The recent news that Dimitri Pefanis, MA ’02, won Citigroup’s Journalistic Excellence Award is no surprise to Journalism Professor Emmanuel “Manny” Paraschos, who said he was, “an outstanding student.”
“He was the only one to ever finish a master’s program [in the Journalism Department] in 12 calendar months,” said Paraschos, who reconnected with Pefanis recently during a trip to his native Greece. “He went through summer school taking three courses.”
Pefanis is the financial editor of the Ta Nea, Greece’s largest daily newspaper, amid an extremely shaky national economy.
Several Greek financial executives, scholars, and journalists chose Pefanis for the award based on nine articles he submitted that contained superior originality, introduction of new ideas and perceptions, and analysis and research that led to social discussion or action.
The Citi award will pay for Pefanis to attend a two-week seminar in business and finance reporting at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism in New York City. Participants meet with leaders who drive the global economy, such as policymakers, established members of the United States business community, media and academics; and attend intensive workshops on accounting and economics.
“We believe that quality journalism is a cultural indicator that contributes to a healthy
business environment that Greece needs [as it] tries to build despite the adverse conditions,” said Grant Carson of Citi Greece.
“Journalism students have shown considerably more interest in the world than ever before in the past,” Paraschos said of Emerson students of the last decade. “They want to cover the trouble spots of the world, for which I praise them. This is serious stuff.”
Yannis Papadopoulos ’09 also works for Ta Nea as a reporter who focuses on immigration issues in Greece. He is one of the nation’s first multimedia reporters.
“For him to get hired in Athens full time under the economic circumstances of the nation is unbelievable,” Paraschos said. “It’s important and very difficult to remain independent these days because of the dependence of the media upon the rich. But these two so far have managed to keep their integrity and covered the world and Greece as they see it—warts and all.”