The Department of Digital Media & Journalism at SUNY New Paltz will welcome Amanda Sperber to the campus community as the fall 2023 James H. Ottaway Sr. Visiting Professor of Journalism.
Sperber is a multiple award-winning foreign correspondent and investigative fellow with Code for Africa, the largest civic technology and data journalism initiative on the continent.
As the Ottaway Visiting Professor, she will teach “International Reporting,” an undergraduate journalism seminar that will look at what international reporting is, what it takes to do it, and what its limits are in the changing economics of the news industry. Students will also examine the power dynamics and sensitivities at play when journalists are covering foreign events, particularly involving formerly colonized or currently occupied countries and communities.
About Amanda Sperber
Sperber has written and reported for a wide array of print and online publications including Al Jazeera, the Atlantic, the Baffler, the Economist, Foreign Policy, the Guardian, the Intercept, the Nation, NBC, Marie Claire, Reuters, VICE World News, Virginia Quarterly Review and Vogue.
Her high-impact reporting has prompted changes to military policy, open Congressional letters signed by leading House members, reports by organizations including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and Airwars and shifted narratives on state-building and U.S. foreign policy.
After Sperber started reporting on U.S. airstrikes in Somalia, the military admitted its first civilian casualties since it began carrying out strikes in 2007 and instituted a civilian casualty reporting protocol.
She went on to win the Thomson-Reuters Kurt Schork Memorial Award in the Freelancer Category for her investigations in Somalia.
Sperber is also a recipient of the One World Media Award in the Popular Features Category for her coverage of sexualized violence in South Sudan’s civil war. Her work has been recognized by the Frontline Club and the Amnesty International Media Awards.
She is an IACC-Transparency International “Young Journalist,” a partner with Type Investigate and a former Logan Non-Fiction Fellow. Sperber has received numerous grants from the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting, the Leonard C. Goodman Institute for Investigative Reporting, the International Women’s Media Foundation and the United Nations Foundation.
About the James H. Ottaway Sr. Visiting Professorship
The James H. Ottaway Sr. Visiting Professorship, SUNY New Paltz’s first endowed professorship, is named for the founder of Ottaway Newspapers Inc., who was a leader of the American Press Institute and a lifelong supporter of high-quality journalism in the Hudson Valley and across the globe.
The Ottaway Visiting Professorship was established in 2000 through the generosity of James H. Ottaway Jr. ’18 HON and Mary Ottaway ’70g (Elementary Education).
Numerous well-known journalists have preceded Sperber as Ottaway professors, including Pulitzer Prize winners, foreign correspondents, book authors, editors, investigative reporters and experts in finance, science and consumer journalism.
More information about the Ottaway Visiting Professorship, including biographies of previous professors, can be found at https://www.newpaltz.edu/ottaway/.