Barbara Demick

Barbara Demick in Sarajevo Holiday Inn, 1994 (John Costello)

Barbara Demick is an American journalist. She was the Beijing bureau chief of the Los Angeles Times.[1] She is the author of Logavina Street: Life and Death in a Sarajevo Neighborhood (Andrews & McMeel, 1996).[2] Her second book, Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea, was published by Spiegel & Grau/Random House in December 2009 and Granta Books in 2010.[3] An animated feature film based on the book and sharing the same title[4] will be directed by Andy Glynne.[5]


Demick grew up in Ridgewood, New Jersey. She attended Yale University, graduating with a bachelor's degree in Journalism.[6][7]

She was correspondent for the Philadelphia Inquirer in Eastern Europe from 1993 to 1997. Along with photographer John Costello, she produced a series of articles that ran 1994-1996 following life on one Sarajevo street over the course of the war in Bosnia. The series won the George Polk Award for international reporting, the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award for international reporting and was a finalist for the Pulitzer in the features category.[5] She was stationed in the Middle East for the newspaper between 1997 and 2001.[8]

In 2001, Demick moved to the Los Angeles Times and became the newspaper's first bureau chief in Korea.[9] Demick reported extensively on human rights in North Korea, interviewing large numbers of refugees in China and South Korea. She focused on economic and social changes inside North Korea and on the situation of North Korean women sold into marriages in China. She wrote an extensive series of articles about life inside the North Korean city of Chongjin.[10] In 2005, Demick was a co-winner of the American Academy of Diplomacy's Arthur Ross Award for Distinguished Reporting & Analysis on Foreign Affairs.[5] In 2006, her reports about North Korea won the Overseas Press Club's Joe and Laurie Dine Award for Human Rights Reporting and the Asia Society's Osborn Elliott Prize for Excellence in Asian Journalism.[11] That same year, Demick was also named print journalist of the year by the Los Angeles Press Club. In 2010, she won the Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction for her work, Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea.[12] The book was also a finalist for the U.S.'s most prestigious literary prize, the National Book Award.[13] and for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Her first book, Logavina Street, is being republished in an updated edition in April 2012 by Spiegel & Grau, a division of Random House.[14] Granta is publishing in the U.K. under the title, Besieged: Life Under Fire on a Sarajevo Street. [15]

Demick was a visiting professor at Princeton University in 2006-2007 teaching Coverage of Repressive Regimes through the Ferris Fellowship at the Council of the Humanities.[16] She moved to Beijing for the Los Angeles Times in 2007. She is also an occasional contributor to The New Yorker.

Awards and nominations


  1. Los Angeles Times
  2. Danner, Mark. Bosnia: The Great Betrayal. New York Review of Books. March 26, 1998.
  3. Nothing to Envy by Barbara Demick, Random House
  5. 1 2 3 Demick, Barbara (2009). Nothing to Envy; Ordinary Lives in North Korea. Spiegel and Grau. ISBN 978-0-385-52390-5.
  6. Staff. "Barbara Demick Named Seoul Bureau Chief", Los Angeles Times, December 10, 2001. Accessed September 21, 2015. "A native of Ridgewood, N.J., Demick earned a bachelor's degree in economic history from Yale University and completed the Bagehot Fellowship in economic and business journalism at Columbia University."
  7. About Barbara Demick Archived August 15, 2015, at the Wayback Machine., Nothing to Envy. Accessed September 21, 2015. "Demick grew up in Ridgewood, N.J. She is currently the Los Angeles Times’ bureau chief in Beijing."
  8. Matloff, Judith. "Mothers at War. Columbia Journalism Review. Aug 19, 2004.
  9. ``Los Angeles Times Names Barbara Demick Seoul Bureau Chief, Business Wire, Dec 10, 2001.
  10. Reporter Gets Rare Glimpse at North Korea, National Public Radio, July 3, 2005.
  11. The Asia Society announces 2006 winners
  12. "Journalist Barbara Demick wins non-fiction prize with tale of life in North Korea". London Evening Standard. 2010-07-02. Retrieved 2010-07-02.
  13. 2010 National Book Award Finalist, Nonfiction
  14. "Logavina Street".
  15. "Besieged on".
  16. Princeton, Council of the Humanities, fellows

External links

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