WASHINGTON, DC, MAY 11, 2004 - Anne Garrels, the NPR foreign correspondent whose in-depth, insightful reporting from hot spots around the world -- most recently Baghdad -- last evening received the 2004 Edward R. Murrow Award from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB).
Garrels was one of 16 western journalists, and the only broadcast journalist, to remain in Baghdad when the war began. She chronicled her experiences in the book, "Naked in Baghdad" and later returned to the Iraqi capital, continuing -- despite the danger -- to provide millions of public radio listeners with news about the war and its impact there.
"Courageous, imaginative, and responsible use of electronic media is Murrow's legacy -- and that lies at the heart of public radio's mission," said Kenneth Y. Tomlinson, CPB Board Chair, in presenting the honor. "Anne Garrels broadcast from Baghdad, in the middle of a war, under terrifying conditions, because it was the best way to cover the story -- and journalists cover the story. Her voice -- carried over a smuggled satellite phone as bombs fell all around -- was our sole live link to events in the city. She embodies Murrow's legacy."
CPB presents the Murrow Award annually to individuals who foster public radio's quality and service and shape its direction. The award is named for the legendary reporter, producer, executive and government official, who championed responsible, courageous and imaginative uses of the electronic media during his distinguished 30-year career. It is the industry's most prestigious honor.
"In her career at NPR, Annie has covered the most difficult, and often horrific, conflicts that afflicted this world -- the war in Afghanistan, Kosovo, Chechnya and now Iraq," said Bruce Drake, NPR Vice President for News. "She has done it with courage, tenacity, savvy and the utmost professionalism. But she has also done it with an empathy for the people she has covered, telling not only the stories of events but those who lived or suffered through them. This is what has made her reporting so special."
Prior to joining NPR in 1988, Garrels had covered the State Department correspondent for NBC News, and before that had held several positions at ABC News, covering Eastern Europe and Central America, and working as Moscow bureau chief -- an assignment that ended with her expulsion in 1982. She spent a year as an Edward R. Murrow Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. She is also a member of the board of the Committee to Protect Journalists.
[Editor's note: Scott Simon, award-winning host of NPR Weekend Edition Saturday, accepted the honor on behalf of Garrels who remains overseas on assignment.]
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), a private, nonprofit corporation created by Congress in 1967, is the steward of the federal government's investment in public broadcasting. It helps support the operations of more than 1,400 locally-owned and -operated public television and radio stations nationwide, and is the largest single source of funding for research, technology, and program development for public radio, television and related online services.