April 16, 2024

People Column

2023 January-June Issue

June 2, 2023

SCHOLARS

Viola Flowers, the 2023 Nathan S. Bienstock Memorial Scholarship winner, won a Hearst Award for investigative journalism for a story she wrote for the Riverhead News-Review in Long Island. Her winning work uncovered a high number of children who had gone missing from the residential treatment center Timothy Hill Children’s Ranch. She combed through hundreds of police reports and followed up on cases, uncovering a pattern of lax oversight and shoddy reporting on runaways. The Hearst Journalism Awards Foundation recognizes up to 20 students in a variety of categories each year. To be eligible, students’ work must be published in campus media or a professional outlet, and they must be enrolled in an accredited journalism program. Flowers completed an internship with NBC Nightly News this spring.

Rose Gilbert, the 2021 Stan Swinton Fellowship winner, received two 2023 regional Edward R. Murrow Awards presented by the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA). A multimedia producer for the WLPN daily show “This is Nashville,” Gilbert won the award for Feature Reporting for her story about Lipstick Lounge, which aired in an episode she produced about Nashville’s LGBTQ community. She also won an award for Sports Reporting for her feature about the case of the missing saber-toothed fang that inspired the Nashville Predators mascot, which aired in an episode she produced about hockey in Nashville.

Rebekah Ward, the 2019 Walter and Betsy Cronkite Fellowship winner, is now a reporter covering climate and environment for the Houston Chronicle. Most recently, she was an investigative reporter for the Times Union in Albany NY. She had an OPC Foundation fellowship with Reuters in Mexico City.

Lisa Martine Jenkins, the Stan Swinton winner in 2017, is now an editor at Post Script Media, covering climate and deep tech with a focus, at least initially, on the intersection of climate and AI. Most recently she was a Senior Energy Reporter at Morning Consult. Lisa had an OPC Foundation fellowship with AP in Mexico City.

Paul Sonne, the Stan Swinton winner in 2008, is now a foreign correspondent for The New York Times, focusing on Russia and Ukraine. He joined the Times from The Washington Post where he spent five years as a national security reporter covering the Pentagon and Russia and Ukraine-related stories out of the paper’s headquarters in Washington, DC. Before that, he spent nearly nine years as a reporter for The Wall Street Journal in London, Moscow and Washington. In 2011, he and his Journal colleagues won the OPC’s Malcolm Forbes Award for best international business reporting in newspapers for a series of articles called “Censorship, Inc,” which described how Iran, Egypt, Libya and Syria used technology from Western and Chinese companies to spy on dissidents, conduct surveillance, and track mobile phone use. He began his career with an OPC Foundation fellowship at the Associated Press bureau in Moscow.

Andy Greenberg, the Reuters Scholarship winner in 2007, won the 2023 Business Feature category from the Deadline Club for his story “The Crypto Trap: Inside the Bitcoin Bust That Took Down the Web’s Biggest Child Abuse Site in Wired magazine. A senior writer covering hacking, cybersecurity and surveillance, he is the author of the new book Tracers in the Dark: The Global Hunt for the Crime Lords of Cryptocurrency.

Krista Mahr, the 2004 Flora Lewis Scholarship winner, has been named deputy international editor for Opinion for The New York Times. She joins the Times from Politico, where she covered public health and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Previously, she was a senior editor at TIME magazine’s Washington bureau and before that, she reported overseas for 14 years, including stints as TIME’s South Asia bureau chief and Reuters’ South Asia correspondent covering the war in Afghanistan, among others.

AWARDS

OPC Vice President Josh Fine is a member of the Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel staff named as winner of a 2023 Sports Emmy Award in the category of Outstanding Hosted Edited Series. The HBO Max show has previously won two Sports Emmy Awards, in 2013 and 2014, and was nominated in 2014, 2018 and 2019 under various categories. Real Sports has also won two OPC Awards, including a 2016 Peter Jennings Award and a 2014 David A. Andelman and Pamela Title Award, as well as Citations for Excellence in 2017 and 2015. The show also has numerous nominations and wins in the News and Documentary Emmy Awards, PGA Awards, Peabody Awards, Image Awards and GLAAD Awards, among others.

