Niemans Entering and Leaving Office in Colombia Juan Manuel Santos, NF ’88, was elected president of Colombia in June, and he was sworn into office in August. Santos, who received 69 percent of the votes, had been the country’s defense minister from 2006 until 2009 under President Alvaro Uribe.

Meanwhile, his cousin Francisco Santos, NF ’92, who served as vice president under Uribe, has returned to journalism, taking on a new role as director of the morning news program for Colombian broadcaster RCN Radio.

The Santos family has long been involved with Colombian politics and media. Juan Manuel’s granduncle Eduardo Santos was president in the 1930’s and 1940’s, and the family owned Colombia’s largest daily newspaper, El Tiempo, until 2007, when it sold the majority share to a Spanish media company.

Nieman Fellows Francisco Santos, left, and Juan Manuel Santos flank then-President Alvaro Uribe during a ceremony in Bogota in 2007. Photo by Fernando Vergara/Associated Press.

 

Nieman Fellows Enroll In Kennedy School’s Mason Program Two Nieman Fellows, Kalpana Jain, NF ’09, and Alejandra Matus, NF ’10, are enrolled this fall in the Mid-Career Master in Public Administration Edward S. Mason Program at Harvard’s Kennedy School. Students from developing and newly industrialized countries earn a master’s degree while taking part in a year-long program in which they meet with leading thinkers and practitioners in political, economic and social development. A number of Nieman Fellows have graduated from the Mason program.

 

1943

Read his obituary in the Santa Barbara Independent»Frank K. Kelly died on June 11th in Santa Barbara, California at the age of 95.

He was a soldier and reporter in World War II, a speechwriter for President Harry Truman, and a cofounder and senior vice president of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, according to a tribute by foundation cofounder David Krieger published in the Santa Barbara Independent.

His writing career got off to an early start with a science fiction story published in Wonder Stories when he was 16. After graduating from the University of Kansas City, he worked for The Kansas City Star and The Associated Press in New York City.

Kelly was a speechwriter for Harry Truman during his 1948 presidential campaign against Thomas E. Dewey. Forty years later, in an oral history interview for the Harry S. Truman Library & Museum, Kelly talked about the campaign and a phrase he wrote to sum up the issues: “peace, prices and places to live.”

Following his stint as a speechwriter, Kelly held a number of positions in government and public policy organizations, including assistant to a U.S. Senate Majority Leader and vice president of the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions. In the early 1950’s he directed a national campaign against book censorship and held a leadership role in the Study of World News, conducted by the International Press Institute. In 1956 he became the vice president of the Fund for the Republic, a nonprofit organization founded by the Ford Foundation to fight McCarthyism and promote freedom of expression.

He and his family moved to Santa Barbara when the fund established the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions there in 1959. For 17 years he worked closely with Robert Hutchins, the center’s president. Kelly wrote a number of books, among them “Court of Reason: Robert Hutchins and the Fund for the Republic.”

His wife, Barbara, to whom he had been married for 54 years, died in 1995. Kelly is survived by two sons.

 

1954

Read his obituary in the Providence Business News»Robert C. Bergenheim died June 5th at his home in Naples, Florida. A Navy veteran of World War II, he was 86.

He got his start in the newspaper business at 17 as a copy boy for The Christian Science Monitor in Boston, then moved into a reporting job after the war. After his Nieman year, he returned to the Monitor as a reporter before becoming city editor. Eventually he became manager of the Christian Science Publishing Society, which not only published the Monitor but books and magazines as well.

He was publisher of the Hearst-owned Boston Herald American from the mid-1970’s until 1979.

Two years later he founded the weekly Boston Business Journal. In an obituary published in The Boston Globe, journalist Peter Kadzis, who worked with Bergenheim on the launch, said, “Bob Bergenheim was a newsman who combined vision with integrity. Long before most others, he saw that business news was going to be a bigger player than ever before.”

Bergenheim’s son Roger, who was working at the Boston Phoenix at the time, told the Globe, “He called me and said ‘How would you want to set up a business journal?’ ”

In 1986 the Bergenheims expanded the franchise, launching the Providence (R.I.) Business News. Roger remains the paper’s president and publisher.

