An Afghan journalist interviewed for the story who was forced to flee, identified only by the initials F.J., told NPR that circumstances she left behind have left her in mental anguish. “I used to be the voice of Afghan women, and overnight, I became voiceless, with no rights, and no one to fight and defend my rights.” Kumar is a freelance journalist who reports on conflict, politics, development and culture in India and Afghanistan, and Noori is a freelancer who writes for The Guardian, Al Jazeera, NPR and Foreign Policy magazine, among others.