FRONTLINE, the PBS program helmed by editor-in-chief and executive producer Raney Aronson-Rath, who also serves as OPC Governor, has won the 2023 Beacon Award. The award is public television’s top honor, recognizing “individuals whose work inspires Americans and enriches our nation, in keeping with the mission of PBS.” In a release, Aronson-Rath referenced the name of the award, saying that “our beacon is journalism that lives up to our highest values and ambitions; that illuminates complex issues through history, context and accountability; and that takes the time to tell the story right.”

The Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma named two OPC members among its list of 2023 Ochberg fellows. Sewell Chan, the editor-in-chief of The Texas Tribune, and Marcus Yam, foreign correspondent and staff photographer for the Los Angeles Times and winner of this year’s Robert Capa Gold Medal Award, will take part in the week-long fellowship that gives outstanding senior and mid-career journalists an opportunity to explore dimensions of psychological trauma, “to discuss ethical and craft challenges raised by their work; and to forge relationships with colleagues from around the world who share their interests and commitment.”

Several of this year’s OPC Award winners were among the Pulitzer Prize recipients announced on May 8. An Associated Press team that won the OPC’s Hal Boyle Award this year also received a Pulitzer Prize in the Public Service category for reporting on the war in Ukraine. Mstyslav Chernov, Evgeniy Maloletka, Vasilisa Stepanenko and Lori Hinnant were named among other AP staff in both awards. Terrence McCoy of The Washington Post won a Pulitzer Prize in the category of Explanatory Reporting for the work on illegally raised beef in the Amazon rainforest that also won the OPC’s Robert Spiers Benjamin Award this year.

Staff of The New York Times were named as winners of the Pulitzer Prizes’ International Reporting category for work in Bucha, Ukraine that also garnered the OPC’s Joe and Laurie Dine Award for human rights reporting. In a Times celebration of the awards, speakers mentioned OPC members Daniel Berehulak, winner of multiple OPC Awards, and Valerie Hopkins, an OPC member and the OPC Foundation’s 2013 winner of the Jerry Flint Internship for international Business, for their work on the ground in Bucha, Ukraine.

Yaroslav Trofimov and James Marson of The Wall Street Journal, who won a Citation for Excellence in the OPC’s Hal Boyle category this year, were also finalists in the Pulitzer Awards’ International Reporting category, for their reporting in Ukraine.

UPDATES

OPC Governor Deborah Amos, one of three of NPR’s longest-serving foreign reporters who left the network in recent weeks, spoke to Poynter on May 15 along with former colleagues Julie McCarthy and Sylvia Poggioli. Among the changes Amos said she saw during her 35-year career at NPR, she mentioned that when she started covering the Middle East in the early 80s, every side of a conflict would usually want to talk to journalists, and saw coverage of their perspective as helpful, but “as time went on, that was no longer true,” she said. Amos, who teaches journalism at Princeton University, said she also had to rethink her curriculum over the years, noting that when she started in 2012 her students said they got their news from The New York Times, The Washington Post, NPR and Al Jazeera English, but now none of her students listen to radio or read newspapers. “And it’s not that they’re not informed. They are. But the gap between the professors and them has grown in a remarkable way. And so I have to rethink how I teach journalism – because it’s changed that much,” Amos said.

A new book by Mellissa Fung, an OPC member an award-winning Canadian broadcast journalist, delves into the 2014 kidnapping of nearly 300 school-aged girls in Nigeria by the terrorist group Boko Haram. HarperCollins published Between Good and Evil: The Stolen Girls of Boko Haram on April 18. Fung was taken hostage in Afghanistan in 2008 while on assignment for the CBC, an experience she recounted in her book Under an Afghan Sky. Her story, and those of three Nigerian girls, were the subject of her first feature documentary, Captive, which premiered in 2021 and has been nominated for several major awards. For Between Good and Evil, she conducted hundreds of hours of interviews with the survivors and their families. In an interview about the book for the CBC’s The Current, she said she was drawn to the story because of experiences she shares with the survivors. “In sharing our stories, learning how they’re coping with the aftermath, I learned a lot about trauma and the long trail it leaves.”

