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Pulitzer Center Update May 3, 2016

This Week: Walking the World


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As Paul Salopek journeys around the world on foot, he will follow the migration pathways of our...

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Salopek reaches the end of the trail in Ethiopia and descends into Djibouti, on the Red Sea coast. Image by Paul Salopek/Courtesy of National Geographic. Ethiopia, 2013.

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We rejoin Pulitzer Center grantee Paul Salopek, now three years into his epic stroll around the world on the Ustyurt Plateau, western Kazakhstan, 44°37'13" N, 53°34'43" E. "I'm going to be literally following in the footsteps of the old traders who walked the silk roads between China and Europe," Paul tells the PBS NewsHour, "moving at a slow rate along camel trails, kind of a ghost myself, moving through a modern landscape that will include gas and oil developments, that will include modern highways on occasion, sporadically coming to towns." If you are a teacher, you can start a conversation about Paul's remarkable journey in your classroom with this lesson plan using the Lesson Builder.


Pulitzer Center grantee Jane Qiu's deep-dive reporting from Nepal resulted in five more stories last week, marking the one year anniversary of the earthquake that killed nearly 9,000 in the Himalayan country. Jane focused on the under-reported problem of landslides that go hand-in-hand with earthquakes and can cause just as much damage. Her stories have appeared in Nature, Thomson Reuters Foundation News, SciDev.Net and on the European Geosciences Union's blog. In this podcast for Nature, Jane talks about the reporting trip and explains how scientists are monitoring landslide hazards and trying to forecast when and where a slope may fail.


The Pulitzer Center was well represented at the Overseas Press Club's annual awards banquet in New York last week. Grantees Will Fitzgibbon and Eleanor Bell along with Chris Zubak-Skees, all from the Center for Public Integrity, were recognized for Best Multimedia New Reporting for their project, "Fatal Extraction, Australian Mining in Africa." Grantees Ian James and Steve Elfers' project "Pumped Dry: The Global Crisis of Vanishing Groundwater" was runner-up for the OPC's Whitman Bassow Award for best reporting on international environmental issues.

And congratulations also to Pulitzer Center board member David Rohde and his Reuters colleague Charles Levinson for their project "Guantanamo Bay" which won the OPC's Joe and Laurie Dine award for reporting on human rights issues, and to Pulitzer Center grantee Tom Burgis, whose book The Looting Machine won the Cornelius Ryan award for best book on international affairs.


William & Mary students from the 2015-2016 Sharp Seminar came together on Sunday to share their reporting experiences with each other and with students signed on for next year's unique Campus Consortium program. Several spoke of how they turned an academic or personal interest into a story idea–as well as the obstacles they had to overcome (including a fear of asking that first question of an interview). As senior Alex Granato told the gathering, the process got her thinking of herself as a journalist, and not just a student. "You're doing very important work" in telling these stories, Alex said. We published all of the 2015-2016 Sharp seminar articles here.

Until next week,

Tom Hundley,
Senior Editor


teal halftone illustration of a family carrying luggage and walking


Migration and Refugees

Migration and Refugees