Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Sandy Tolan

Sandy Tolan is on a roll.

Tolan, a professor at Berkeley’s journalism school, won the George Polk Award for radio reporting February 19th for a radio series done in collaboration with his students, Early Signs: Report from a Warming Planet.

Tolan’s students fanned out around the globe to report on signs of climate change in Tanzania, Bangladesh, Ecuador, Canada and elsewhere. The nine-part radio series was cosponsored by the journalism school, Salon, and Living on Earth Radio.

Tolan’s prize comes as his book The Lemon Tree: An Arab, A Jew, and the Heart of the Middle East is a finalist for a National Book Critics Circle Award. That tome tells the story of a Palestinian and an Israeli who lived in the same house, one before the 1967 war and one after. The house and their relationship become a metaphor for Arab-Israeli relations and the positive links that can be forged between the two groups.

Tolan’s work can currently be heard on public radio stations around the country. His latest radio show is World@Work, a 24-part series on working conditions around the globe. It’s a co-productionof Marketplace and Homelands Productions, Toland’s company.

What makes Tolan’s accomplishments all that more interesting is that he is an independent radio producer. He is not permanently attached to any radio station, which means he has to go out and raise the funds to produce his shows. In this age of conglomeration, his maverick style and probing series deserve acclaim.


Anonymous said...

are you a prof. at uc berkeley?

Frances said...

I taught at the j-school last semester, but I am not a professor there.