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Tracy Dahlby

ProfessorMA, Harvard University

Professor, Frank A. Bennack, Jr. Chair in Journalism
Tracy Dahlby



Tracy Dahlby joined the faculty as the holder of the Frank A. Bennack Chair in Journalism in the fall of 2006 after three decades mainly spent as a journalist specializing in international affairs. His interests at the University of Texas include examining the changing role and function of foreign reporting in a time of digital revolution in journalism and helping students to cope with and benefit from the changes.

To that end, he has added two courses to the regular curriculum: Reporting Asia: A Foreign Correspondent’s Framework and Reporting the World: A Critical Examination of the U.S. News Media. A third entry, Reporting China: A Foreign Correspondent’s Workshop, a month-long apprentice-style field course, is the first of its kind to be offered to UT students, and is designed to acquaint them with the day-to-day realities of international reporting in a big, complex and fast-evolving beat – The Peoples’ Republic of China.

Dahlby spent 13 years living in Asia, where he served as Tokyo bureau chief for Newsweek and The Washington Post, respectively, and has covered events in Japan, China, Korea, and Southeast Asia. In 1987, he became managing editor of Newsweek International in New York, where he directed and coordinated worldwide news coverage.

As a regular contributor to National Geographic magazine between 1993 and 2002, Dahlby specialized in writing about Asia. His work included coverage of political, social and economic developments in Japan, Vietnam, Indonesia and around the South China Sea. His book about Islamic fundamentalism in Southeast Asia, entitled ALLAH'S TORCH: A Report from Behind the Scenes in Asia's War on Terror, was published in January 2005 by William Morrow.

Dahlby has also worked in documentary films for television. He was co-creator and Series Director for THE FIFTIES, an eight-hour mini-series based on author David Halberstam's best-selling history of America's signature decade that debuted on The History Channel in 1997. Dahlby won a national Sports Emmy Award for his role in producing SPORTSCENTURY, a series first aired on ESPN in 1999 that examines the lives of the great athletes of the 20th Century. Dahlby also served as Special Correspondent for THE PACIFIC CENTURY, a 10-hour series that explores America's ties with the rising economic powers of Asia. The series debuted on PBS in 1992 and won a national Emmy Award for historical programming.

Dahlby won an Overseas Press Club Award for Newsweek's coverage of South Korea's rise as a trading power in the 1980s. As a member of a Newsweek reporting team, he helped produce THE END OF THE WORLD THAT WAS: Six Lives in the Atomic Age, a book about the atomic-bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. He is co-author with B.H. Kean, M.D., of MD: One Doctor's Adventures Among the Famous and Infamous From the Jungles of Panama to a Park Avenue Practice.

Dahlby graduated from the University of Washington in Seattle in 1972 (B.A., history, summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa). He received his M.A. in East Asian studies from Harvard University after studying Japanese at the Inter-University Center in Tokyo, an intensive Japanese-language program administered by Stanford University, in 1974, and becoming a research fellow at the University of Tokyo's faculty of law the following year. He started his journalistic career as a reporter for the AP-Dow Jones Economic Report in Tokyo before taking a job as Tokyo correspondent for the Hong Kong-based Far Eastern Economic Review in 1976.

Dahlby served as a visiting professor of journalism at Eugene Lang College, the New School for Liberal Arts, in New York City during the 2005-2006 academic year.

Recent Courses: J 380W Writing and Reporting, J 349T/395 Reporting Asia, J 349T/395 Reporting the World, J 395 Advanced Writing and Public Affairs Reporting.

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