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Reporter on Harrowing Capture by Taliban

David Rohde of The New York Times offers insight into high-risk reporting to tomorrow's journalists

September 23, 2010

Listen to selections from David Rohde's Crain Lecture

EVANSTON, Ill. --- On Wednesday, Sept. 22, 2010, New York Times reporter David Rohde told the story of his 2008 kidnapping and seven months of captivity at the hands of the Taliban as part of the Crain Lecture Series at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism.

Rohde was awarded the 2009 Medill Medal for Courage by Medill for his first-person account of his experience with the Taliban. His five-part series not only describes his Afghanistan capture but also provides details of his captors and the Taliban network in North and South Waziristan. 

The Medill Medal is given to the individual or team of journalists working for a U.S.-based media outlet that best displays moral, ethical or physical courage in the pursuit of a story or series of stories.

Rohde eventually escaped to safety to a Pakistani military base. “His personal and professional courage was exactly what the Medill Medal was created to honor,” said Medill Board of Adviser Richard Stolley, one of the award judges. “He has set the standard in physical courage for the award.”

Rohde is not a stranger to Medill. In 1984, he participated in the National High School Institute at Medill, commonly known as the Cherubs program. The program gathers some of the best high school journalists in the nation for an intensive five-week reporting experience.

Presented by Medill, the popular Gertrude and G.D. Crain Jr. Lecture Series regularly brings journalists, newsmakers and others to the Evanston campus to discuss current events and the news business.

Topics: Campus Life