The following year Bergenheim sold half-ownership of that paper along with full control of the Boston Business Journal and Boston Business magazine to a Minneapolis-based publishing company. He bought back full ownership of the Providence weekly in 1990.

He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth, four sons, and two daughters. Another son died in 2008.

In lieu of flowers, the Bergenheim family has asked that donations be made to the Nieman Foundation.

 

1956

Read his obituary in The Boston Globe»Robert L. Healy died June 5th at his home in Jupiter, Florida. He was 84.

A veteran political journalist, Healy spent more than four decades at The Boston Globe. He covered nine national elections, beginning with the presidential primary in New Hampshire in 1952, and wrote a column on the op-ed page for 26 years. He had been executive editor, Washington bureau chief, and political editor.

Born in Boston, Healy started as a copy boy at the Globe, where his father worked as a mailer for 50 years. The first newspaper story he covered was the scene at the mortuary where families of victims of the Cocoanut Grove nightclub fire went to identify bodies.

After serving in the Army Air Corps during World War II, he returned to the Globe in 1946, attending college full time as well.

Among the big stories Healy covered over the years were the Brink’s robbery, the sinking of the Andrea Doria off Nantucket, and Mayor James Michael Curley’s release from federal prison.

In the obituary that appeared in the Globe, Jack Driscoll, a former editor of the Globe, said Healy “was best known for his political instincts and passion. Political conventions and campaigns were his bread and butter. He was a whirling dervish during those times.”

Healy broke a couple of stories that were difficult for the Kennedys. In 1962 when Edward M. Kennedy was running for the U.S. Senate for the first time, Healy learned that Kennedy had been expelled from Harvard as an undergraduate for cheating on a test. The Kennedys agreed to cooperate on the story if it was played below the fold on Page One. It ran under the headline “Ted Kennedy Tells About Harvard Examination Incident.”

In 1965, Healy played a key role in a Globe investigation into the qualifications of a lawyer who had been nominated for a federal judgeship. The nomination was withdrawn and the Globe won the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service in 1966.

Healy is survived by his wife, Mary, four sons, two daughters, two stepdaughters, and three stepsons.

 

1963

Victor K. McElheny has written his third book, “Drawing the Map of Life: Inside the Human Genome Project,” which was published by Basic Books in June. In an e-mail, he discussed the project: “So here we are, a few years away from complete human DNA sequences for the price of a CAT scan. As I told Salon.com, ‘We’re going to be doing a lot of growing up in the way we think about genetics in the next decades.’ I began covering stories about DNA even before my Nieman year, when I first met the DNA pioneer, Jim Watson.” McElheny’s book, “Watson and DNA: Making a Scientific Revolution,” came out in 2003.

McElheny continued in his e-mail: “It took six years of study, scientific conferences, and interviews, a year of writing, and half a year of post-production” to get “Drawing the Map of Life” into bookstores in June. “Early reactions have been friendly,” McElheny wrote. “The reviewer for Science said the book ‘cuts fresh paths into recent history.’ The Economist’s reviewer said, ‘Mr. McElheny knows almost everyone involved and describes their motivations fairly.’”

Founder of the Knight Science Journalism Fellowships at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the longtime science journalist is in his 13th year as a visiting scholar in MIT’s Program in Science, Technology, and Society.

 

1989
Nieman Fellows and affiliates from the class of ’87 gathered in D.C., on the couches from left: Betsy Lamb, Martha Matzke, Chuck Alston, Lois Fiore (former longtime staff member at the Nieman Foundation), Jamie Lamb, and Susan Dentzer. Others from left: Rick Carns, Al May, Valerie Hyman, Ira Rosen, Libby Cumming, and Doug Cumming.

