Veteran Correspondents Urge Early-Career Journalists to Look Beyond Conflict

Charlie Sennott writes about last week’s gathering of the Overseas Press Club Foundation, where 15 top young journalists were awarded internships and fellowships for international reporting. The event’s keynote speaker Sebastian Junger, who lost a close colleague in Libya in 2011, provided a cautionary tale for young journalists reporting in a time of rising peril. He told reporters early in their careers that there are other important stories in the world that need to be covered.

“War is dramatic, and so in some ways it is very easy to write about it. At 53 years old, I am realizing there are very meaningful aspects of life than can be right around the corner from where you live,” said Junger.

Charlie’s column, published this week on Huffington Post, also announces The GroundTruth Project’s third annual Middle East reporting fellowship, which will be offered to an early-career journalist to report on life outside of conflict. In the past, this fellowship has been offered in the spirit of great foreign correspondents who died on assignment, including Anthony Shadid and Marie Colvin. This year, we offer this fellowship in the spirit of James Foley.

“Jim was always more than a conflict reporter. He had the ‘true north’ of an international correspondent who was just finding his own voice,” Charlie writes. “He came at this profession not purely from the adrenaline rush of covering war, but more deeply from a sense of caring about the people caught in conflict.”

Click here to see a list of this year’s OPC Foundation Scholarship winners and more information about their winning submissions.