Finding the News won first place in the memoir category of The Eric Hoffer Book Awards for 2020.
The book also made the “short list” of finalists for the 2020 Grand Prize.
Here’s what the judges said:
The Memoir category captures specific personal experience.
Finding the News, Peter Copeland, LSU Press – Copeland details his journey from Chicago city-desk reporter to international journalist. Part coming-of-age tale, part mentoring guide, he tells his story in vivid, spare prose. We feel the tension of a military unit poised to drive Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait. We experience the fear of civilians huddled together in a hotel basement, shuddering at the muffled thunder of an overhead Patriot missile launch. During his career, he broke impactful stories about the role of women warriors and border issues with Mexico, where he met his dancer wife. Throughout, the author reaffirms the bedrock values of journalism—speed, accuracy, and fairness. He offers a glimpse of the profession before random cell phone clips could set the news agenda and before the blurring of the line between opinion and news. The book hearkens when reporters took seriously their role in earning public trust.
About The Eric Hoffer Book Award
“The Eric Hoffer Book Award honors the memory of the great American philosopher Eric Hoffer by highlighting salient writing, as well as the independent spirit of small publishers,” according to the organizers. “Since its inception, the Hoffer has become one of the largest international book awards for small, academic, and independent presses.”
Peter Copeland is a former foreign correspondent and Washington bureau chief. His most recent book is Finding the News: Adventures of a Young Reporter.