1987 Niemans Gather in D.C. An impromptu reunion took place in Washington, D.C. in May. Four ’87 Fellows are D.C. area residents: Al May, Martha Matzke, Chuck Alston, and Susan Dentzer. Two others had plans to be in town: Jamie Lamb and his wife, Betsy, as well as Valerie Hyman. When word of this confluence got out, other Fellow families decided to join the party: Ira Rosen and his wife, Iris Schneider, came down from New York, Doug Cumming and his wife, Libby, drove over from Lexington, Virginia, and Linda Wilson and her husband, Rick Carns, flew in from Castle Rock, Washington. Al and his wife, Carol Darr, welcomed the group to converge on their home for four days of eating, drinking, shopping, touring, cigar smoking, and the traditional poker game. Jamie made his famous cioppino and Chuck wowed the bunch with quiche and biscuits at the concluding brunch at his and Susan’s home. Hyman writes: “Ours is the class that has continued reunions without pause since our graduation. Once annually, now biannually, we have seen each other through weddings, divorces, illness, job changes, and children. It’s a rare group of any kind that remains connected as our class has, and we’re grateful for this lifelong blessing. Next summer: Woodstock!”

 

1988

Eileen McNamara is writing a monthly column for Boston magazine. It debuted in the “Best of Boston” issue this summer. Formerly a columnist at The Boston Globe, she was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for Commentary in 1997. Since leaving the Globe after nearly 30 years, McNamara has been teaching journalism at Brandeis University.

***

Eduardo Ulibarri has been named Costa Rica’s new ambassador to the United Nations. It is his first diplomatic posting. Ulibarri is the former editor of La Naciòn, Costa Rica’s leading daily newspaper, and has taught journalism at the University of Costa Rica. He also serves as the president of the Institute for the Press and Freedom of Expression in Costa Rica.

“For me this is totally unprecedented,” Ulibarri said after his appointment was announced. “I am not a specialist in diplomatic matters nor do I have systematic training in international themes, but I have always been studious and I have an understanding of the extended world.”

***

Gene Weingarten’s “The Fiddler in the Subway,” a collection of his profiles, columns and feature stories for The Washington Post, was published in July by Simon & Schuster. The book takes its title from the piece—about a world-class violinist playing for change in a Washington, D.C. Metro station—that won Weingarten his first Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing. Other pieces in the collection include “The Great Zucchini,” his profile of a troubled but extremely successful children’s entertainer, and “The Armpit of America,” about his search to find the worst city in the country.

 

1990

Daniel R. Biddle is the coauthor of “Tasting Freedom: Octavius Catto and the Battle for Equality in Civil War America,” published in September by Temple University Press. Biddle, the Pennsylvania editor for The Philadelphia Inquirer, wrote it with Murray Dubin, his longtime colleague at the paper.

Catto, an activist for equal rights for blacks, was murdered during an election-day race riot in Philadelphia in 1871. In an e-mail, Biddle wrote: “Dubin and I stumbled onto this story and realized right away it had all the elements: It was full of drama and amazing characters; it had not been widely told; and it could make a difference. All that remained was to research and write—for seven years! We became library rats, poring over archives and combing old newspapers. We learned of men and women who anticipated Rosa Parks, Jackie Robinson, and Martin Luther King, Jr. by nearly a century. They sat down in whites-only streetcars, challenged baseball’s color line, and marched through hostile crowds to proclaim their right to vote. The story of their struggles has changed my understanding of America’s racial history. I hope it does the same for readers.”

***

Monica Flores Correa is the author of “Agosto” (“August”), a collection of short stories written in Spanish. It was published this year by Artepoética Press. A resident of New York City, she teaches literature and Spanish at the Cervantes Institute and the Queen Sofia Spanish Institute.

 

1992
Nieman Reports Editor Receives Yankee Quill Award

Melissa Ludtke, NF ’92, editor of Nieman Reports, has been selected by the Academy of New England Journalists to receive the Yankee Quill Award recognizing a lifetime contribution toward excellence in journalism.

In a letter to Ludtke announcing the award, academy chairman William B. Ketter wrote that the selection “was not based on any single achievement but rather on the broad influence for good you have had on New England journalism over your career. This includes your distinguished history of fighting for equal opportunities for women sportswriters, your deft editing of one of America’s most thoughtful journalism publications, and your conscientious involvement with children’s and other social organizations.”

