Overseas Press Club

Overseas Press Club Foundation
Encouraging the next generation of foreign correspondents

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2006 Scholarship Luncheon with Terry Moran, ABC News
January 27, 2006

"I’m biased,” Terry Moran, co-anchor of ABC News’ Nightline, told an audience of more than 200 Moran, OPC Foundation Luncheongathered at the 2006 Overseas Press Club Foundation Scholarship Luncheon at the Yale Club on January 27, 2006. In a revealing moment of introspection, Moran admitted that while he felt great pain witnessing the death of an Iraqi killed in the conflict, he would have felt worse had the victim been an American.  He was not proud of his response but he acknowledged it. He challenged the 2006 scholarship winners to discover who they are as individuals and recognize that their pasts will play a role in how they see the world.  “Know yourself first,” he advised. “You have an identity; you can’t pretend you don’t.”  Understanding its impact will help the aspiring foreign correspondents place their reporting in a proper and fair context.
                                  
Moran was a last minute replacement for World News Tonight co-anchor Bob Woodruff who was sent three days before the luncheon to the Middle East to cover the Palestinian elections. Two days after the luncheon, Woodruff was seriously injured in a roadside bomb attack in Iraq.  Like Woodruff, who only recently moved into the chair long held by Peter Jennings on World News Tonight, Moran took over the Nightline assignment in late November from Ted Koppel, the newsman most honored by the Overseas Press Club.
 
In his six years as White House correspondent, Moran traveled widely covering President George Bush’s domestic and foreign trips and meetings with world leaders.  In November of 2003, he was imbedded with American troops in Iraq.  When asked how being imbedded affected his reporting, he replied that independence is part of a person’s character not place.  Besides he said, he was working “with a 28-year old US Army captain, not (Secretary of Defense Donald) Rumsfeld.” Being imbedded, he noted, was best way a major new organization could manage risk in a time of war, but he admitted that Jill Carroll, the American freelance journalist who was kidnapped by Iraqi insurgents, was “doing it the right way. We pray and hope for her safe return.”

Moran also told the audience that he was jealous of the scholarship winners’ youth, their aspirations and enthusiasm.  Quoting from an essay by Robert Louis Stevenson, Moran told the scholarship winners “Don’t listen to your elders.” Journalism, he said, encourages skepticism that often leads to cynicism. “The worldly become world-weary,” he said. For the young, however, there is nothing greater or more rewarding than the passionate curiosity of journalists headed overseas. “It’s a great responsibility, a great adventure,” and, as he had once been told, “don’t screw it up.”

The challenge to seek out and accept the risks involved in good journalism especially resonated with the twelve 2006 OPC Foundation Scholarship winners who had just accepted their awards from various family members and close friends of those in whose names the scholarships are given (see page xx).  Besides a check for $2,000, the recipients also received a year free membership in the Overseas Press Club.  Reuters hosted a reception honoring past and former winners of OPC Foundation Scholarships the night before the luncheon at its headquarters in Times Square.  The group met with veteran foreign correspondents, including Roger Cohen of the New York Times, in a morning program before the luncheon and later toured the Associated Press headquarters in the afternoon.

As master of ceremonies, Holstein articulated the purpose of the scholarships as well as the Foundation’s mission. Recognizing that American news organizations are undergoing a profound transformation in closing international editions and shuttering bureaus, he noted, “it is incumbent upon us, those who care about what Americans know about the world, that we identify the best and the brightest of the next generation of correspondents, and attempt to give them the incentives and the tools to go out into the world.”

The 2006 winners, ten graduate students and two undergraduate students, were selected from a pool of more than 175 applicants from 65 different colleges and universities. While the ten graduate students are now part of the graduate programs at the Columbia University, New York University, and University of Arizona, they all received their undergraduate degrees from different colleges. This year’s undergraduate winners are seniors at the University of Oregon and Yale University.   
                              



 

 
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