The Michael Kelly Award

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Sharon LaFraniere

CITATIONSharon LaFraniere
In covering southern Africa for The New York Times, Sharon LaFraniere has made the challenges facing the region’s women her specialty. She has written about widows forced to have sex with their in-laws as a way of spiritual “cleansing,” women who have been incontinent for years because of birthing injuries, even though a $300 operation could repair the damage, and teenage girls who drop out of school because there are no toilets to use when they have their periods. Her reporting provides a window into African culture that is both unflinching and respectful, dispassionate and intimate. As LaFraniere’s articles demonstrate, the “fearless pursuit and expression of truth” can manifest itself not only in reporting from a war zone or disaster area, but also in covering the most mundane circumstances of everyday life–the village without a doctor, the school without a toilet, and the widow without a choice.

Sharon LaFraniere has covered southern Africa for The New York Times since 2003. She is based in Johannesburg, South Africa. Before joining the Times, she spent five years as a foreign correspondent for The Washington Post, based in Moscow. At the Post, she also served as an acting deputy national editor, an investigative reporter on the national staff, and a Metro investigative reporter. She began her journalism career as a general assignment reporter for the Louisville Times. Born in Detroit, Michigan, LaFraniere, 50, received a B.A. degree magna cum laude from Brown University and a M.S. degree in journalism from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. She is married to Michael Wines, the Johannesburg bureau chief for The New York Times. They have three children.

“Another School Barrier for African Girls: No Toilet”

“Forced to Marry Before Puberty, African Girls Pay Lasting Price”

“Nightmare for African Women: Birthing Injury and Little Help”

“Entrenched Epidemic: Wife-Beatings in Africa”

“AIDS Now Compels Africa to Challenge Widows’ ‘Cleansing'”

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