Ludtke, who has been editor of Nieman Reports since 1998, began her journalism career in the 1970’s. As a reporter for Sports Illustrated, she was the lead plantiff in a lawsuit that gained women in the media equal access to baseball locker rooms. As a correspondent for Time magazine, she focused on children and family issues. She is the author of “On Our Own: Unmarried Motherhood in America.”

Ludtke has been active in a number of organizations devoted to the welfare of children, including Families with Children from China and Roots & Shoots, a program of the Jane Goodall Institute.

The Yankee Quill Award was established in 1960 as a way to honor extraordinary journalists who work to better their communities.

Ludtke was nominated for the award by Bob Giles, NF ’66, curator of the Nieman Foundation, who said, “Melissa is a gifted journalist. She works effectively with a network of writers to tell reflective, informative and inviting stories about journalism in a time of extraordinary change. She has creatively enlarged the reach of Nieman Reports, finding a voice for the magazine in the conversation about the future of journalism through digital and social media outlets.”

Ludtke is the third staff member of the foundation to be inducted into the academy, Ketter said. Louis M. Lyons, NF ’39, was inducted in 1963 when he was curator. Dwight Sargent, NF ’51, was inducted in 1978, six years after stepping down as curator.

 

Carmel Rickard has written a book, “Thank You, Judge Mostert,” being published in September by Penguin Press in South Africa. Anton Mostert was one of South Africa’s youngest judges when he was appointed in 1978 to head an investigation of financial regulations. It unearthed evidence of massive government corruption involving some of the nation’s power elite. In defiance of Prime Minister P.W.?Botha’s order, Mostert released all of the evidence.

Rickard writes a syndicated column from the Trading Places bed and breakfast she runs in the Free State. Her column is published in all of the Independent Group’s morning titles—the Star, Pretoria News, Cape Times, and the Mercury as well as on the Independent’s Web site. She explained the scope of her column: “I have a wide brief, but usually write about the intersection of law and politics, or clean governance issues or—and I really love this—what life is really like in the post-1994 platteland [rural areas], what it’s like for a city person to live here, what you notice … how democracy is working at the grassroots level.”

 

1993

Michael Skoler joined Public Radio International (PRI) as vice president for interactive media in June. He plans to expand PRI’s reach into online communities and develop new initiatives in digital media. Skoler was previously with American Public Media in St. Paul, Minnesota, where he developed the Public Insight Journalism model.

“I’ve learned that culture is even more important than strategy for success in today’s networked media world,” Skoler said of his new position. “PRI has both—a creative, risk-taking culture and a clear-eyed strategy for creating value. It is a terrific group of people and a very exciting platform for leadership in digital media.”

 

1994

Maria Henson has been appointed associate vice president and editor at large at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. A 1982 graduate of the university, she oversees the Wake Forest University Magazine and manages a number of editing and writing projects. The university plans to launch a blog later this year and Henson will be among those writing for it. Her duties eventually will include teaching. “I hope to mentor students in the way I was guided by my professors,” she explained in an e-mail.

Henson’s previous job was deputy editorial page editor at the Sacramento Bee. She left that position in May 2009 to return to South Africa and Botswana, where she had been on sabbatical the previous year.

On her most recent trip there, she pursued her idea of writing a book about a botanist and mapmaker who had lived in a tree in the bush of Botswana for nearly a decade. “After a time I decided to drop the book idea because I felt my protagonist was too private to share her story unless she wrote it herself,” Henson wrote. “I enjoyed the rest of my time in Africa, going back to the bush and also spending time with Nieman classmate Barney Mthombothi in Johannesburg who invited me to accompany him on a trip to impoverished rural areas to deliver books to schoolchildren.”

 

1995

Michael Riley has been hired as managing editor for Bloomberg Government, a new paid subscription Web site that will report on and analyze the business implications of government actions.

Since January, Riley has been hiring a team focused on health care policy, and he’s hopeful that the enterprise will expand significantly during the second half of 2010 to cover other important subject areas. “It’s great to be hiring talent for an innovative journalistic enterprise,” says Riley, “so if you know some top-notch journalists with an entrepreneurial bent looking to work in D.C., please let me know.”

