Sept. 15 Radio: Jan Goodwin, Cutting-Edge Critic

Jan GoodwinOn Sept. 15, investigative journalist Jan Goodwin discussed on my WashJan Goodwinington Update radio show two articles that won first-place awards in this year’s annual Clarion competition for major magazines. In her rare double-win, Goodwin received one award for “The VA Healthcare System’s Dishonorable Conduct” in Good Housekeeping about substandard care for women in Veterans Administration hospitals. The other, besting 400 other entries, was for “Broken Promises: Seeking Political Asylum in America” in Ladies Home Journal.

The path-breaking foreign correspondent and culture expert has authored two books. Price of Honor: Muslim Women Lift the Veil of Silence on the Islamic World (2003) included the author's theme that the Prophet Mohammad was a strong advocate of women's rights whose authoritative views have been wildly distorted in modern times by Muslim leaders. Caught in the Crossfire (1987) describes her 1980s experiences in Afghanistan as a war correspondent. The scene at right shows the author, at center, with Taliban fighters in Afghanistan shortly before their attack on a Russian installation.The discussion was with my longtime co-host Scott Draughon, founder of the My Technology Lawyer Radio network that has broadcast our weekly shows live worldwide for more than five years. Click here to listen by archive.

Price of HonorJan Goodwin has a distinguished career as well as recent successes. I was particularly thrilled to host her after reading both of her books. Price of Honor examines how Islamic extremism affects the lives of Muslim women. For research, she travelled to 10 countries. For Caught in the Crossfire, an account of war-torn Afghanistan, the former executive editor of the Ladies Home Journal travelled for three months 1985 with the Afghan Resistance behind enemy lines during the Soviet-Afghan war. Later, she testified before Congress about Soviet carnage and human rights violations.

She is a senior fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University, as am I. The Schuster Institute is an independent investigative reporting Institute -- only the third of its kind in the nation, and the first and only one based at a university. Led by Founding Director Florence Graves, the Institute's staff of professional journalists research suspected injustices -- and then take the results public, via broadcasts, web magazines and the mainstream and thought-leader publications that help set the public agenda.

Goodwin is a longtime opinion-leader herself in such efforts. Published in many major magazines, her work includes reporting for "Defending Our Daughters," an award-winning Lifetime documentary. More background on her extraordinary career is on her personal website.


Contact the author Andrew Kreig or comment
Jan Goodwin’s Awards & Sample Works
From the Brandeis University Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism Website


2011 Clarion Awards:

“Broken Promises,” below, received also the 2011 James Aronson Award for Social Justice and the Meredith Communications Creative Excellence internal award.

•    Broken Promises: Seeking Political Asylum in America, Jan Goodwin, Ladies Home Journal, April 26, 2010. Every year, people like Isatu Jalloh escape torture and persecution, then find their way to the United States seeing refuge and freedom. What happens next will shock you.

•    Women’s Health Care Falls Short, Jan Goodwin, Good Housekeeping, March  2010. (This is the online version.)  Female vets find the VA health-care system lacks the resources and initiative to care for women returning from duty. Today, over 10 percent of our troops are female (it's been as high as 15 percent); they are maimed, mentally scarred, and killed protecting U.S. interests. Yet when it comes to the care they receive once they come home, it can seem, as one former Air Force sergeant says, "as if we are Martians, abnormalities, descending on the VA health system."

Jan Goodwin•    Price of Honor: Muslim Women Lift the Veil of Silence on the Islamic World (1995, 2003)
•    Caught in the Crossfire (1987). The scene at left show sthe author being smuggled into Afghanistan shortly after Russian occupiers threatened to kill the next foreign correspondent trying to cover the war.


Other Honors:
•    New York Times Notable Book for Price of Honor
•    Book of the Year by Nobel Laureate Doris Lessing for the London Sunday Times for Caught in the Crossfire
•    Recipient of three Amnesty International Media Awards
•    Front Page Award for Outstanding Journalism for "War Torn" series
•    Clarion Award for Anti-Child Pornography series
•    Two Emma Awards for political coverage
•    Soros Foundation Media Fellowship award

Jan Goodwin’s journalistic career has been committed to focusing attention on social justice and human rights, both international and domestic. Her articles have been in the vanguard of bringing important issues to large audiences, who often knew little of the countries on which she wrote, and less about what was happening in them. In many of the nations from which Goodwin reports, local journalists risk censorship, incarceration, even death, if they attempt to write on such topics, which is why they often opt not to challenge the authorities. In these hostile and sometimes closed societies, investigative journalism is vital.  Click for details.

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