Cristian Movilă, an OPC member who is founder of the EIDOS Foundation and representative of the World Press Photo in Romania, on May 5 launched an exhibition of 120 photographs covering important events around the world including the war in Ukraine, effects of the climate crisis, and civil protests. In a release announcing the event, he said that in the face of fake news, ethical photojournalism is becoming increasingly crucial, “to render everything as raw as possible, so that we manage to transpose people in that very place and at that moment. Only in this way can we truly act and understand the problems facing this world.” The exhibit is open through May 31 in Bucharest, Timisoara and Sibiu, and will be open from June 3 to July 3 in Constanta and Oradea.

OPC member Ruchi Kumar wrote an opinion piece for The Globe and Mail on May 8 reporting that part of the Taliban’s strategy for cracking down on restrictions against women is to criminalize men’s support for the women’s rights movement. She wrote that male allies “have been threatened, jailed, and even tortured for the mere act of expressing support for their female compatriots.” Women in Afghanistan are protesting policies such as a ban on women attending schools and universities, restrictions on employment, political participation, travel, and even entry into public spaces. “It is a testimony to the strength of Afghanistan’s women that, despite the lack of allies and with mounting pressures, they still step out on the streets and lead their protests against the loss of their freedoms,” she wrote. Kumar is an Indian journalist based in Mumbai covering South Asia.

OPC member Kang-Chun Cheng has been filing stories on climate change from Kenya for The Africa Report, with reporting on water and land use conflicts in the Mount Kenya Reserve on May 12 and farmers battling a noxious weed that is killing Maasai livestock on May 18. A series of droughts starting in 2020 in the Horn of Africa has devastated agriculture and displaced thousands in search of water and land for grazing. Cheng argues that Kenyan President Daniel arap Moi mismanaged forests for political gain in the 1990s, which has worsened current crises.

Yasmine Mosimann, an OPC member and freelance multimedia journalist based in Baghdad, has reported on violence in Iraq over the last month for The Associated Press, with stories on the case of an Iraqi police officer convicted and sentenced to death in early May for the killing of a security analyst and critic of powerful militias. On May 16, Mosimann filed a story about an alleged Turkish drone strike that targeted a Yazidi militant group in Iraq’s Sinjar region of Ninewa Province.

PEOPLE REMEMEBERED

United Press International (UPI) veteran and former OPC member Patrick Killen died in Dallas on May 3 after a brief hospitalization at the age of 92. Killen’s first book, Asia Earnie, about the swashbuckling Occupation-era United Press Tokyo bureau chief Earnest Hoberecht, was published in January 2022. One of Killen’s most recent public appearances had been in April in Las Vegas at a reunion of the Alley Cats, the softball team of the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan, of which he’d been a stalwart. After attending Colorado College and UCLA and a stint with the U.S. Navy, Killen joined the then United Press in 1956 before its merger with International News Service, which created UPI in 1958. He reported from San Francisco, Honolulu, Karachi, New Delhi, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Washington, D.C., Manila, Chicago (where he oversaw the reporting efforts of Bill Holstein in the Lansing, MI bureau) and back to Washington again. From 1987 to 2004, Killen worked in Japan for the Daily Yomiuri, the Weekly Nikkei and the Kikkoman Corp., a maker of soy sauce. He moved to Dallas in 2005 with wife Miyoko. They had a daughter, Kimberly.

Claudia Rosett, a longtime Wall Street Journal journalist and past OPC member and awards judge who received a Citation for Excellence from the OPC for coverage of Tiananmen Square in the spring of 1989, died on May 27 at the age of 67. Rosett’s career spanned four decades, including 20 years with the Journal. Her work included notable investigations into the U.N. oil-for-food program in Iraq, a stint as Moscow bureau chief covering Russia’s war against the Chechens, and serving on the Journal’s editorial board. She previously worked for The New York Times, Forbes and the New York Sun. Her 1989 citation in the Bob Considine category honored her “incisive and uncompromising” reporting on events in China.

March 31, 2023

SCHOLARS

Ben Taub, the 2015 winner of the Emanuel R. Freedman Scholarship who is also an OPC member, wrote a longform story for The New Yorker digging into the scandal surrounding financial tech company Wirecard and its fraudster CEO, Markus Braun. Taub chronicled the investigation of Financial Times fledgling reporter and former banker Dan McCrum as he pursued and ultimately broke the story, along with his colleagues, of Wirecard’s malpractices and ties to Russian intelligence.

