2006 OPC Award Winners
Tuesday, 1 May 2007
The list of OPC award winners from 2006 includes the best of international reporting in the news industry.
1. The Hal Boyle Award
Best newspaper or wire service reporting from abroad
LOS ANGELES TIMES STAFF
Los Angeles Times
"Coverage of War on Two Fronts"
At a time when many news organizations are under pressure to cut back on their international presence, the judges were impressed by the depth of commitment made by the Los Angeles Times to cover two of the world's most difficult and dangerous stories. The Times maintained three fulltime correspondents in Baghdad, backed by more than 20 Iraqi staffers.
The correspondents were ahead of the competition in describing the disintegration of Sunni-Shiite neighborhoods and the role of Shiite police in death squads. In Afghanistan, Paul Watson displayed remarkable enterprise by describing how secret information was leaking out of a U.S. military base and by traveling nearly 1,400 miles around the country.
C.J. CHIVERS, The New York Times
ANTHONY SHADID, The Washington Post
"With the Marines" "The Contest for Lebanon"
2. The Bob Considine Award
Best newspaper or wire service interpretation of international affairs
"A Tank of Gas, AWorld of Trouble"
They said it couldn't be done -- trace a gallon of gas sold in America to the oil producing countries from which it came. Paul Salopek thought otherwise. Learning that refineries kept "crude slates," he convinced Marathon Oil to share the confidential list of crude deliveries at its Illinois refinery. In a series that crackles with verisimilitude, Salopek depicts both life in the oil fields of the strife-torn African states that produced the crude, and life among the truckers, Hummer drivers and down and outs at an all night Marathon station vending the final product on Chicago's West side. Salopek's effort is a model of how to plant a global story squarely on Main Street.
CITATION MICHAEL MOSS
The New York Times
"The Iraq Court System:
Law and Disorder"
3. The Robert Capa Gold Medal Award
Best published photographic reporting from abroad requiring exceptional courage and enterprise
Magnum for Newsweek
"True Pain: Israel & Hizbullah"
The judges found Pellegrin's startling pictures to be haunting in their vision of the war and its victims. Based primarily in the southern Lebanese city of Tyre and enduring the dangers of intense Israeli shelling and bombardment, Pellegrin photographed the damage, death, and internal displacement of a country ravaged by conflict.
His photographs of the anxieties and terrors of war are universal images. They are full of austere beauty even as they tell a damning truth about the brutal nature of armed conflict and its terrible effects on civilian populations.
4. The Olivier Rebbot Award
Best photographic reporting from abroad in magazines or books
Redux - Newsweek
"Sri Lanka:War Without End"
The judges all agreed that Sakamaki's comprehensive visual report of the civil war in Sri Lanka, which includes work with both Tamil and Sri Lankan fighters as well as powerfully cathartic images of civilian casualties and refugees, told the most poignant story in the competition.
By defining the brutal contours of the conflict, Sakamaki has evoked the emotional and deadly trauma of a savage civil war that has raged for nearly 25 years and has all but been forgotten by the outside world.
5. The John Faber Award
Best photographic reporting from abroad in newspapers orwire services
Contact Press Images - Los Angeles Times
"The African Scourge"
The jury felt that Kristen Ashburn's "The African Scourge" stood out among some very strong entries. Her story on AIDS in Africa showed an understanding, compassion, dedication and warmth for her subjects.
This created an emotional response from the members of the jury and was key to her selection as the winner. In her photographs Ashburn allowed her subjects to speak rather than the photographs or the situation.
6. Feature Photography Award
Best feature photography published in any medium on an international theme
Getty Images - Time
"The Other Side of War"
Farah Nosh's project, "The Other Side of War," presents a rare and intimate glimpse into the private life of an Iraqi family in Baghdad. In startling contrast to the typical media portrayal of Iraqis as either victims or combatants, Nosh presents her subjects as ordinary people, in moments of shelter from the war raging outside the walls of their home. The judges found her work to be extraordinary, not only for the unique perspective she brings to the subject, but for the poignancy and eloquence of her visual language.
7. The Lowell Thomas Award
Best radio news or interpretation of international affairs
Radio Diaries and National Public Radio
"Thembi's AIDS Diary"
This is a compelling account of a young woman's fight against the pandemic that is sweeping Africa. Thembi Ngubane, a resident of the sprawling South African township of Khayelitsha, spent a year recording her feelings about the disease, her fears about having a child of her own and the pain of telling her father about her illness. The judges felt that this was an example of radio at its finest: powerful, creative and deeply moving. Superb editing, which compacted 50 hours of raw tape into a half-hour documentary, allowed Thembi to tell her own story while simultaneously illustrating the political and social tensions roused by AIDS in a nation still trying to overcome the legacy of its apartheid past.
