NYR: Journalism in a Time of Crisis, with Justine van der Leun, Howard French, Elizabeth Bruenig, Mark Danner, & Darryl Pinckney

February 24, 2021, 7:30 PM

The New York Review of Books presents Journalism in a Time of Crisis, a discussion around the ways in which contemporary journalism has addressed moments of political and social crisis. Featuring Justine van der Leun, Howard French, Elizabeth Bruenig, Mark Danner, and moderated by Darryl Pinckney. This program will take place on Zoom. Register here: 

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Justine van der Leun is an independent journalist, an author, and a fellow at Type Media Center. Her most recent book is We Are Not Such Things: The Murder of a Young American, a South African Township, and the Search for Truth and Reconciliation (Random House/Spiegel & Grau, 2016). Justine is the recipient of reporting grants from the Pulitzer Center, Type Investigations, and the International Women’s Media Foundation. She has been awarded fellowships by PEN America’s Writing for Justice program and the Sustainable Arts Foundation. 

Howard W. French is a career foreign correspondent and global affairs writer and the author of four books, including three works of non-fiction, a work of documentary photography. His most recent non-fiction book, titled Everything Under the Heavens: How the Past Helps Shape China’s Push for Global Power, was published by Knopf in March 2017, and was widely reviewed and featured by The Guardian and other publications as one of its notable books of the season. He is the author, previously, of China’s Second Continent: How a Million Migrants Are Building a New Empire in Africa, published by Knopf in May 2014. He is also the author of  A Continent for the Taking: The Tragedy and Hope of Africa (Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), which was also named a non-fiction book of the year by several newspapers, and his book of documentary photography, Disappearing Shanghai: Photographs and Poems of an Intimate Way of Life, was published in 2012 (Homa and Sekey). 

Elizabeth “Liz” Bruenig was born in Fort Worth, Texas, to native Texan parents who raised her in the nearby city of Arlington. Liz met her husband, Matt, on their public high school debate team, and coached high school debate in the town of Needham, Massachusetts, while attending Brandeis University in Waltham. In 2013, Liz graduated from Brandeis with honors and a Marshall Scholarship, which she used to earn her Master’s of Philosophy in Christian theology at Cambridge University. Liz returned to the United States and entered a doctoral program in religion at Brown University with a Presidential Fellowship, but left without submitting a dissertation in order to write full time for The New Republic. In 2016, Liz joined The Washington Post as an assistant editor for Outlook, the paper’s newsroom essay section, where she worked through a hectic election season and commissioned the section’s most-read articles for two consecutive years. In 2018, Liz joined the Post’s Opinion section as a columnist. That fall, she published “What Do We Owe Her Now?”, a feature investigation of an unprosecuted gang rape that took place in her hometown of Arlington in 2006, when she was a sophomore in high school. The article was a finalist in feature writing for the 2019 Pulitzer Prizes, and won several other awards. In 2020, Liz joined The New York Times as an opinion writer, a role that gives her the flexibility to write reported feature articles as well as essays and columns. Since starting at the Times, Liz has published original reporting on the Catholic Church, America’s struggle to respond to the novel coronavirus, Bernie Sanders’ 2020 primary campaign, the Trump administration’s resumption of federal executions, and much more. Liz hopes to continue writing on the inner lives of ordinary people faced with morally complicated situations. Liz lives in Connecticut with her husband and two daughters, Jane and Clare.

Mark Danner is a regular contributor to the New York Review of Books and a former staff writer at the New Yorker and has covered foreign affairs and politics for three decades. He is the author of The Massacre at El MozoteTorture and TruthStripping Bare the Body and Spiral: Trapped in the Forever War, among other books. His work has been honored with a National Magazine Award, three Overseas Press Awards, a Guggenheim, an Andrew Carnegie Fellowship, and an Emmy. In 1999, he was named a MacArthur Fellow. He teaches at Berkeley and at Bard.

Darryl Pinckney is the author of two novels, High Cotton and Black Deutschland, and three works of non-fiction, Out There: Mavericks of Black Literature, Blackballed: The Black Vote and US Democracy, and Busted in New York and Other Essays.