Journalist in Residence 2010


Deb Nelson lectures at Hong Kong Baptist University

USCET is pleased that Pulitzer Prize winner and University of Maryland Professor Deborah Nelson and Pulitzer Prize winning Wall Street Journal reporter Shai Oster traveled to Mainland China and Hong Kong in Fall 2010 as USCET's 7th and 8th Journalists in Residence.

Professor Nelson led off the JIR programs with a two-day series of lectures and roundtable discussions hosted by Beijing Foreign Studies University on November 1st and 2nd. She lectured to BFSU undergraduate and graduate students in journalism regarding the role of the media in US foreign policymaking, focusing specifically on her award-winning research on the My Lai and other abuses by the US military during the Vietnam War, as well as the techniques of investigative reporting that enabled her to win a Pulitzer. Small roundtable discussions with BFSU faculty rounded out the program, along with an animated classroom observation session with Professor Nelson describing the differences between Chinese and American journalism school education.

Later, from November 3rd to 4th, both Professor Nelson and Shai Oster participated in Hong Kong Baptist University's Pulitzer Prize Winners Workshop, alongside six other Pulitzer Prize Winners, and in the 2nd Annual Media Education Consortium Conference.  In 2011, Shai Oster will return to Mainland China with USCET, visiting additional MEC universities to continue this series of JIR lectures.

Biographies of Deborah Nelson and Shai Oster are as follows:

Deborah Nelson joined the Merrill faculty as visiting professor in 2006, after five years as the Washington investigations editor for The Los Angeles Times. She also reported for the Washington Post, Seattle Times and Chicago Sun-Times, and her national awards include a Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting.

She shared in the Pulitzer for a Seattle Times series that exposed widespread problems in the federal government's Indian Housing Program. As an editor, she helped produce Pulitzer-winning series on the deaths of 229 children in the District of Columbia's care, and on the deadly accident record of the Marines Harrier jump jet. Her science and environmental reporting also has received national recognition.

She directs the Carnegie Seminar, which provides intensive instruction by top university experts on news-related topics, such as immigration, politics, war and peace. She is leading an initiative for the International Center for Media and the Public Agenda and the Salzburg Global Seminar to develop a global curriculum for journalism schools on international criminal law and justice.

Nelson is on the advisory boards of the Fund for Investigative Journalism and the Investigative Reporting Workshop. She is an active member and past president of Investigative Reporters and Editors.

Nelson earned a B.S. in Journalism from Northern Illinois University and a J.D. from DePaul University College of Law.


Shai Oster is a Beijing-based correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, covering energy and the environment. He has won several awards in more than a decade as a journalist in China, Europe, and the U.S., writing about a broad range of economic, business and social issues. Before joining the Journal's China Bureau, Oster covered OPEC for Dow Jones Newswires in London.

He previously served as Beijing bureau chief for Asiaweek magazine and as Beijing correspondent for the Bureau of National Affairs and the San Francisco Chronicle. The recipient of the George Polk Award for environmental reporting and Asia Society's Osborn Elliott Award in 2008, he was also part of a team of Wall Street Journal reporters that won a Pulitzer Prize in 2007 for International Reporting on China.

A graduate of the Columbia University Journalism School, Oster was born in Jerusalem and speaks Hebrew, French and Chinese.