This annual award, which carries a cash prize of $10,000, honors a journalist not only for a distinguished body of work, but also for the particular way that work has helped American readers to understand the complexities of Asia. It is awarded jointly by the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center in the Freeman Spogli Institute at Stanford University, and the Shorenstein Center on Press, Politics, and Public Policy in the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
This year's recipient is Melinda Liu. Ms. Liu was named Newsweek's Beijing bureau chief in September 1998, returning to the bureau she herself opened in 1980. Prior to that, she served as diplomatic correspondent, operating out of Newsweek's Washington Bureau between 1992 and 1998. Liu has reported extensively on international policy, both in the U.S. and abroad.
In the spring of 1989, Liu supervised Newsweek's coverage of the Tiananmen Square student protests. In September 1988 she was the only Western staff correspondent in Rangoon when the Burmese military launched a violent takeover. In 1986 and 1987, Liu covered the fall of Philippine strongman Ferdinand Marcos and unsuccessful coup attempts against President Corazon Aquino, obtaining exclusive interviews with fugitive leaders of the mutiny.
Liu joined Newsweek in 1980 and opened the magazine's Beijing bureau the same year. She returned to New York in 1982 as a general editor for Newsweek International. Prior to joining Newsweek, Liu was China-economy correspondent for the Far Eastern Economic Review. She was also a Taipei stringer for Newsweek, the Washington Post and CBS News.