Adrian Quinlan, the 2013 Flora Lewis Internship winner and an OPC member and former Governor, filed a story for the New York-focused online magazine Curbed about the arrival of a Chanel Beauty store in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and the implications of a new phase of gentrification as the neighborhood enters a possible “Fifth Avenue Era.”

AWARDS

OPC member Edith Lederer was among several journalism icons inducted into the Deadline Club’s Hall of Fame on March 23. In a luncheon ceremony to honor the inductees, she was joined by Robert Caro, Gay Talese, Ken Auletta, Carole Simpson and Anthony Mason. The celebration marked the first in-person event since the COVID-19 pandemic, after it was rescheduled from Nov. 16.

UPDATES

John Daniszewski, a longtime OPC member and head judge for this year’s OPC Annual Awards, wrote a special report from Baghdad for The Associated Press published on March 17 covering changes over the last 20 years in Iraq since the U.S. invasion in 2003. Daniszewski and the photographer for the piece, Jerome Delay, had both covered the invasion from Baghdad two decades ago. “The long, staggeringly costly experience in Iraq exposed the limitations of America’s ability to export democracy and chastened Washington’s approach to foreign engagements, at least temporarily,” Daniszewski wrote. The piece focuses on interviews with young Iraqis and examines how the legacy of the war affects those who do not remember or did not experience it firsthand.

OPC Governor Beth Knobel is scheduled to participate in a panel about a new Russian archive project on April 11 at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time. The project, the Russian Independent Media Archive, seeks to preserve independent journalism about Russia, a project led by PEN America and the Gagarin Center at Bard College, made in collaboration with Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine. Knobel will join three New Yorker staffers, Masha Gessen, Susan Glasser and David Remnick, along with Anna Nemzer of the Russian TV channel Dozhd.

OPC Past President Larry Martz penned a letter to the editor in The New Your Times on March 4 about journalistic objectivity. The note was in response to a Feb. 10 opinion piece by columnist Bret Stephens called for more focus on objectivity in reporting and bemoaned the decline of objective journalism “that is now going out of fashion.” Martz, a former editor at Newsweek International, wrote that he agreed with many of Stephens’ points but wished he had not pushed for objectivity as the center of reform, adding that journalists are humans before reporters and editors. “We’re not recording machines, detached and disinterested,” he said. “We have values, instilled by the culture and shared by our audience. Our reports are grounded in these values.”

OPC Governor Rod Nordland is calling for submissions for a new publication he is launching, The Green Zone Literary Journal. He is seeking poetry, short fiction or novel extracts, and non – fiction essays or “outstandingly well-written pieces of journalism from working journalists” and photos with “a high level of artistic merit as well as journalistic content.” Submission guidelines and instructions can be found on the journal’s website here.

Khushnood Nabizada, the founder of Khaama Press who received one of the OPC’s grants for Afghan journalists living in the U.S., has launched a page on the website dedicated to covering women and girls in Afghanistan. The page will serve as a platform “to bring attention to the latest news, stories, and events related to the lives of women in Afghanistan. It will feature articles, interviews, and multimedia content that highlight the resilience, strength, and accomplishments of Afghan women while also addressing the hardships they continue to endure.” Khaama Press is a prominent Afghan-owned and Afghanistan-based online news agency established in 2010 to promote journalism in the country.

Photographs taken 49 years ago by OPC member Steve Raymer, an emeritus professor in the journalism department at Indiana University, have been published for the first time in a new edition of a book covering conflicts in Cambodia and Vietnam. Raymer had been on assignment in Cambodia for National Geographic in 1974, part of a world-spanning trip to document hunger crises, when he was wounded by shrapnel from a Communist Khmer Rouge rocket targeting a U.S. food distribution program. He was evacuated to a U.S. air base in Thailand. At the time, the story he was working on, “Can the World Feed Its People,” was published without his photographs of Cambodian refugees. A black and white portfolio of Raymer’s work from the final months of the conflict are now included in a new edition of a book by former foreign correspondent Arnold Isaacs, originally published in 1983, titled Without Honor: Defeat in Vietnam and Cambodia.

