Orth visits for Lovejoy
Maureen Orth, who has served as a special correspondent for Vanity Fair since 1993 and has profiled numerous influential figures worldwide, will visit the College the week of March 13. Orth is visiting as the Goldfarb Center-sponsored Lovejoy Journalist-in-Residence, a program made possible through a grant from the Knight Foundation.
Orth will deliver a public lecture, entitled “Up against the power of fame: How Vanity Fair’s Special Correspondent Maureen Orth confronts the spin, the resistance, the push back to deliver the truth,” in Ostrove Auditorium at 7 p.m. on Monday, March 14. She will also host a series of workshops on Wednesday, March 16, during which she will talk about her career in the magazine publishing business and will help students to enhance their journalism skills.
Orth began writing for Vanity Fair in 1988 and has since written many investigative pieces and interviewed many notable pop stars and political icons. She has published high-profile articles “regarding the allegations of sexual abuse by Michael Jackson and child abuse by Woody Allen,” according to her profile on the Vanity Fair website. She has also “profiled other controversial figures such as Denise and Marc Rich, Mohamed Al Fayed, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, Gerry Adams, Karl Lagerfeld, Madonna and Carla Bruni.”
Orth’s work has provided her with the opportunity to speak with many political leaders and has even taken her across the globe. As noted in her profile, Orth “has interviewed Russian president Vladimir Putin and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, among other heads of state.” Also, “right after 9/11, Orth journeyed to Central Asia to report on the relationship between terrorism and drugs.”
Orth has received a number of awards throughout her career, which began in 1973 when she started writing for Newsweek, becoming the third female writer ever hired by the publication. During her time at Newsweek, Orth served as “the entertainment editor and the lifestyle editor and wrote seven cover stories,” as mentioned in her profile. She “won a National Magazine Award for group coverage of the arts at Newsweek and was nominated for a National Magazine Award for Reporting for her article on Michael and Arianna Huffington, which appeared in the November 1994 issue of Vanity Fair.”
In addition to her extensive career in journalism, Orth also served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Colombia in the 1960s. At the time, she had “no thought of becoming a journalist,” she wrote in an opinion-editorial published in the Los Angeles Times on February 25. However, she is now aware of the connection between these two fields, writing that “to succeed in either journalism or the Peace Corps, you need curiosity and energy, but you also need to learn how to observe and to listen.”
Orth has also established “two nonprofit Marina Orth Foundations—one in the U.S. and one in Colombia—to support three Colombian schools that serve 1,200 children through public/private partnerships in both countries,” she wrote. “Each primary school child has a computer, is taught English and learns leadership skills. My plan is to have a national network operating in Colombia within four years.”
In addition to meeting with students, Lovejoy Journalists-in-Residence such as Orth “explore and develop the themes raised by that year’s winner of Colby’s Lovejoy Award for courageous journalism, “ as stated on the College’s website. This year, Alfredo Corchado received the Lovejoy Award honoring his work covering the drug trade, crime and violence on the U.S.-Mexican border.