Foreign Policy Receives Two Overseas Press Club Awards For Excellence in International Reporting


News Story from: 4/28/16

April 28, 2016 – Washington, D.C.

Today, the Overseas Press Club (OPC) of America announced the 2016 winners of the OPC awards. Among the honorees are FP contributors Tristan McConnell and Christina Larson, for their respective stories in Foreign Policy  “Close Your Eyes and Pretend to Be Dead” and “The Zhao Method.”

David Rothkopf, the FP Group’s CEO and editor said, “These awards are a tangible sign of the commitment to quality writing and thinking that have been hallmarks of Foreign Policy‘s work throughout our almost half century of existence.  These articles are a consequence of exceptional work by the authors and the editors who produced them and we could not be more proud of them–or the fact that we are one of the few organizations to win multiple such awards this year.

Tristan McConnell won the Ed Cunningham Award for best magazine reporting in print or online on an international story. McConnell’s longform article in FP, “Close Your Eyes and Pretend to Be Dead,” recounts the horrific events surrounding the al-Shabab attacks on Nairobi’s Westgate mall in 2013. A foreign correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya, McConnell, rushed to the Westgate mall on the afternoon of September 21, as the terrorists stalked and executed 67 civilians. McConnell spent the better part of two years reconstructing the events inside the mall, interviewing dozens of victims and witnesses. The OPC Awards judges say of McConnell’s reporting, “The result is a wrenching and breathless experience, in which each person is left to weigh life-and-death decisions in a split second.” His detailed, painstaking account transports readers inside the Westgate mall and inside the minds of the people trapped in the mall — poking holes in the official narrative of the tragic events.

Christina Larson won the Morton Frank Award for best magazine international business news reporting in print or online. Originally appearing in the September/October 2015 FP print issue, Larson’s “The Zhao Method” profiles Zhao Bowen, an entrepreneur who shunned China’s hierarchical, corruption-prone science bureaucracy in favor of private and semiprivate research to launch a gene-mapping start-up. Larson explores whether Zhao’s push for freedom in labs could inspire a generation of Chinese innovators hungry to achieve a new global reach. The judges remarked of Larson’s article, “[She] documents how the emergence of venture capital opportunities is changing the face of business at the intersection of science and capital markets and throws fresh light on the continuing evolution of China as a leading economic power.”

The awards will be presented tonight at a dinner ceremony in New York City, and will also be live-streamed here:

For more information on the Overseas Press Club Awards and the other winners, the official press release can be found here:

If you would like to speak with Tristan, Christina, or the editors from Foreign Policy staff, please contact Maria Ory ( or 206-714-1060).