Veteran NPR journalist Sylvia Poggioli has announced her retirement from the network after 41 years. Mostly based in Rome, NPR’s longest-serving correspondent has also covered major stories during her tenure including Prague’s Velvet Revolution, the Balkans, Myanmar and Iraq. Poggioli won numerous awards for her work over the years, including her reporting on Serbian atrocities in Kosovo that contributed to the NPR team’s 2000 Lowell Thomas Award. Poggioli’s goodbye message to colleagues included a special thanks to OPC Governor Deborah Amos, “from whom I learned so much about radio reporting as we covered Mafia revelations, repentant domestic terrorists and Italy’s bourgeois Communist Party.” In a farewell interview with host Scott Simon on March 25, she recalled a high point in her career during the Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia, “the way they brought down that government was done with such incredible people power,” she said. “It was just such a happy time.”

Feb. 24, 2023

SCHOLARS

Sofie Kodner, the Flora Lewis/Jackie Albert Simon winner in 2022, traveled to Poland in August to report on protest symbols in Russia. Her reporting is featured on an episode of the podcast 99% Invisible, titled “Orange Alternative.” She cites an example of protest graffiti in 1980s Poland, where anti-communist group called the Orange Alternative used an image of mythical creature with a tiny pointed hat. “That innocent image amplified a powerful political message to the world, which ultimately contributed to the fall of the Soviet Union,” she wrote.

The Newswomen’s Club of New York named Valerie Hopkins of The New York Times the 2022 winner of Marie Colvin Award for Foreign Correspondence for her “crucial updates and insights into the Russia-Ukraine war, painting vivid, visceral verbal pictures of life under Russian occupation, from rapes to imprisonment to the millions of refugees fleeing the violence.” Hopkins won the Jerry Flint Internship for International Business in 2013 and had an OPC Foundation fellowship in the Reuters bureau in Belgrade.

Martin Patience, the Dan Eldon Scholarship winner in 2004, just published his first novel, The Darker the Night. Patience spent more than 15 years as a BBC foreign correspondent with postings in Jerusalem, Kabul, Beijing, Lagos and Beirut and is now a senior producer at NPR on the network’s Weekend Edition shows.

AWARDS

The Coalition for Women in Journalism (CFWIJ) announced a new award in the name of Kathy Gannon, an OPC member and longtime former correspondent for The Associated Press. The CFWIJ Kathy Gannon Legacy Award honors “women journalists who demonstrate integrity and camaraderie in journalism.” The award is also supported by the Canadian Journalists for Free Expression, and was presented on Feb. 15 in Toronto. The inaugural winners are Zahra Nader, Afghan-Canadian journalist and founder of Zan Times; and Joanna Chiu, Toronto Star international affairs journalist and chair of NuVoices. In a tweet about the announcement on Feb. 2, Gannon said she was “beyond honoured,” adding that “we are always stronger together. It’s a privilege to do what we do.” Gannon received the OPC’s President’s Award in 2018.

OPC Governor Singeli Agnew was part of a team that won a George Polk Award for the documentary The Killing of Shireen Abu Akleh, a production of Al Jazeera English’s current affairs program Fault Lines. Agnew served as director of photography for the film, which covered the May 2022 killing of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, who was shot by an Israeli soldier while she was reporting from the Jenin refugee camp in the West Bank. The film won in the category of Foreign Television Reporting.

OPC member Sudarsan Raghavan was on Washington Post teams that received accolades in the White House News Photographers Association 2023 Eyes of History Contest. In the category of Digital Storytelling – News Story, Raghavan was credited as reporting on the second-place entry As the shells fall, one woman struggles to bury her husband,” and the third-place entry “Armed patrols, homemade dumplings: Ordinary Ukrainians join the war effort.” In addition, The Killing of Shireen Abu Akleh, mentioned above with Singeli Agnew as award-winning team member, won third place in the category of Best Digital Storytelling Package.

UPDATES

Sewell Chan, an OPC member who is the editor-in-chief of The Texas Tribune was selected as the Harvard Alumni Chief Marshal for the class of 1998, which will be celebrating their 25th reunion this year. This June, he will lead an alumni parade and luncheon. In a Facebook post about the announcement, Chan said that as the first college graduate in his family, he “benefited from opportunities at Harvard that my forbears could never have imagined. I’m proud to be part of a multigenerational, international community of alumni who believe in Harvard’s mission: the pursuit of truth and knowledge, and freedom of inquiry and expression.”