Earlier this year, Riley left his position as the editor and senior vice president at Congressional Quarterly.

 

1997

Deborah Seward, the Paris bureau chief for The Associated Press (AP), has been named an assistant managing editor for the news cooperative. Seward will help oversee the AP News Center in New York City. The center works closely with the AP’s regional and department leaders worldwide and works on new storytelling methods and content for new products and devices.

“Debbie brings strong news experience, plus a sharp awareness of how AP’s customers worldwide use and interact with our journalism in all forms,” said senior managing editor Mike Oreskes, in an AP story announcing the job change.

Seward, who began her career with AP in Warsaw, Poland, in 1988, has been Paris bureau chief since January 2009.

 

2000

Andreas Harsono is the recipient of the West Papua Advocacy Team’s John Rumbiak Human Rights Defenders Award for 2010. He is the first Indonesian to win the annual award established in 2008 to recognize an individual or institution making a substantial contribution to the protection of human rights in West Papua, which has been part of Indonesia since 1963.

In an e-mail, Harsono highlighted two of his major writings on the subject. “Criminal Collaborations? Antonius Wamang and the Indonesian Military in Timika,” coauthored with S. Eben Kirksey, was published two years ago in South East Asia Research, a peer reviewed journal based in London. It focused on the murder of two American teachers and one Indonesian teacher during an ambush in Papua in 2002. “We revealed the possible collaborations between a Papuan fighter, Wamang, and the Indonesian military in the killings,” Harsono wrote.

For “Prosecuting Political Aspiration,” a Human Rights Watch report published in June, Harsono visited more than a dozen prisons and interviewed more than 50 political prisoners in Papua and the Moluccas Islands. “We revealed that the Indonesian government keeps on prosecuting minority activists who aired their political aspirations peacefully,” Harsono wrote. Some prisoners died after being tortured; many had no access to medical care.

***

Michael Paul Williams received the George Mason Award from the Virginia Professional Chapter of the Society for Professional Journalists in June. The award is given annually to journalists who provide “significant, lasting contributions to Virginia journalism,” according to the group.

Williams, a longtime reporter and columnist for the Richmond Times-Dispatch who frequently writes about minority issues, said of his work in his acceptance speech: “I got to speak out on behalf of the poor, the unemployed, the disenfranchised and marginalized. On behalf of the rights of gays and lesbians to equal protection under the law. I’ve tried to spark or perpetuate conversations about race, and have been gratified to see how much we’ve progressed in our ability to hold such conversations.

“Our fundamental calling is to afflict the comfortable and to comfort the afflicted. This is the gospel of journalism. It’s a religion America will always need.”

 

2001

Ken Armstrong is the coauthor of “Scoreboard, Baby: A Story of College Football, Crime, and Complicity,” published by Bison Books in September. The book, written with Nick Perry, shows how a community’s blind embrace of the University of Washington football team compromised judges, prosecutors, police agencies, the university itself, and the media. Buzz Bissinger, NF ’86, author of “Friday Night Lights,” called “Scoreboard, Baby” “the most harrowing book I have ever read about college sports.” The book expands on a 2008 series in The Seattle Times, “Victory and Ruins,” that Armstrong and Perry wrote about the University of Washington football team, which won the 2001 Rose Bowl even though at least two dozen players had been arrested.

 

2002

Jabulani Sikhakhane is the new spokesman for the National Treasury of South Africa. Sikhakhane formerly worked for Destiny Man, a business and lifestyle magazine, while also writing on a freelance basis for Business Day, the Saturday Star, the Weekend Argus, and the Sunday Tribune. In addition, he took two online classes, in music theory through Berklee College of Music and in the history of medicine through Oxford University.

On joining the government, Sikhakhane wrote: “After the end of my contract with Destiny Man, I was approached by the National Treasury to join the team as the spokesperson for the department and the minister of finance. The National Treasury is a good vantage point from where to view the whole of government because 99.9 percent of what the rest of government does must, at some point, pass through the National Treasury. Most importantly, it’s a good place to learn about the South African economy and politics!”

