Fall 2015

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Krista Larson: On the Front Lines

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Krista Larson doesn’t shy away from dangerous situations. As West Africa bureau chief for the Associated Press, responsible for covering 22 countries, she’s constantly on the go. “I sort of live with a suitcase half-packed,” she jokes. Last year she reported from Liberia at the height of the Ebola epidemic, a chilling experience. “I’ve reported on two wars and have certainly seen my fair share of violence, and yet nothing really frightened me more than going to Liberia, simply because you can’t see the enemy.” She’s also known for in-depth projects. Over a period of six months she tenaciously compiled the first civilian death toll for the Central African Republic as the country was wracked by sectarian violence.  Larson ’00, ’01 MS primed her international reporting chops at Northwestern, interning for the AP in Paris in 2001. After several reporting gigs with the organization and a stint at its international desk in New York, she went abroad at age 30. Because canceled flights and unattained visas are frequent challenges, Larson says that some days are “more like the Amazing Race than prize-winning journalism.” In the end, she says, it’s about telling important stories from oft-neglected areas of the world.