OPC President Scott Kraft spoke on a panel, hosted by PEN America and the National Press Club Journalism Institute, about journalism and the challenge of extremism on Jan. 31. He urged U.S. journalists to study the tactics of extremist groups in other countries in order to better understand domestic extremist movements. He said U.S. journalists should also network with journalists overseas who are covering extremism. “They all tap into the same kind of fears,” he said. “Of migrants and cultural liberalism, and loss of political power. In that way, I think the challenges for global journalists are the same as we’re facing.”

David E. Hoffman, a longtime OPC member and reporter for The Washington Post, spoke about his recent book, Give Me Liberty, in an event hosted by the Americas Society/Council of the Americas on Feb 23. The book is a biography of opposition leader Oswaldo Payá, who was born in Havana in 1952 and sent to Fidel Castro’s forced labor camps as a young man. Later, he founded the Christian Liberation Movement to fight for democracy. Hoffman was interviewed by Rosa Maria Payá, Cuban human rights and democracy activist and the daughter of Oswaldo Payá.

OPC member Frederic Wehrey, a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, on Feb 22 participated in a panel to launch a documentary series sponsored by Carnegie’s Middle East Program titled “Confronting Climate Change in the MENA Region.” Wehrey joined Abdulrahman Fadhel Al-Eryani, the former Yemeni minister of water and environment, and Hussen Al-Yabari, the producer of the film and a journalist in Yemen, for a conversation on the film and insight from the region.

January 20, 2023

SCHOLARS

Diana Kruzman, the 2021 recipient of the Harper’s Magazine Scholarship in Memory of I.F. Stone, announced on Jan. 17 that she will soon be moving to Kyrgyzstan on a Fulbright Program grant to study the effects of climate change on water and agriculture. She wrote in a tweet thread that she would provide updates on her work and on climate and environment news from Central Asia, adding that “stories from this region are underreported in U.S. media and I’m hoping to help bridge that gap.” She most recently had a fellowship with Grist covering climate solutions and justice. Fluent in Russian, Kruzman has experience covering the region. Here is a story she wrote about nuclear waste in a small town in Kyrgyzstan in November 2021.

Serginho Roosblad, the Harper’s winner in 2017, was named as a member of FRONTLINE’s Investigative Journalist Equity Initiative (IJEI), a new effort aimed at increasing diversity in the documentary filmmaking landscape. The journalist-filmmakers in the IJEI’s first cohort will receive support for the full trajectory of the documentary filmmaking process from FRONTLINE’s senior editorial team. Roosblad, a video journalist with Associated Press Global Investigations, will work with Trilogy Films on his documentary.

The 2016 Reuters Fellowship winner, Neha Wadekar, received a mention in the University of Southern California, Annenberg’s 50th anniversary magazine issue as one of two alumnae honored for journalism excellence. Wadekar graduated in 2016 and has been reporting on conflicts in Africa since receiving her MS in journalism. She received the 2022 Breakthrough Journalism Award from the Pulitzer Center, for what judges called her “nuanced and persistent reporting on the growing Islamic insurgency in Mozambique.” Wadekar had an OPC Foundation fellowship in the Reuters bureau in Nairobi.

UPDATES

OPC member John Avlon appeared on a segment of CNN This Morning on Jan. 8 to discuss a new documentary series about Rudy Giuliani in which he was interviewed due to his past role as speech writer for the former New York City mayor. The documentary, titled “Giuliani: What Happened to America’s Mayor?” follows his career from New York to counsel and mouthpiece of election deniers for President Donald Trump. Avlon, an anchor and senior political analyst for CNN, served as Giuliani’s chief speech writer from 1999 to 2001. He said the documentary examines Giuliani’s “descent” from his “distinguished record” as a law-and-order figure as Mayor, to “being Donald Trump’s lackey, trying to overturn the election, and playing a role in inciting on January 6 with his ‘trial by combat’ comments, which I thought was unforgivable.” The four-episode series debuted on CNN on Jan. 8 and concluded on Jan. 15, available on CNN, Hulu, Apple TV and other streaming services.

