ABOUT

Keith B. Richburg spent more than 20 years overseas for The Washington Post, serving as bureau chief in Beijing, Paris, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Nairobi and Manila as well as New York City. He also was the Post’s Foreign Editor during 2005–2007. Richburg was Journalist-in-Residence at the East-West Center in Hawaii in 1990 and was president of the Hong Kong Foreign Correspondents Club in 1997, during the year of Hong Kong’s handover to China. Now based in Bangkok, he is now devoting himself to freelance writing, teaching, media training and book writing.

During his time at the Post, he reported on the invasion in Iraq, the fall of the Taliban in Afghanistan, the U.S. military intervention in Somalia, the genocide in Rwanda, the 1997 Hong Kong handover, the Asian economic crisis, and the Chinese Communist Party's 18th Party Congress in Beijing in 2012. He has won several awards, including the George Polk Award, the Overseas Press Club Award, the National Association of Black Journalists Award and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for his reporting from Africa. Richburg speaks English and French, a smattering of Spanish, and has been studying Mandarin Chinese.

A native of Detroit, Richburg began working for the Post as a summer intern in 1978. He received a B.A. from the University of Michigan and a Master’s Degree in international relations from The London School of Economics in 1984. He began his career in journalism as the political cartoonist for The Michigan Daily, the student-run newspaper of the University of Michigan, and he still dabbles in cartooning.

Richburg was the Ferris Professor of Journalism at Princeton University in the Spring of 2014, where he taught an undergraduate course, "Foreign Policy, Public Opinion and the Press," and he was a 2013 Spring Fellow at Harvard University’s Kennedy Institute of Politics, where he led a weekly study group called "China Rising."  Currently dividing his time between Bangkok, Hong Kong and the U.S., he is a freelance writer and columnist, writing for, among others, The Edge Review and the Nikkei Asian Review. In addition, he leads media training workshops on request in Southeast Asia, including one held in Ho Chi Minh City for Vietnamese journalists, and he is now at work on his second book.

Richburg is the author of the acclaimed book, Out of America: A Black Man Confronts Africa (Basic Books, 1997) that was described by USA TODAY as “the most honest book to emerge from Africa in a long time.”

His media appearances include MSNBCCNN, The Washington Post, Al JazeeraC-SPANSky News and France 24. He has participated in forums and panels at the Overseas Press Club in New York, the East-West Center in Hawaii, Tsinghua University in Beijing as well as academic and professional panels in Washington, DC, New York, Indonesia, the Netherlands and Hong Kong.

Richburg can be contacted at keith@keithrichburg.com.  

  

BOOK

Out of America

A Black Man Confronts Africa

Cover of Out of America, A Black Man Confronts Africa, orange silhouette of map of Africa on reddish wood grain
Nothing in Keith Richburg’s long and respected journalistic career at The Washington Post prepared him for what he would encounter as the paper’s correspondent in Africa.

He found a continent where brutal murder had become routine, where dictators and warlords silenced dissent with machine guns and machetes, and where starvation had become depressingly common.

With a great deal of personal anguish, Richburg faced a difficult question: If this is Africa, what does it mean to be an African American? Read more

ARTICLES

Freelance journalist and former China correspondent Keith B. Richburg has spent more than 20 years overseas for The Washington Post, serving as bureau chief in Paris, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Nairobi and Manila. He covered the invasion in Iraq, the fall of the Taliban in Afghanistan, the U.S. military intervention in Somalia, the genocide in Rwanda and the 1997 handover of Hong Kong to China.

A native of Detroit, Richburg began working for the Post as a summer intern in 1978. He was the Post’s foreign editor from 2005 to 2007 and the New York bureau chief from 2007 to 2009. He has a B.A. from the University of Michigan and a Master’s Degree in international relations from The London School of Economics.

Richburg is the author of Out Of America; A Black Man Confronts Africa (Basic Books, 1997). He speaks English and French and has been learning Mandarin.

October 23, 2012

China’s Other Transition: Military to be Led by New Generation

The Washington Post, 2012 Sweeping change is coming to the leadership of the People’s Liberation Army with the promotion of a new generation of commanders who mostly lack any combat experience or have ever given interviews.
November 15, 2011

Reclusive North Korea Opens Its Door a Crack for Tourists

The Washington Post, 2011. North Korea is allowing foreign tour groups into the country, but don’t plan to bring your cellphone or BlackBerry or talk to strangers.
October 10, 2011

Unhappy Trails: A Trek Through the Mountains To the Taliban Front Is a Chilling Experience

The Washington Post, 2001. Keith describes his chilling journey on horseback through Afghanistan’s dangerous Anjuman Mountains to get to the front lines of the war between the Taliban and the opposition Northern Alliance.
August 25, 2011

Chasing the Story

Foreign Policy, 2011. As journalists race to Tripoli to cover Qaddafi’s fall, Keith reflects on his 25 years of experience covering regime collapses around the world for The Washington Post.
April 24, 2005

Europe’s Minority Politicians in Short Supply

The Washington Post, 2005. In Western Europe, while decades of immigration from the Middle East, sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and the Caribbean have created large black and Muslim populations, they have remained largely invisible in elective government.
April 15, 2003

Iraqis Say Lynch Raid Faced No Resistance

The Washington Post, 2003. For Iraqi doctors on duty at Saddam Hospital on the night of the U.S. military’s dramatic rescue of Pfc. Jessica Lynch, it was all Hollywood dazzle, with little need for real action.

MEDIA

BLOG

February 26, 2017

Will the Trump White House Defend Press Freedom Abroad?

By Keith B. Richburg, February 26, 2017 (This article first appeared in Nieman Reports, Februry 23, 2017. ©Nieman Reports) In the late 1980s, I found myself banned […]
August 27, 2016

Ignorance vs. malice: comparing racism in Asia and the US

By Keith B. Richburg, August 27, 2016 This was my latest piece from the online editon of August 17 Nikkei Aisan Review, reprinted in the magazine in […]
May 13, 2016

US looks set for a nasty presidential election

By Keith B. Richburg, May 13, 2016 Greetings, and in case you missed it, here is the piece I wrote for Nikkei Asian Review, just after the […]

CONTACT

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