CITATION RENEE MONTAGNE
National Public Radio
"Afghanistan Five Years Later"
8. The David Kaplan Award
Best TV spot news reporting from abroad
LARA LOGAN, JEFF NEWTON,
ROME HARTMAN, BILL OWENS,
CBS Evening News
Judges noted Logan's "immensely powerful storytelling" in her coverage of American troops under fire in Ramadi. Logan was running along with troops when a 19-year old soldier was shot right in front of her. Logan caught several signs of imminent disaster seconds before snipers opened fire: women suddenly running away down the street, shops abandoned with all of their goods openly on display. Judges were especially impressed by Logan's capturing of many human moments and gritty details as the young troops faced possible death. Some of their comments as bullets were hitting around them: "we're going to get blown up," and "we're just rolling the dice."
9. The Edward R. Murrow Award
Best TV interpretation or documentary on international affairs
RIC ESTHER BIENSTOCK
Associated Producers for PBS Frontline
"Sex Slaves" represents everything a winner should have: strong dramatic story, riveting characters, amazing access, good journalism, and professional execution. This portrait of modern day slavery is made possible by the most compelling use of undercover cameras in recent memory. The international scourge of human trafficking is shown from all sides the women, their families, the middlemen (who sometimes were women) and the traffickers themselves.
The disappearance of Katia and her husband Viorel's desperate search to trace and rescue her from Turkey is the stuff of movie scripts. The fact that Katia's kidnapper, Vlad, agrees to talk about and justify his crime is a coup for the filmmakers that serves to highlight the enormous difficulty of stamping out this ancient but still thriving crime against humanity. Bravo to the filmmakers for their first-rate reporting and forceful storytelling worthy of the name Murrow.
10. The Ed Cunningham Award
Best magazine reporting from abroad
The New Yorker
"The Lessons of Tal Afar"
Packer writes a brilliant overview and analysis of a failed American counter-insurgency effort in Iraq by focusing on a successful stand-alone operation. Reporting from Tal Afar and Washington, he distills the essence of one effort to pacify Iraq, while lamenting that, in general, it is a road not taken by American political and military leaders. Packer's story features superb writing and on-the-scene reporting. He describes the failed policies which have emboldened U.S. enemies and divided American public opinion. His piece could have been entitled "The Anatomy of a Catastrophe."
RON MOREAU and SAMI YOUSAFZAI
"Resurgence of the Taliban"
11. The Thomas Nast Award
Best cartoons on international affairs
Philadelphia Daily News
With her edgy characters and tart taglines, Signe Wilkinson never fails to surprise. Whether she is skewering the Bush White House for its Iraq policy or the repressive Chinese regime's crackdown on the Internet, Wilkinson amuses, informs and enlightens.
KEVIN (KAL) KALLAUGHER
12. The Morton Frank Award
Best business reporting from abroad in magazines
The New York Times Magazine
"Google's China Problem (And China's Google Problem)"
The explosive growth of Google was one of the biggest stories of the year. But in the case of China, this growth came at significant cost to Google's reputation, as the internet giant agreed to submit to official censorship. Clive Thompson traveled twice to China and conducted hard-to-get on-therecord interviews to explore whether Google betrayed its own credo (Don't be evil). Thompson's detailed account added context, depth, and dimension to a story that had played out in the news over weeks.
He showed that China, too, bore a cost for letting Google in. Ultimately, he offered unparalleled insights into the way in which a company and a country rewrote the rules of global business.
MICHAEL SMITH and DAVID VOREACOS, Bloomberg Markets
"Secret World of Modern Slavery in South America"
DEXTER ROBERTS and PETE ENGARDIO, Business Week
"Secrets, Lies, and Sweatshops"
13. The Malcolm Forbes Award
Best business reporting from abroad in newspapers or wire services
LOS ANGELES TIMES STAFF
Los Angeles Times
"The New Foreign Aid"
The Los Angeles Times five-part series focused on the extensive phenomenon known as remittances whereby immigrants working abroad send money to their families in their home countries. This $250 billion global ritual accounts for the fastest growing and most reliable source of income for developing countries. Every day remittances are flowing not just to Mexico from California, but from Italy to Kenya, Spain to Ecuador, South Africa to Zimbabwe, and from just about everywhere to the Philippines. The Times brought the stories to life by recounting the sometimes harrowing experiences of individuals on both ends of the remittance pipeline. Proving that commitment to foreign news is not dead, the Times sent its reporters to 14 countries to tell the compelling stories of remittances the new foreign aid.
DAN FITZPATRICK, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
"Wild Wild East"
CHIP CUMMINS, The Wall Street Journal
"The Global Energy-Security Crisis"
14. The Cornelius Ryan Award
Best nonfiction book on international affairs
Alfred A. Knopf
Imperial Life in the Emerald City: Inside Iraq's Green Zone
This is a disturbing story of life inside the walled-off Baghdad enclave that has served as the nerve center of America's occupation of Iraq. The Washington Post's Rajiv Chandrasekaran captures the dangerous absurdity of Americans ensconced in their imperial comcompound.
Operating from air conditioned spaces in Saddam's old palaces, comforted by all the amenities of home and protected by the most powerful army on earth, they remained dangerously cut off from the chaotic realities of the country they were supposed to save. By turns tragic and darkly comic, "Imperial Life in the Emerald City" is a stark reminder of how much damage American arrogance and naivete can inflict on the world.
