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01st September 2007

James Astill (1992, English)

Old Member James Astill (English, 1992) recently won the twentieth annual Gerald R. Ford Prize for Distinguished Reporting on National Defense in 2006.

Astill received the award at a National Press Club luncheon on 11th June in recognition of his high standards for accuracy and substance, which have helped to foster a better public understanding of National Defense.

Now based in Delhi as The Economist’s South Asia bureau chief, Astill previously served as the defense and terrorism correspondent, based in London, and before that as the Afghanistan correspondent, based in Islamabad. Prior to joining The Economist, he spent four years writing for the Guardian from Pakistan and from east and central Africa.

The judges who selected James Astill for this award issued a statement that included the following:

“The judging panel felt that Mr. Astill brings an exceptional level of literary journalism to his craft. His insightful analyses combine brevity and accessibility. The judges agreed that Mr. Astill brings to life compelling stories that illuminate larger pictures. He connects details to broad themes in ways that help explain events as complex and diverse as drug trade in Afghanistan and the counter-insurgency movement in Iraq. Bolstered by anecdote and underpinned by analysis, his work synthesizes ideas and issues to communicate complex national security conundrums to a wide audience.”

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