OPC member Sewell Chan, the editor-in-chief of The Texas Tribune, served as a panelist on a Harvard Kennedy School program on Jan. 17 about the need for newsrooms to prioritize mental health. He said when the Tribune sent reporters to cover the Robb Elementary School in Uvalde County last year, the paper immediately reached out to the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma and the Trust for Trauma Journalism, limited the amount of time each reporter could spend on the ground reporting the story, and set up mental health sessions with staff. “Newsrooms are getting better at this, but we need help,” he said. Newsroom managers should be proactive, Chan added, “and our default should be that covering a massively traumatic event demands that we think about the processing of it and the aftermath of it, and offer people the help, rather than waiting for them to come forward and say that they need it.” Other panelists were Scott Blanchard of the public media station WITF; Elana Newman of the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma and psychology professor at the University of Tulsa; and Dave Seglins, an investigative journalist and well-being champion at CBC News. The moderator was Naseem Miller, senior health editor at The Journalist’s Resource. The recording of this program will be posted on the Kennedy School’s website “The Journalist’s Resource.”

OPC member Qinling Li was recently interviewed in the online magazine Our Culture Mag and the International Business Times about her award-winning short documentary about gun ownership among African-Americans. Li is a freelance journalist, founder of Dec8 Prodcutions, and contributor to Reason TV, an affiliate project of the Reason Foundation, a Libertarian think tank. Her short film for Reason TV, titled The Reawakening of the Black Gun-Rights Movement, won second place in the National Political/Government Reporting category at the 63rd Southern California Journalism Awards in 2021. She spent months following Black activists calling for armed self-protection in the wake of George Floyd’s death in 2020. Li was born in Hunan, China and has studied and practiced journalism in China, Australia and the United States. Her work has appeared on PBS Frontline, Al Jazeera English, Newsweek, Politico and the Christian Science Monitor, among others.

From March 13 to April 28, the National Arts Club in New York will celebrate the centenary of the birth of the world’s most famous mime, Marcel Marceau, with an exhibition of taken by TIME/LIFE photographer Ben Martin, a past member of the OPC. An exhibit of Martin’s photographs was presented as part of the OPC Foundation’s Scholar Awards Luncheon in February 2020. The exhibit this April will accompany the publication of a new edition of the book Marcel Marceau: Master of Mime, Martin’s visual tribute to his friend and renowned performer. Martin’s collaboration with Marceau, who died in September 2007 at the age of 84, started with a pictorial for LIFE magazine in the mid-1970s. The book includes more than 350 photographs, 80 in color, that capture Marceau behind the scenes, rehearsing, applying makeup and performing. The National Arts Club will host a reception on March 20 at 15 Gramercy Park South in New York. Marceau’s wife, Anne Sicco, will be in attendance representing the Marceau family.

OPC member Ari Schneider wrote a piece for Teen Vogue last year that made the magazine’s year-end 2022 Best Features list in December. The piece chronicles one teenager’s experience with so-called wilderness therapy, shedding light on the multi-billion dollar “troubled teen” industry. “In 2007, the U.S. Government Accountability Office testified before Congress regarding concerns of abuse and deaths in wilderness therapy programs, boot camps, and boarding schools for troubled teens,” Schneider wrote.

OPC member Jill Langlois wrote a piece for NPR’s Goats and Soda from Brazil on Dec. 31 about how Indigenous Amazonians are using WhatsApp to track mercury in fish. She wrote that the Mebêngôkre Kayapó tribe, which has a population of about 9,400 and occupies a tract of the Amazon about the size of Iceland, knew scientists had done studies to track toxins in other rivers and in other Indigenous territories, “but they didn’t want to wait for outsiders to discover what was happening on their own land.” The group found that fish from key rivers had unsafe levels of mercury, which could indicate mining operations upstream. Langlois received an OPC COVID-19 micro-grant in March 2021, and was profiled in the Bulletin in December.

Amanda Florian, an OPC member and freelance multimedia journalist, wrote a longform piece for Wired magazine on Jan. 11 recounting her strange experience investigating how an image of a woman that looked uncannily like her ended up in an advertisement for a camping stove on a Chinese retail website – despite having no memory of posing for the photo or giving permission for its use. Using some common digital sleuthing tools, she discovered a photo used in an Amazon ad of a woman the company said was one of their employees, which had been reposted and repurposed multiple times across the internet until it appeared to transform closer to her own face. She brought her findings to a private U.S. Department of Defense contractor who specializes in deepfakes, who said the Chinese company might have incorporated actual images of Florian’s face as part of a process to alter the original image for their own needs.

