[ press release ] Tehran Bureau’s coverage of Iran has been selected by Columbia Journalism School as one of the “50 Great Stories” produced by alumni over the past century, it was announced today. The distinguished list spans 100 years and includes A.J. Liebling’s coverage of D-Day for the New Yorker, Robert Caro’s epic biography The Power Broker, and Steve Kroft’s 60 Minutes segment reporting on a nuclear threat from Pakistan.
“We compiled this collection by culling the school’s archives, researching the recipients of a wide array of journalism prizes, consulting with colleagues and scouring some of the best journalism ever produced. Then, we enlisted our faculty and a group of distinguished judges to vote for their favorites,” according to a statement explaining the selection process.
Editor-in-chief Kelly Golnoush Niknejad founded the online outlet Tehran Bureau in 2008 to provide serious independent journalism about Iran and its influence on the Muslim world. It is now in partnership with PBS’s Frontline. Their first editorial partnership on a documentary, “A Death in Tehran,” won an Emmy for continuing coverage of a news story. Last year, Niknejad was named the school’s inaugural recipient of the “Innovator Award” for advancing the cause of journalism online. The Daily Beast named her one of “17 people who are changing the world” through their editing, blogging, reporting, videos, and Twitter feeds.
“We’ve thrived thanks to a tiny staff that works so hard it makes us look much bigger than we are,” said Niknejad. “I’m especially grateful to Muhammad Sahimi who was the first to see the vision I had and devoted himself to Tehran Bureau from the start. To quote Joseph Pulitzer, ‘a journalist is the lookout on the bridge of the ship of state.’ Dr. Sahimi has consistently challenged the narrative offered by the state, U.S. or Iranian, especially when it appears to have veered off course. I couldn’t do it without senior editor Dan Geist, a native New Yorker, who’s had the brilliance to make this very complex story his own.”
“This honor from Columbia Journalism School is a testament to the brilliant pool of Iranian journalists and talent who can show what they can do when they have a platform unencumbered by politics.”
“Thank you, David Fanning and Raney Aaronson of Frontline for your support.”
Columbia Journalism School, widely considered the leading academic institution for journalism education and training, celebrates its centennial this month. For 100 years, the school has fostered innovation, trained Columbia journalists to become leaders in the profession, and championed journalistic excellence. The prizes the Journalism School administers, including the Pulitzer Prizes and the duPont-Columbia Awards, are internationally known.