2005 OPC Award Winners
Thursday, 20 April 2006
The list of OPC award winners from 2005 includes the best of international reporting in the news industry.
1. THE HAL BOYLE AWARD
Best newspaper or wire service reporting from abroad
HANNAH ALLAM, TOM LASSETER, and the late YASSER SALIHEE
"Iraq: America's Failing War"
The Knight Ridder team was far ahead of other news organizations, reporting in February 2005 that deadly infighting among Iraq's Shiites and Sunnis threatened to erupt into civil war. An invaluable asset was that two of the three reporters spoke Arabic. The high degree of personal risk was obvious, as evidenced by the death of Salihee at the hands of U.S. troops manning a checkpoint. The judges were impressed that Knight Ridder, despite its financial pressures, maintained its commitment to the story.
2. THE BOB CONSIDINE AWARD
Best newspaper or wire service interpretation of international affairs
The Washington Post
"The CIA's Secret War"
Priest disclosed that the CIA maintained secret “black-site” prisons throughout Eastern Europe and elsewhere. She brought to light CIA wrongdoing, including the death of a young Afghan man and the mistaken imprisonment of a German citizen. Priest’s painstaking reporting required cultivation of sources within the tight-lipped intelligence world. Her stories resonated worldwide, prompting lawmakers at home and abroad to re-examine appropriate limits to the government’s counterterrorism campaign.
Joseph Kahn and Jim Yardley
The New York Times
"China: Rule by Law"
3. THE ROBERT CAPA GOLD MEDAL AWARD
Best published photographic reporting from abroad requiring exceptional courage and enterprise
"One Night in Tal Afar"
Suicide bombors or innocent civilians? Tragically, Hondros witnessed U.S. troops opening fire on a car that kept advancing on a checkpoint even after warning shots had been fired. In the front seat, both mother and father were killed instantly and one of the six children behind them was seriously wounded. The immediacy of these images places us inside the chilling action in an Iraqi city under siege. Most heartbreaking is the photograph of a young girl shrieking while splattered with the blood of her dead parents.
Contact Press Images - The New York Times
"Embed with the 173rd Airborne, Afghanistan"
4. THE OLIVIER REBBOT AWARD
Best photographic reporting from abroad in magazines and books
"The Rape of a Nation"
This powerful body of work won’t allow us to turn away, but rather makes us face the grim reality of what war-torn Congo has become. Chaos reigns and victims endure unimaginable horrors, including amputation, torture, rape, and cannibalism. There are no supplies or proper medical care in a place too dangerous for nongovernmental organizations to operate. The sheer physical and human toll is reaching epic proportions. Bleasdale’s aptly titled essay vividly documents the plundering of a society that has turned on itself.
Politiken for Newsweek
“Pakistan Earthquake: Living on the Edge”
Rapho for Time
“Darfur: Forgotten Refugees”
5. THE JOHN FABER AWARD
Best photographic reporting from abroad in newspapers and wire services
The New York Times
"Leaving Gaza "
Living in the region for many years didn’t diminish Castelnuovo’s ability to capture the emotional story of Jewish settlers’ forced withdrawal from Gaza and the West Bank. Each image depicts an intimate moment in the struggle between “the believers and non-believers.” The Israeli soldiers are clearly torn by having to evict fellow Jews from the land and homes they believe are theirs by divine right.
"South Asia Earthquake"
The New York Times
"Wasting Away in African Jails"
6. FEATURE PHOTOGRAPHY AWARD
Best feature photography published in any medium on an international theme
VII for Time / Time Asia
"Inside the Hermit Kingdom"
“Brilliant!” exclaimed one judge about this revealing set of pictures from inside North Korea. Not only is access difficult to obtain, but once inside, photographers are constantly monitored and restricted. Despite sneaking many of the pictures, in just four short days Morris made a truly memorable portrait of day-to-day life inside this clandestine society. Even a mundane subway scene takes on a painterly quality through this photojournalist’s eyes.