MEDIA NEWS

Joel Simon, who served as the executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) from 2006 to 2021, will join the Newmark J-School on Feb. 1 as the founding director of the Journalism Protection Initiative. The program will foster research into the growing threats to journalists in the U.S. and around the world. Simon served as panelist at numerous press freedom events hosted by the OPC and other organizations. Since stepping down from the CPJ, Simon has served as a fellow at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University and a senior visiting fellow at the Knight First Amendment Institute, also at Columbia.

NBCUniversal has announced that Rebecca Blumenstein, who currently serves as a deputy managing editor at The New York Times, as the president of editorial for NBC News. She will succeed Noah Oppenheim, who has been president of the company’s news operation since 2017. Blumenstein is a former foreign correspondent and was deputy editor-in-chief of The Wall Street Journal before joining the Times in 2017. She was the keynote speaker at the OPC Foundation’s Scholar Awards Luncheon in 2017.

PEOPLE REMEMBERED

Michael Eugene “Buck” Tharp, a former president of the Foreign Correspondents Club of Japan (FCCJ) and member of the Overseas Press Club community, died in Dallas, Texas, on Jan. 6 at the age of 77. The cause of death was bone marrow cancer. He served as FCCJ president from 1989 to 1990. Tharp’s journalism career started in 1976 as Wall Street Journal bureau chief in Tokyo. He also worked in Japan for The New York Times, the Far Eastern Economic Review and U.S. News and World Report, and in San Francisco as bureau chief for the Journal. Tharp later taught journalism at California State University in Fullerton and then joined the Merced Sun-Star as local news editor, becoming its executive editor in 2008. In March 2010, he spoke at the OPC’s Japan Hands Reunion and wrote a piece about the event for the Sun-Star, which was also posted on the OPC website here. Tharp received numerous mentions in the People column when Al Kaff, himself a veteran of many years in Asia with UPI, was writing the feature, including notable updates on Tharp’s career with the Sun-Star and his trip to Iraq in the summer of 2009 to report for McClatchy newspapers. The accompanying photo shows Tharp, on the left, posing with OPC Past President Bill Holstein at the Japan Hands event in 2010. Tharp and Holstein overlapped stints at U.S. News and World Report. He said in an email that Tharp “was always a gracious host at the FCCJ, one of the finest press clubs in the world.”

Bernard Kalb, a longtime correspondent for CBS, NBC and The New York Times who won an OPC award in 1968, died on Jan. 8 at his home in Maryland at the age of 100. His career spanned six decades of the Cold War, starting as reporter for the Times from 1946 to 1962, then CBS for the following 18 years, and NBC from 1980 to 1985. He served in the U.S. State Department for nearly two years under the administration of President Ronald Reagan, a stint that ended with his resignation due to a disinformation campaign against Libya’s Muammar el-Qaddafi. His first overseas assignment was to accompany Richard Byrd in 1955 on a mission to Antarctica. He was posted in Hong Kong, where he covered assignments in India and Southeast Asia, including the Vietnam War. He later served as anchor for CBS Morning News and moderator for CNN’s Reliable Sources show. Kalb won the OPC’s 1968 Asia Magazine Award for his coverage of the Vietnam War for CBS News. He was also a guest on a correspondent panel hosted by the OPC in 1958, and was moderator on an OPC panel 1998 to mark the opening of an exhibit of photos from the book Requiem: By the Photographers Who Died in Vietnam and Indochina.

Nate Thayer, a foreign correspondent whose career included an exclusive interview in Cambodia with Pol Pot for the Far Eastern Economic Review in 1997, died in Massachusetts in early January at the age of 62. He wrangled the interview after weeks of meetings with Khmer Rouge fighters, crossing into Cambodian wilderness from Thailand. He scooped Elizabeth Becker of The New York Times, who had been closing in on an interview at the same time, but Thayer used connections to block her entry to keep the exclusive. His piece won a 1997 Citation for Excellence in the Hal Boyle Award category. Justin Doebele wrote a piece about Thayer’s interview for the September 1997 issue of the Bulletin.