Journalism Abroad: Nicholas Kristof’s 2011 Win a Trip Abroad Contest Announced

Nicolas Kristof on top of a train in Africa while in college (Photo from NY Times)

Based on search data, Melibee readers have been anxiously awaiting this announcement!  Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times has once again invited video or essay applications to his “Win a Trip” Journalism Abroad contest.  If you haven’t read about it in a previous posting on the subject, here is a short summary:

Kristof, the NY Times Op-Ed reporter, brings a university student (and a 2nd winner – read below for the new contest rules) on a 10 – 14 day trip abroad to report on human rights and health issues. Past contest winners have met with presidents and war lords in Africa, experienced health crises first hand, and been mentored by Mr. Kristof along the way.

This year Mr. Kristof adds a new twist to the contest – not only is he inviting a university student the chance to experience a life changing trip abroad with him, he is opening it up also to anyone over 60 years old.  Apparently, he had received letters from people who had obtained their first passports later in life and they wanted a chance to participate, so Kristof wisely listened and acted.  Mr. Kristof is not sure where this year’s trip will take he and two winners yet, but wherever it is may be, needless to say it will be an incredible opportunity, particularly for budding journalists!

Here is this year’s announcement from the New York Times.  What I love most about Mr. Kristof’s contest and this piece of writing is that he recognizes that only one student and one “student of life” will win his formal contest, but that doesn’t stop him from instructing everyone about how to create your own adventure abroad.  He names several worthwhile organizations to volunteer abroad through and cites the value of the experience.  Kudos to him for encouraging us all, young and “old” to challenge ourselves to break away from the safety of what we know and to see what else happens in this world, even when it is difficult to comprehend.  And perhaps most importantly, he takes on the task every day of ensuring that we do know about others’ struggles and how we can be more mindful of our sisters and brothers around the globe.