February 21, 2008 — The 2008 receipient of the Shorenstein Prize for Reporting on Asia is journalist, author, and professor Ian Buruma.
Buruma was born in the Netherlands, and educated at Leyden University and Nihon University, Tokyo. He is a journalist, author, and Luce Professor at Bard College, New York. He is a frequent contributor to the New York Review of Books and many publications in Europe and the United States. His latest books are Occidentalism (with Avishai Margalit) and Murder in Amsterdam.
At the award ceremony Buruma gave a talk titled “Asian Alternatives: What the West can Learn.” It looked at how for many centuries Westerners have looked East for answers to the problems in their own societies. How valid were these answers? Buruma asked. What are people looking for today, when China and Japan look like attractive models?
The following day, Buruma took part in a panel discussion titled “Death of the Foreign Correspondent: An Exaggerated Demise?” Participants included Susan Chira, foreign editor at the New York Times; Orville Schell, dean of the Graduate School of Journalism at University of California, Berkeley; and Daniel C. Sneider, associate director for research at Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center.