MA student Austin Meyer named winner of New York Times’ Nicholas Kristof win-a-trip contest

Austin Meyer
Austin Meyer
Austin Meyer

Stanford Journalism Program master’s co-term student Austin Meyer has been named as the winner of Nicholas Kristof’s annual win-a-trip contest.

Kristof, an acclaimed New York Times columnist, announced Thursday that he and Meyer will likely travel to India and Bangladesh or Congo. Each year since 2006, Kristof has taken a student on a reporting trip to a location in the developing world. “The aim is to generate interest in global poverty issues both with the contest and with the blogging and videos that the winner will contribute to the New York Times website,” he wrote in a December article.

“This is an unbelievable opportunity for Austin to travel with one of the most influential foreign affairs columnists of our day and to have enormous impact,” said Janine Zacharia, who teaches journalism in Stanford’s Department of Communication and is also a former Middle East correspondent for The Washington Post. “Austin is a tenacious, natural storyteller who, with his exceptional videography skills, I know, will help educate and engage people about issues that the vast majority of the globe otherwise might not know or care about.”

“I have always admired Nicholas Kristof’s work,” Meyer said. “He exemplifies all that I aspire to be as a journalist. His work is brave and powerful. It captivates while it educates. Kristof’s stories incite empathy and influence change for the most serious human rights abuses in our world. I dreamt of winning this opportunity because I want to learn first-hand how to harness my attributes as a storyteller to affect major change for social injustices in the world.”

Meyer, who will graduate this June with a master’s degree in communication (journalism), received his bachelor of arts in English with a creative writing emphasis from Stanford in 2014.  He is a talented storyteller and his journalism has been published on KQED, Peninsula Press, SFGate and the Stanford Storytelling Project. Meyer is part of the Stanford Improvisers — an improv comedy troup — and also played center midfield for the Stanford Varsity Men’s Soccer Team. He is also a co-founder of Collective Capital, an organization that through improvisation and design-based exercises helps groups use their creative potential.

With help from the Center for Global Development, Kristof chose Meyer from a pool of 450 applicants.

Read Nicholas Kristof’s announcement on The New York Times website.