 

2004

Thierry Cruvellier has updated his book, “Court of Remorse: Inside the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda,” for the English edition, which was translated from French by Chari Voss and published by the University of Wisconsin Press in August. In an e-mail, Cruvellier wrote, “My apologies to non-French speakers as it took four years to have it available in English.”

He updated the new edition with what he called the most important judgment to be issued by the tribunal: the conviction in December 2008 of Colonel Theoneste Bagosora on charges of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes.

Cruvellier, who covered the tribunal from 1997 to 2002, draws on interviews with victims, defendants, lawyers and judges and his observations during the proceedings to take readers inside the courtroom to witness the complex dynamics. The book focuses on the men charged with the mass murder of Tutsis as well as the history leading up to the 1994 genocide in Rwanda and the challenges facing the emerging international justice system.

Based in Phnom Penh, Cambodia for the past three years, he is working on a book about Duch, the former head of the infamous detention and torture center in that city during the Pol Pot regime in the 1970’s. “He is also the only senior Khmer Rouge to have admitted his responsibility,” Cruvellier writes. “Because it was essentially a guilty plea in a legal system that does not have plea bargaining and therefore allows a full trial whatever the plea of the accused, I found the Duch trial to be a unique opportunity to hear the voice of the perpetrator.” Cruvellier covered the eight-month trial in 2009. His e-mail closes, “… the book, for sure, will not be published before next year … in French first!”

 

2005

Alma Guillermoprieto is the recipient of the 2010 Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF). The award honors the careers of women who “elevated the principles of journalistic practice and became worthy role models for young women—and men—in newsrooms around the world.” Past recipients include Barbara Walters, Helen Thomas, Katharine Graham, and Molly Ivins.

“Actually, when I first was notified of the award I went into a funk,” Guillermoprieto wrote, “because, as is well-known, lifetime achievement awards are generally given to people who are about to drop off the hooks. But [Nieman Foundation curator] Bob Giles [NF ’66] saved the day by sending kind congratulations with the caveat that a mistake had been made, and I’d gotten the award much too soon! So with that as my article of faith I feel really delighted and honored.”

Guillermoprieto has written extensively on Latin America for The Guardian, The Washington Post, Newsweek and The New Yorker. She has covered conflict throughout the Americas, and in 1982 reported on mass killings in El Salvador that were carried out by a U.S.-sponsored Salvadoran army.

The CPJ report, “Silence or Death in Mexico’s Press,” is available online »

The IWMF will make the official presentation at the Courage in Journalism Awards ceremonies in New York and Los Angeles in October. “I hope I can use both occasions to call attention to the desperate situation of Mexican journalists covering the drug beat,” Guillermoprieto writes. “The CPJ [Committee to Protect Journalists] has just come out with a truly chilling report that I hope will be read by many of our colleagues abroad. Simply staying alive is the true achievement for too many reporters working the drug beat today.”

 

2006

Guillermo Franco has written a report, “The Impact of Digital Technology on Journalism and Democracy in Latin America and the Caribbean,” for the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas at the University of Texas at Austin and the Open Society Foundations Media Program.

The report, based on discussions and proposals from the 2009 Austin Forum at the University of Texas, examines the long-term effects of increased broadband penetration and the diffusion of media and government power through social media, among other topics. It also features an introduction by Knight Center director Rosental Alves, NF ’88. The entire document is available in English and Spanish at http://knightcenter.utexas.edu/digitaltech.php.

***

Zippi Brand Frank directed and co-produced “Google Baby,” a documentary about the globalization of the fertility industry that premiered on HBO in June. It focuses on a clinic in India that pairs egg donors in the United States with gestational carriers in India where some view surrogacy as a form of prostitution. A process that can cost $100,000 in the United States can cost as little as $6,000 in India.

During an interview on NPR’s “Talk of the Nation,” Frank said she wanted to draw the public’s attention to what is a rapidly growing business that raises ethical questions. She said she initially felt the arrangement was exploitative of women, yet her attitude changed after hearing the feminist views of the Indian doctor and seeing how the income improved the lives of the surrogate mothers.

