IRP receives Overseas Press Club Citation

Fellows Fall 2009

April 22, 2010

Perry Beeman reporting from Rwanda

The International Reporting Project (IRP) has been awarded a citation by the Overseas Press Club in its 2009 Awards in the category of best reporting on international environmental issues for a series on Rwanda reported by IRP Fellow Perry Beeman of The Des Moines Register.

Entitled "Renewal in Rwanda," the multimedia series was entered in the OPC Awards competition this year as a joint entry between the IRP and the Register, where Beeman is an environmental reporter. The series received a Citation among entries for the OPC's Whitman Bassow Award, which honors the best reporting in any medium on international environmental issues.

"We're very proud that we were able to help Perry Beeman and The Register to accomplish a remarkable series of stories about the effort to develop a green movement in Rwanda, a country that is still probably best known for the genocide there in 1994," said John Schidlovsky, IRP director.

As one of 10 IRP Fellows in 2009, Beeman traveled to Rwanda for five weeks, hiking through rainforests, interviewing scientists, villagers and officials and tracking the work of the Des Moines-based Great Ape Trust, which operates Rwanda's Gishwati Area Conservation Program. The resulting stories ran on the IRP web site and in the Des Moines Register for four consecutive days in December 2009.

Many previous IRP Fellows' stories have been honored with journalism prizes. But this award marks the first time the IRP itself was recognized as one of the organizations that underwrote and published the stories as a collaborator with another news organization. After selecting Beeman for its 2009 program, the IRP brought him to Washington D.C. for meetings with environmental experts, provided him with training in reporting in hazardous environments, purchased his air ticket to Rwanda, paid him a reporting and travel stipend and published his stories on the IRP web site.

Click here to see Beeman's stories.

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