Alfred A. Knopf
The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11
15. The Madeline Dane Ross Award
Best international reporting in the print medium showing a concern for the human condition
CELIAW. DUGGER and
DONALD G. McNEIL, JR.
The New York Times
"Diseases on the Brink"
These vivid reports combined poignant personal reporting and comprehensive investigation of medical, cultural and political realities to point up serious Third World health problems that could be eliminated with just a bit more understanding and effort, which the series itself helped to generate. The writers traveled to India, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Haiti, Nepal, Kazakhstan and Ghana highlighting the horrors left behind by such diseases as lymphatic filariasis, blinding trachoma, measles, polio, and guinea worm ailments that no longer trouble the developed world, but persist in poor regions.
16. The Carl Spielvogel Award
Best international reporting in the broadcast media showing a concern for the human condition
JON ALPERT and MATTHEW O'NEILL
Downtown Community Television Center / HBO
This extraordinary piece of cinema verité puts flesh and blood on the grim casualty statistics of the Iraq War. By following wounded American soldiers and Iraqi civilians as they are brought into the 86th Combat Support Hospital for treatment, it depicts, without editorializing, the horror of war and the heroism of the ordinary men and women who confront it on a daily basis.
MICHAEL SULLIVAN, LETHI MINH HANH,
National Public Radio
"Wartime Diary Touches Vietnamese"
STEPHEN SEGALLER, PAMELA HOGAN,
JUDY KATZ, TAMARA ROSENBERG
Thirteen/WNET New York
"Wide Angle: Back to School"
17. The Joe And Laurie Dine Award
Best international reporting in any medium dealing with human rights
St. Martin's Press
Ghost Plane: The True Story of the CIA Torture Program
Stephen Grey's "Ghost Plane" is the consummation of years of investigation, not only by the author, but, as he acknowledges, the informal global network of journalists with whom he collaborated to reveal the murky world of rendition, extraordinary rendition and proxy torture. By tracing the landings and takeoffs of clumsily concealed CIA flights, his work not only demonstrates concerned investigative journalism in action, it lifts the lid on a global gulag of prisons and torture chambers, assembled by US officials in defiance of domestic and international human rights law. It caused a furor in Europe, and should here.
"Bosnia War Criminals in the USA"
18. The Whitman Bassow Award
Best reporting in any medium on international environmental issues
"The Price We Pay for China's Boom"
Osnos and his Chicago Tribune reporting team made the familiar story of China's environmental devastation immediate for North American readers. The unprecedented quality of the entries for the Bassow Award suggests that 2006 was the year journalists learned to tell the fantastically complex story of climate change with verve and cogent analysis. Evan Osnos and the Tribune team exhibited those qualities in abundance.
19. The Robert Spiers Benjamin Award
Best reporting in any medium on Latin America
PAMELA YATES, PETER KINOY, PACO deONÍS
Skylight Pictures -- The History Channel en Español
"State of Fear"
A chilling recounting of the decades that Peruvians suffered under threat from the terrorist group Sendero Luminoso and then from their own governments' counter-terrorism repression is told through the eyes and ears of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission as well as a society photographer who documented the atrocities. Sobering first person stories and archival footage show how the country became convulsed with fear. It is a cautionary tale about terrorism as Peruvians fight to restore democracy and its rule of law and learn whom to trust.
THEWALL STREET JOURNAL STAFF
The Wall Street Journal
"Cuba's Looming Change"
20. Website Award
Best web coverage of international affairs
STAFF OF THE LOS ANGELES TIMES
Los Angeles Times
These five well-reported stories, beautifully complemented by interactive graphics, crisp photography, and video reports tailored for the Web rather than television viewers, bring to light a crisis in the world's oceans. Using California's fragile coastline as a jumping off point, the series ties together recent global data on coral reefs, water temperature and fish stocks, into a jarring report on a serious threat to sea life, and in turn, to life on the rest of the planet. In reports from Australia's Great Barrier Reef, and from the tiny Pacific atoll of Midway Island, the editorial team explains the complex chemical and biological factors driving many species of aquatic plants and animals toward extinction. The framing, pace and tone of the video reports, the direct relevance of interactive features, and the urgent but not hyperbolic tone of the text stories provided a mix that was truly made for online media.
KEVIN SITES INTHE HOT ZONE
21. The Artyom Borovik Award
For outstanding reporting by a Russian journalist who displays courage, insight, and independence of thought
"Commentary on Contemporary Russia"
During the Soviet war in Afghanistan, Major Izmailov commanded a battalion. Now a reporter for one of Russia's last bastions of the free press, the Moscow newspaper, Novaya Gazeta, Izmailov has written an authoritative column on Russian military affairs.
No mere commentator, Izmailov, a longtime colleague of the late Anna Politkovskaya, is part independent analyst, part human rights mediator, and at least two parts muckraker in the tradition of Seymour Hersh. His 2006 columns typify the Izmailov style: each is an unflinching examination of malfeasance in the armed forces, be it corruption at the highest levels, hazing of recruits, or alleged war crimes in the ongoing conflict, now in its thirteenth year, in Chechnya.
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