Foreign correspondent, NPR News, Berlin
Project: A digital international news platform using all aspects of new media.
Eric Westervelt had the sometimes frightening, yet always exhilarating experience of covering all three North African revolutions for National Public Radio in 2011. The assignments were a return to the place and the politics that first inspired him to become a journalist. On a break from Reed College in Portland, Ore., where he was majoring in American studies, he had sailed to Portugal on a three-masted schooner. His adventure continued by foot, train and hitchhiking through Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and the Western Sahara. Ever curious, he talked to all kinds of people — and took notes. He landed in Tunisia just after a coup. In Algeria, he visited rebels challenging Morocco’s occupation of Western Sahara. Now he knew he wanted to be a journalist. After graduating from Reed, he freelanced, then worked for New Hampshire Public Radio. In 1996, he moved to NPR, covering national security and the Pentagon. He was an NPR correspondent in Jerusalem before being named Berlin bureau chief in 2009.