Magnum for Newsweek
"Death of the Pope: Prayers for a New Life"
7. THE LOWELL THOMAS AWARD
Best radio news or interpretation of international affairs
RACHEL LOUISE SNYDER, SARAH KOENIG, IRA GLASS
WBEZ; Public Radio International
"This American Life: Dreams of Distant Factories"
“Dreams of Distant Factories” managed the feat of making the listener care about a remote corner of the world through the power of good storytelling. Its reporting on the problems encountered by Cambodia’s garment industry as it tries to adapt to the ever-changing rules of global trade was thorough and nuanced. Interwoven with the main David-and-Goliath theme were subtle, well-made points about the irony of unintended consequences and the differing expectations of new and old democracies. The unpretentious delivery let the humanity of the reporters’ subjects come through.
"Inside Out: South Africa's Kwaito Generation"
8. THE DAVID KAPLAN AWARD
Best TV spot news reporting from abroad
RICHARD ROTH, ANDY CLARK, NICK TURNER, JAMES BROLAN
CBS Evening News
In the days immediately after a 7.6 magnitude earthquake that leveled villages, killed more than 79,000 people and left some 2 million homeless, Richard Roth and the CBS Evening News team brought viewers a wrenching story about victims of the tragedy. The reporting was compelling, the story-telling dramatic, simple and comprehensive. It was aggressive, shoe-leather reporting at its best.
John Donvan, Wilf Dinnick, Terry Moran, James Blue, Nasser Atta
ABC World News Tonight
"Gaza: The Pullout"
9. THE EDWARD R. MURROW AWARD
Best TV interpretation or documentary on international affairs
PETER VAN SANT, SUSAN ZIRINSKY, PETER SCHWEITZER, JOE HALDERMAN, JONATHAN SANDERS, MICHAEL MCHUGH, MICHAEL VELE
CBS News - 48 Hours
"Hostage: The Siege of Beslan"
With new video and interviews, 48 Hours looked back at the Beslan school siege, delivering a powerful portrait not only of the place and its traumatized people, but of the forces that produced the catastrophe. Especially striking was footage CBS obtained, taken by the terrorists themselves, of hundreds of children, teachers, and parents held hostage, showing the cruelty and the futility of the siege. Also powerful were interviews with survivors and the families of the victims.
Marcela Gaviria and Martin Smith
Frontline / WGBH Boston
Lowell Bergman and Neil Docherty
Frontline / WGBH Boston
"Al-Qaeda's New Front"
10. THE ED CUNNINGHAM MEMORIAL
Best magazine reporting from abroad
U.S. News & World Report
"Cracking an Insurgent Cell"
The New York Times Magazine
"The Fall of the Warrior King"
From the Bush Administration, certainties about Iraq have been unrelenting even as the war has festered. But on the ground, the U.S. military has confronted a world of uncertainty and moral ambiguity. Unprepared at first for the counter-insurgency war, officers and soldiers have had to improvise and adapt as the conflict hardened. In remarkable pieces from the front, Filkins and Barnes chronicle U.S. military personnel wrestling with how to maintain ethical standards, truthfulness, and discipline in a fight against a ruthless and shadowy enemy beset by no such qualms.
Thomas A. Bass
The New Yorker
"The Spy Who Loved Us"
11. THE THOMAS NAST AWARD
Best cartoons on international affairs
The Christian Science Monitor
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
The controversy over Danish cartoons depicting the prophet Mohammed reminded judges of the emotional power of the drawn idea. In such a charged atmosphere, judges divided the award between the best practitioners of the soft and of the hard sell: Bennett of The Christian Science Monitor and Lukovich of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The chief editorial writer of the Christian Science Monitor put it best about Bennett: “His subjects are lampooned, not harpooned, in a deadpan style somewhere between Buster Keaton and Franz Kafka.” Typical was his drawing of the United States as a construction worker busily nailing himself into a closed room while nation-building.
If Bennett makes the reader think, Lukovich is more likely to elicit a wince. In a year when many cartoonists went for the Bush jugular, he did it memorably. His most biting work was that of Uncle Sam as a blindfolded torturer beside a skeleton and stack of skulls. He wields a whip over the world, saying, “Last chance. Say you still respect me.”
