Anne Garrels

National Public Radio, United States.

Garrels has been witness to conflict many times. Her extraordinary empathy for those whose lives have been shattered by war makes her reporting shine. Since the fall of the Soviet Union, she has regularly spent time in the former Soviet republics covering issues from social and economic challenges to military and cultural developments. She reported on Tiananmen Square, Bosnia, Israel and the first Gulf War; she endured Russian bombs in Chechnya and reported from the Northern Alliance’s front lines in Afghanistan. All these assignments have entailed physical hardship and great personal risk.

For example, Garrels covered both Chechen wars despite a Russian ban on foreign journalists. While there, she evaded Russian bombs and, at one point, holed up in a railroad car with Russian soldiers on the outskirts of Grozny, the Chechen capital.

Shortly after the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center, Garrels traveled to Central Asia, then up over the Hindu Kush and down into Afghanistan’s Panjshir Valley to join the front lines of the Northern Alliance. She wrote her dispatches by candlelight and filed them by satellite phone. After journalists traveling in a convoy were ambushed and killed, Garrels decided she would be safer alone. So, covered with a headscarf, she took a two-day bus ride to Kabul, all the while collecting the stories of the people around her and reporting on the human toll the war was having on the people of Afghanistan.

Anne Garrels joined National Public Radio in 1988. Prior to that, she was the State Department correspondent for NBC News and for a decade before that she worked for ABC News. She served three years as Moscow bureau chief and correspondent for ABC until she was expelled from the country in 1982. She also covered the Eastern Bloc, particularly the rise of Solidarity in Poland. From 1984-85 Garrels was the network’s Central American correspondent.

Anne Garrels is the sixth Courage in Journalism Award winner from the United States, followed by Jill Carroll (2006). Previous U.S. winners include: Caryle Murphy(1990), Donna Ferrato(1993), Christiane Amanpour(1994), Corinne Dufka(1997) and Elizabeth Neuffer(1998).

Highlights