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Lucia Newman

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Subject: Maria Moors Cabot prize, Al Jazeera English
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Lucia Newman

Lucia Newman
Born Lucia Newman
(1952-02-18) February 18, 1952 (age 62)
Occupation Reporter
Notable credit(s) Maria Moors Cabot prize from Columbia University
Spouse(s) Demetrio Olaciregui
Children Pia and Laura (Laurita)

Lucia Newman (born February 18, 1952 in London) is a broadcast journalist, currently working as a reporter for Al Jazeera English. Previously, she reported for CNN for a number of years.


In 1991, she received the Maria Moors Cabot prize from Columbia University for contributing to "the advancement of press freedom and inter-American understanding".[1]

In March 1997, Newman became the first United States journalist - she is actually British-born - in twenty-seven years to have permanent residence in Cuba.[2]

The North-South Institute praised her reporting and wrote that because she knows several languages, "she can find out things others cannot". Newman is fluent in English, Spanish, French, and Portuguese. However, after Newman's first news broadcast, Ninoska Pérez Castellón criticized her for not interviewing people who were against the Cuban government. Pérez wanted Newman to show Cuba as a "normal place", not a "rogue nation".[2]

Newman has reported for CNN in a number of Latin American countries. She reported in Panama. On September 16, 1987,[3] the Panama government expelled Newman from the country after a mob saw her grinning during an interview with Manuel Noriega.[4] Noriega called her a "disinformer".[5] She was a correspondent in Nicaragua during 1985 to 1989 and in Chile from 1989 to 1993.[6] From 1993 to 1997, Newman was head of CNN's bureau in Mexico.[6]

In 2006, she left CNN to became a reporter for Al Jazeera English and has been with the channel since its launch. [6][7]


Newman was born on February 18, 1952 in London, of US and Chilean parentage.[8] Her parents had met in Moscow: her mother, Lucia, was Santiago's consul-general in Moscow, and her father was the American journalist Joseph Newman, who usually worked from Cuba for the New York Herald Tribune.[9] Both parents eventually had to leave Stalin's Russia: her father, because of a "Stalinist crackdown on the Western press" and her mother, because Chile severed its diplomatic connections with the Soviet Union. They traveled to western Europe and the younger Lucia was born in London. However, the family moved to the United States soon after, spending time in New York and Washington, D.C. In June 1959, her first-grade teacher commented in Lucia's report card, "Lucia loves stories almost as much as she enjoys telling stories for our group."[8]

Newman said in an interview that "I didn't consider myself of a particular nationality" and that in the United States, she felt like a "foreigner". During holidays, she spent much of her vacation in Chile with her large extended family.[8] Upon graduating high school, she studied journalism at the University of Chile in Santiago. After General Augusto Pinochet's coup d'état on 11 September 1973, Newman discovered that her professors and colleagues started to vanish.

Calling this "scary, no, terrifying", Newman moved to Australia, where she landed a job at the Australian Embassy serving as a Spanish–English translator. The University of New South Wales accepted her "tuition-free" as a student.[8] In April 1979,[8] she received a bachelor's degree in communication from the University of New South Wales.

Newman is married to the Panamian official and documentary-maker, Demetrio Olaciregui. They have two daughters, Pia and Laura (Laurita). For some time, the family has been based in Argentina, but Newman's career and peripatetic upbringing militate against that move being considered definitive.[9]


External links

  • Internet Movie Database
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