Stanford University’s Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center has named Los Angeles Times Beijing bureau chief Barbara Demick winner of the 2012 Shorenstein Journalism Award. Demick was selected for her innovative and extraordinarily sensitive reporting on Northeast Asia over the past decade.
The Shorenstein Journalism Award was launched in 2002 to recognize the contributions of Western journalists in deepening our understanding of Asia.
In 2011, the scope of the award was broadened to encompass Asian journalists who are at the forefront of the battle for press freedom in Asia, who have paved the way in constructing a new role for the media, and who have aided the growth of mutual understanding between Asia and the United States.
Continuing as an annual tradition, the Shorenstein Journalism Award now alternates between recipients from the West, who have mainly addressed an American audience, and recipients from Asia.
Barbara Demick joined the Los Angeles Times in 2001 and has served as its Beijing bureau chief since 2008. Her reporting from China has focused on human trafficking, corruption, and minorities, as well as ongoing coverage of neighboring North Korea. Demick is the author of two books: Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea and Logavina Street: Life and Death in a Sarajevo Neighborhood. Her work has won awards from the Asia Society, the Overseas Press Club, and the American Academy of Diplomacy, among others.
Nothing to Envy began as a series of articles published during Demick's tenure as the inaugural Los Angeles Times bureau chief in Korea. Centering on the lives of six North Korean defectors from the northeastern port city of Chongjin, it has been translated into more than 20 languages. The New York Review of Books has called Nothing to Envy “a tour de force of meticulous reporting,” and the Wall Street Journal has hailed it as “a deeply moving book.” It recently won the International Book Award on Human Rights.
Before joining the Los Angeles Times, Demick worked for the Philadelphia Inquirer as a foreign correspondent in the Middle East and Eastern Europe. Her reporting on Sarajevo won the George Polk Award, the Robert F. Kennedy Award, and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for international reporting.
Demick is a graduate of Yale and taught a seminar on coverage of repressive regimes at Princeton University. She currently lives in Beijing with her son Nicholas.
On February 11, 2013, Demick will visit Stanford University to take part in a lunchtime panel discussion about different ways of viewing North Korea, from a journalistic perspective and that of aid workers and authors who draw on the work of journalists reporting on North Korea. Demick will receive the award at a dinner ceremony where she will deliver a talk on her work in Asia.