Elizabeth Neuffer, an award-winning reporter for The Boston
Globe, died in a car accident in Iraq while on assignment covering
the aftermath of the war, the newspaper said.
Neuffer, 46, died Thursday after the car in which she was a
passenger apparently struck a guardrail near the town of Samarra,
about halfway between Tikrit and Baghdad. She was returning to
Baghdad from Tikrit, where she was reporting on efforts to rid Iraq
of the influence of the Baath Party, the Globe said in a statement
Neuffer's translator, Waleed Khalifa Hassan Al-Dulami, also died
in the accident, the Globe said. The driver, Saad Al-Azzayi,
"All of us in the Globe's newsroom are devastated by the news of
Elizabeth's death. She was brilliant and courageous," Globe editor
Martin Baron said in the statement. "Wherever there was news in the
world, Elizabeth wanted to go."
Neuffer was the longtime companion of Peter Canellos, the Globe's
bureau chief in Washington.
Neuffer was a freelance reporter for The New York Times and Time
magazine before starting work for the Globe in 1988. While there,
she covered everything from federal courts to the first Gulf War,
the fall of the Soviet Union and the Clinton administration's
efforts to reform health care. Most recently, she was the paper's
United Nations correspondent and a roving foreign correspondent.
She received a bachelor's degree in history from Cornell
University, and a master's in political philosophy from the London
School of Economics.
"Elizabeth was far more than an outstanding journalist. She
wanted to make the world a better place," said Globe foreign editor
James F. Smith. "She wrote with grace and conviction and empathy.
She was our friend too funny, caring, always worrying about her
colleagues and their safety. We will miss her terribly."
In 1997, Neuffer won the SAIS-Novartis Prize for Excellence in
International Journalism for "Buried Truth," a 10-part series on war
crimes in Bosnia and Rwanda. The following year, she won the Courage
in Journalism Award from the International Women's Media Foundation
after the judges noted she "has been menaced by gun-toting rebels,
subjected to death threats, abducted by soldiers, robbed and
threatened with rape."
When she won that award, Neuffer explained her philosophy about
the truth: "The truth may be hazardous to those who tell it, but the
truth is not dangerous, disinformation is. As I saw in Bosnia and
Rwanda, it is propaganda that fans the flames of hatred."
Neuffer also wrote a book, "The Keys to My Neighbor's House," in
2001, following several people from the battlefield to the courtroom
as they sought justice before the newly created ad hoc war crimes
tribunals in Bosnia and Rwanda.
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