12. THE MORTON FRANK AWARD
Best business reporting from abroad in magazines
NEIL WEINBERG and KIYOE MINAMI
"The Front Line: Japan Sheds Pacifism"
“The Front Line” is a wonderful example of finding a great story in plain sight. In Japan, the rise of the military industrial complex may be apparent, but to those of us in the United States, this story about the Japanese military is an eye-opener. This well-researched, wellwritten article also includes the startling assertion by a Japanese official that Japan could build a nuclear bomb in six months.
"Oil's New Mr. Big"
13. THE MALCOM FORBES AWARD
Best business reporting from abroad in newspapers or wire services
The New York Times
"India Accelerating "
Waldman’s series of four articles focused on the Indian government’s 15-year project to widen and pave some 40,000 miles of narrow, decrepit national highways—the biggest public-works effort since independence more than half a century ago. She told her story with such creativity that it made the reader feel, taste, and smell India as if they were traveling the road with her. The business of building a vast new highway network, with its many unexpected and unimagined ramifications, was beautifully told by Waldman. She captured the essence of a nation in transition—a civilization inching from the ancient to the modern.
James Politi and Financial Times Team
"CNOOC / UNOCAL"
Jane Bussey and Miami Herald Staff
The Miami Herald
"The China Squeeze"
14. THE CORNELIUS RYAN AWARD
Best nonfiction book on international affairs
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
"The Assassins' Gate: America in Iraq"
This remarkable piece of journalism on the Iraq war combines analysis, on-the-ground reporting, and superlative storytelling in a compelling narrative. Packer gets close to his subjects—whether they be Administration officials, U.S. soldiers, or Iraqi officials—and allows them to tell a powerful story of ineptitude, frustration, and failure.
15. THE MADELINE DANE ROSS AWARD
Best international reporting in any medium showing a concern for the human condition
"Pipeline to Peril"
This moving, two-part series on the little-noted kidnap and murder of 12 Nepalese workers in Iraq uncovered a shocking network of contractors and subcontractors--leading back to the U.S. government--that deceitfully and illegally lured poor foreigners as cheap labor for American bases, then failed to provide proper care and security. Simpson’s work was a model of initiative, tenacity, and investigative skill, finally leading to an official probe by the U.S. State Department, which credited the series for dramatizing the "dark side" of global labor trafficking.
16. THE CARL SPIELVOGEL AWARD
Best international reporting in the broadcast media showing a concern for the human condition
BRENT and CRAIG RENAUD
Discovery Times Channel
"Off to War"
This was a remarkable piece that told the story of American soldiers on the frontlines in Iraq. With skilled use of cinema verité, it showed the day-to-day dangers of the war and how if affected U.S. soldiers in Iraq and their families at home in Arkansas, masterfully weaving the two locations together. The piece also portrayed the Iraqis’ suffering and documented the remarkable moment when Iraqis voted, risking their lives to do so. This series made the war immediate and real in a stark, unembellished, powerful way.
Keith Morrison, Tim Sandler, David Corvo, Allan Maraynes
NBC News - Dateline
"Uganda: Children of War"
Lisa Myers, Steve McCarthy, Scott Hooker, Judith Greenberg, Heather Chapman
"Trail of Terror: Jihad in Iraq"
17. THE JOE & LAURIE DINE AWARD
Best international reporting in a print medium dealing with human rights
Los Angeles Times
"Glimpses of a Hermit Nation"
Through exhaustive interviews with defectors, North Korean residents at the Chinese border, and foreign aid workers, Barbara Demick pieced together a vivid portrait of daily life inside the world’s most isolated nation. Focusing on the coastal city of Chongjin, Demick detailed how desperate citizens are trying to cope with extreme hunger, poverty, and political repression. Demick also traveled to the Czech Republic to show how North Korean women are essentially working as slaves even beyond North Korea’s borders.