 

2007

Alagi Yorro Jallow is a Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellow at the National Endowment for Democracy, a private nonprofit in Washington, D.C. During his fellowship, he is evaluating the role of the news media in The Gambia. On the 16th anniversary of the military takeover of The Gambia, he wrote an essay, published on the Nieman Foundation’s Web site, in which he concluded, “A free press is unlikely to emerge in The Gambia unless and until the country adopts and sustains a solid democratic culture, an independent judiciary, and a respectable, apolitical military that is eager and willing to serve under a democratic commander-in-chief.”

***

Ian Johnson’s book “A Mosque in Munich: Nazis, the CIA, and the Rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in the West,” published in May by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, has a strange cast of characters. As Johnson himself put it, “The people involved are so bizarre that they sound like the start of a joke: you have a brilliant Nazi linguist, a CIA man who’s a nudist, and a radical Muslim on the lam…”

Johnson wrote in an e-mail that the book grew out of an investigative piece he did for The Wall Street Journal in 2005. “I took book leave, visited archives and then had the Nieman year to learn more about the issues and ruminate on the structure. I benefited a lot from that year, especially the narrative writing class and the chance to use Widener Library, where I had a wonderful carrel facing south on the sixth floor.

“The book is mainly a work of history, tracing three efforts to instrumentalize Islam. Starting in the Nazi era, it looks at how Germany tried to use Islam to fight the USSR. The CIA took over this project in the 1950’s, which became based around a mosque in Munich. Eventually the project was run by the Muslim Brotherhood, which made the mosque its first overseas base.” More information is available at www.ian-johnson.com.

Johnson, who won the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting for his coverage in The Wall Street Journal of a popular religious uprising in China, has returned to that nation where he is accredited through The New York Times bureau in Beijing and is again looking at religious issues.

***

Craig Welch, an environmental reporter for The Seattle Times, has won a first-place beat reporting award in the print category of the Society of Environmental Journalists’ annual contest. Twenty-nine winners in 11 categories were selected from 216 entries. The judges wrote that what set his entry apart was his “ability to bring together solid reporting on a wide range of topics, from the demise of local shellfish industries to conflict between wolves and ranchers, and deteriorating levees, with superb writing. Welch used a wide variety of voices to tell compelling local stories that tie into larger regional or global issues. His stories broke news, were surprising and readable, the trifecta in beat reporting.”

 

2008

Kate Galbraith joined the staff of the Texas Tribune, a nonprofit Web site that covers public policy, politics and government, in June, six months after getting laid off by The New York Times. “(A layoff is a badge of honor in journalism these days, right?)” she wrote in an e-mail about her new part-time position. “I’m based in Austin, and my beat is energy and environment. Texas is fun to cover, because the issues are generally important and slightly weird, and often overlooked by the national press. The Texas Tribune (www.texastribune.org) is a young, lively, welcoming operation, and I love it. I also enjoy not being subjected to 100 PR pitches a day (green staplers! solar panels that will save the world!), as I was at the NYT; life is much more balanced now.”

She is still writing a monthly column on green issues for the International Herald Tribune. Her e-mail continued, “I’ve also been working on a longer project, together with another Austin journalist, about the Texas wind-power rush: how George Bush, Enron and a bunch of Texas tinkerers helped the oil and gas state become the national leader (by far) in wind power. It’s a totally improbable tale, and that’s the allure.”

***

Christine Gorman is the new health and medicine editor at Scientific American, as of August 30. Prior to taking the job, she was freelancing. Among her assignments during that period was writing a major report for the Institute of Medicine on the future of nursing. It is due to be released in October.

In an e-mail, she wrote, “The past two years of freelancing have been great. I proved I could do it and make a living. … I loved being able to set my own schedule—although I did end up working all the time. And freelancing allowed me to housetrain our puppy (Zeke is our 6-month-old Havanese and a bundle of joy).

“I am very excited about this next phase. It will be great to interact on a daily/in-person basis again with a group who care about the news.”

This fall she will again teach a course at New York University on press ethics.

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