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Pulitzer Center Update January 5, 2013

This Week in Review: Borderlands

Media: Author:
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At the western end of the line for the border fence, in the Pacific Ocean near Tijuana. Image by © Louie Palu/ZUMA. Mexico, 2012.

The January issue of Foreign Policy features a special report on borderlands that includes reporting by five Pulitzer Center grantees: Matthieu Aikins traveling by truck from Karachi into Afghanistan, Graeme Wood reporting from along the Iraq-Iran border and Peter Chilson from Mali, plus a photo essay by Louie Palu from the U.S.-Mexican border and an introductory essay by Paul Salopek that frames this issue in terms of his own seven-year walk around the Earth, the Out of Eden project, that begins this month. The borderlands project is a joint Foreign Policy/Pulitzer Center initiative that includes longer narratives by Matthieu, Graeme and Peter to be published as e-books over the next few months.


The current issue of The Nation features the investigative report we commissioned on the abortion paradox of South Africa, a country that on paper has one of the world's most permissive abortion laws but where the number of illegal abortions—and maternal mortality rates—remain dangerously high. The reporting was a collaboration among American journalists Jina Moore and photographer Jake Naughton and Estelle Ellis of The Herald in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. The project began with a Pulitzer Center workshop for African journalists at the International Family Planning Conference in Dakar, Senegal in late 2011.


Yet another collaboration that launched this week is our project that puts the U.S. shale-gas revolution in a global context, with reporting that explores the parallels—and contrasts—in the experiences of communities in Ohio and Pennsylvania and those of Poland and other Eastern European countries. The reporting by Dimiter Kenarov and Steve Sapienza is a joint initiative of the Pulitzer Center and Calkins Media, a Pennsylvania-based media group that publishes a number of newspapers and also the website Later this month and next Dimiter and Steve will be presenting their work at Pulitzer Center partner schools and universities in Pennsylvania, Ohio and beyond.

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These projects all present strong reporting on important topics. They are the sort of ambitious, collaborative undertaking that we see as central to our mission, of shedding light on under-reported systemic issues and working with news media outlets, educational institutions and others to bring the reporting to the broadest public possible. Our thanks to Foreign Policy, The Nation, The Herald, Calkins Media—and all of our partners, donors and journalists—for working with us.

Until next week,

Jon Sawyer
Executive Director