Nicholas D. Kristof
The New York Times
"Commentary from the Developing World"
Stephen Segaller, Peter Hutchens, Ryan Hill
Thirteen / WNET New York and Still Life Projects
"Wide Angle: Border Jumpers"
18. THE WHITMAN BASSOW AWARD
Best reporting in any medium on international environmental issues
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
"Out of Eden: an Odyssey of Ecological Invasion"
Unsettling and poetic, “Out of Eden” is a dark travelogue into a subject that is obscure but portentous: the insinuation of invasive species into environments where they would not be without the assistance of human beings. In exotic landscapes and in his own backyard, Burdick builds his reporting on the stories of ecologists working the intersections of natural and manmade ecologies. Indeed, this absorbing account of plants and animals emigrating to new environments raises essential questions about what it means to call the natural environments “natural.”
KMOV-TV St. Louis
"La Oroya: Metal Smelting in the Andes"
19. THE ROBERT SPIERS BENJAMIN AWARD
Best reporting in any medium on Latin America
BOB DAVIS, MATT MOFFETT, DAVID LUHNOW, GERALDO SAMOR, JOHN LYONS, JOHN D. MCKINNON
The Wall Street Journal
"The Failure of Reform"
In insightful, wide-ranging reporting on the crucial question in Latin America: “Why has reform failed?” The Wall Street Journal’s Latin American staff analyzed the region’s shift to the left after the apparent failure of free-market policies. Brazil’s struggles for economic take-off are shown mired in red tape, corruption, and snail-paced justice. Argentina’s efforts give property titles to some squatters who visibly succeed while neighbors not yet owning titles languish. Mexico’s educational divide stifles social and entrepreneurial mobility generation after generation. Weaving unusual subjects into broader analyses of trade, political, and economic trends, the in-depth reports suggest that there is no single reason for the failure of reform and certainly no single solution.
"On the Ground in Cuba"
20. WEBSITE AWARD
Best web coverage of international affairs.
TOM KNUDSON, HECTOR AMEZCUA, and SETH VANBOOVEN
The Sacramento Bee
"The Pineros: Men of the Pines"
This series of stories, told using a rich mix of audio, video, animated graphics, original documentation, and careful, well-written prose, focused on the abuse of Latin American migrants working stands of timber in the forests of California. While the story takes place in California, The Sacramento Bee rightly presents it as a larger tale of open borders, immigration, and deregulation in the age of globalization.
Reporter Tom Knudson and photojournalist Hector Amezcua take their audience to an insular world as foreign to average Americans as any on the planet, a world “which only happens to be in America,” as one judge put it. Their work steers clear of the hyperbole and production slickness that taints too much of today’s journalism. Their work carefully parses the elements of this heart-wrenching story into sidebars, backgrounders, and multimedia features, pairing each element to the medium best suited to present it. The piece also provides readers with a way to contact the companies and government agencies involved and included a “Respond to this Series” link that led to a genuine debate over the value of their journalism.
Naka Nathaniel and Nicholas D. Kristof
The New York Times
"International Multimedia Reporting"
21. THE ARTYOM BOROVIK AWARD
For outstanding reporting by a Russian journalist who displays courage, insight, and independence of thought.
This prize is named for Artyom Borovik, who was one of the earliest and boldest practitioners of glasnost (openness) in Mikhail Gorbachev's Soviet Union in the 1980s. Borovik, who won an Overseas Press Club award in 1991 for a 60 Minutes segment on a Soviet lab where the brains of Vladimir Lenin and other Soviet heroes were stored, was relentless in exposing the malfeasance, corruption, and dirty secrets of Russian officials. He was best known for his critical reporting from Afghanistan during the Soviet occupation. He died tragically in a plane crash in 1999 at the age of 39.
Krasnoyarsk TV (central Siberia)
“Fight for Justice”
Educated as a laywer, Marina is the host of Budni (weekdays), a TV news program that focuses on how ordinary Russians are finding their way in modern Russia. Marina travels widely in the cold backwoods of Siberia, pushing her lens into lives of those abandoned by the state, those suffering from Russia’s wild gamble on ruthless capitalism, and those involved in group criminal activity. This Siberian reporter-anchorwoman risks her own safety by taking on corrupt government officials and hardened criminals. Masterful storytelling skills and real compassion empower her broadcasts.
Severnii Kavkaz (North Caucasus)
"Violence in the Caucasus"
Krasnoye Znamya (Red Banner)
"Victim of Army Hazing"
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