NPR and Miami’s WLRN are collaborating to boost coverage of Latin America, with NPR’s Lourdes Garcia-Navarro assigned to a new foreign desk in São Paulo. In addition to Garcia-Navarro, the team of journalists includes Tim Padgett, a longtime reporter on Latin America and the Caribbean who previously wrote for Time and Newsweek and recently joined WLRN. Padgett’s primary task will be to coordinate coverage from Miami. Four reporters on the staff of the Miami Herald and its sister Spanish-language publication, El Nuevo Herald, will also contribute. WLRN and the Herald have collaborated on news coverage for a decade.
CPB has awarded a $500,000 grant to NPR to support the network’s international news coverage. The grant, announced at a March 26 awards dinner honoring NPR correspondent Lourdes Garcia-Navarro, will support salaries and travel costs for reporters and producers in Jerusalem, Cairo, Beirut, Shanghai and Beijing. Last year NPR spent more than it had anticipated covering the Arab uprisings and the earthquake and nuclear disaster in Japan. As NPR’s foreign desk steps up its reporting from the Middle East, Asia and Africa, reporters are putting themselves “on the front line of historic news events,” said CPB Chair Bruce Ramer, who announced the grant. “This will help NPR stay on the story as long as it takes.”
“This is going to be so important for our work,” said NPR President Gary Knell.
NPR’s Jerusalem-based foreign correspondent received CPB’s highest award, recognizing outstanding contributions to public radio, during an April 9 dinner attended by top pubcasting execs. Garcia-Navarro reported from NPR’s Baghdad bureau from 2008 to 2009, and was one of the first reporters to enter Libya after last year’s uprising. She made in-depth reporting of events from the world’s most volatile regions a hallmark of her reporting, providing “powerful and sound-rich descriptions” of the conflict in Libya and other hotspots. “It is fitting that Lourdes receive this award named after the famed war correspondent,” said CPB Chair Bruce Ramer. “We honor her dedication and service, as well as the courage of those like her who ensure that we are all informed about important world events and issues.”
“Oh, Lulu — you have made us so proud,” said Margaret Low Smith, NPR programming chief, in a videotape reel of congratulations from colleagues.