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For immediate release
April 28, 2003
Laura Gross

NPR News Wins 2002 Overseas Press Club Award for Series on Mideast Conflict

WASHINGTON - The Overseas Press Club has presented NPR with the 2002 Lowell Thomas Award for "The Mideast: A Century of Conflict," a groundbreaking seven-part series on the history of the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. The series aired on NPR's Morning Edition from September 30 to October 8, 2002. NPR has received 15 Overseas Press Club Awards in the broadcast organization's 33-year history.

"The Mideast: A Century of Conflict," researched and reported by veteran NPR News correspondent Mike Shuster, chronicled key moments in the history of the struggle between the two peoples and featured interviews with experts representing a cross-section of historical perspectives. The series covered the early Zionist movement during the turn of the 20th century, and then traced the intensifying conflict between Jews and Palestinians during the years of the British mandate, leading up to David Ben-Gurion's announcement of the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948. "The Mideast: A Century of Conflict" also explored the events that led up to the Six-Day War, the Yom Kippur War, the first Intifada and the Oslo Peace Process. The series concluded with investigations on the reasons why the Oslo process collapsed and how and why the second Intifada started.

"We're honored that the Overseas Press Club has recognized this series, which is among the most painstakingly researched news series in NPR's history. It tells the history of the confrontation using radio to bring the views of leading historians of the region to air, documenting the deep and conflicting roots of today's Middle East. The series touches on the beliefs and emotions that motivate both sides," said Kevin Klose, NPR's president and CEO.

Presented yearly, the Lowell Thomas Award honors the best radio news for interpretation of international affairs. The Award's namesake, Lowell Thomas, was a radio commentator, journalist and author. He was a preeminent broadcaster with CBS and his nightly reports on the radio were an American institution for nearly two generations. Out of his lifelong globetrotting came lectures, travelogues, television reporting and more than 50 books of adventure and commentary.

The objectives of the Overseas Press Club of America, founded in 1939 in New York City by a group of foreign correspondents, are to maintain an international association of journalists working in the United States and abroad; to encourage the highest standards of professional integrity and skill in the reporting of news; to help educate a new generation of journalists; to contribute to the freedom and independence of journalists and the press throughout the world and to work toward better communication and understanding among people.

NPR, renowned for journalistic excellence and standard-setting news, information and cultural programming, serves a growing audience of nearly 20 million Americans each week via more than 680 public radio stations. NPR Online at brings hourly newscasts, news features, commentaries and live events to Internet users through original online reports, audio streaming and other multimedia elements. NPR also distributes programming to listeners in Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa via NPR Worldwide, to military installations overseas via American Forces Network and throughout Japan via cable.