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News Release

March 16, 2005

New York Times Journalist Howard French on Why Africa Matters

NORTHAMPTON, Mass.—New York Times Shanghai Bureau Chief Howard French will discuss “The Forgotten Continent: Why Africa Matters, Why There is Hope” at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 30, in Seelye Hall 106.

French’s lecture at Smith College follows another talk that he will give on “Genocide as Routine: How African Life Has Come to be Ignored” at the University of Massachusetts at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 29, Herter Hall 231. Both events are free and open to the public.

Since 1986, French has reported for the New York Times from Central America, the Caribbean, West and Central Africa, Japan, Korea and now China. Before taking the reins of the Shanghai Bureau in 2003, French served in that capacity at the newspaper’s Tokyo and Abidjan bureaus.

French graduated from the University of Massachusetts in 1979 and moved to Africa, where he taught English at the University of the Ivory Coast in Abidjan and also worked as a French-English translator. There, he got his start as a freelance reporter prior to joining the New York Times.

During the course of his career at the New York Times, the newspaper has awarded French its highest prize, the Publisher’s Award, six times. His work in Zaire and coverage of the fall of the country’s late dictator Mobutu Sese Seko, was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and won the Overseas Press Coverage Award for best interpretation of foreign affairs.

In his book “A Continent for the Taking,” French draws upon his 25 years’ experience reporting on Africa and provides an unstinting account of the disastrous consequences of the centuries-old encounter between Africa and the West. He examines the legacy of colonization in the lives of contemporary Africans in Nigeria, Liberia, Mali and the Congo.

Office of College Relations
Smith College
Garrison Hall
Northampton, Massachusetts 01063

Kristen Cole
Media Relations Director
T (413) 585-2190
F (413) 585-2174

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