Profile

Cover photo
Lydia Polgreen
Works at The New York Times
Attended Columbia University
Lives in Johannesburg, South Africa
1,490 followers|140,397 views
AboutPostsPhotosVideos

Stream

Lydia Polgreen

Shared publicly  - 
 
Terrific omnibus page for information about Zimbabwe's elections set up by Google. 
4
Gkamalg Kamlakar's profile photoStephen Nkoah's profile photo
3 comments
 
Hello lydia.

Add a comment...
 
Who owns Nelson Mandela's legacy? A pretty nasty battle is on to claim it, and he isn't even dead yet. 
2
1
Ulrike Singer-Bayrle's profile photo
Add a comment...

Lydia Polgreen

Shared publicly  - 
 
Robert Mugabe's party struggles to attract younger voters with no memory of the independence struggle. An interesting piece from Reuters. 
2
Add a comment...

Lydia Polgreen

Shared publicly  - 
 
The African Development Bank says that graft, kickbacks and tax evasion costs Africa at least $62 billion a year. Am I the only one who thinks that number sounds low?  
1
Add a comment...

Lydia Polgreen

Shared publicly  - 
 
Anna Hazare faster for 12 days and it seemed the whole nation yielded. Meet a woman who has been fasting for 11 years to get a draconian law lifted from her home state on India's troubled northeastern fringe.
2
Bérété Ousmane Jack's profile photoA. K. Narendranath's profile photo
2 comments
 
hey Lydia!on first,I'm jack,I'm journalist like you,I want just to be your friend,for the precision I'm frenchman and I'm living at Conakry Guinea,did you know?so come to discover my countrie.
Add a comment...
Have her in circles
1,490 people
Kiran K's profile photo

Lydia Polgreen

Shared publicly  - 
 
More from Africa Check on the BBC report on whites in South Africa. 
 
A week after the BBC first broadcast his film questioning whether whites had a future in South Africa, the corporation’s World Affairs editor, John Simpson, has written an article defending his reporting: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-22708507

He has also attempted to explain away his unquestioning use of the estimate, given to him by AfriForum and Solidariteit Helpende Hand, of the number of whites supposedly living in "squatter camps" in South Africa.

According to Simpson: "The civil society organisation AfriForum consulted a charity which works with poor Afrikaners, Solidariteit Helpende Hand, and estimated a figure of up to 400,000 white people living in poverty. My article made clear the source of the estimate and they stand by their figures. Other estimates vary widely and any figure is inevitably only an estimate."

While an online article written by Simpson did make clear the source of the estimate, his television report did not.   "At least 200,000 whites live in squatter camps like this today," he stated as fact in the accompanying voiceover. He also did not explain why the figure used in the film, which was broadcast by BBC News: The Editors, differed so markedly from the figure cited in his online article. Nor did he explain why the BBC apparently made no attempt to check the “estimate”.

In his response Simpson claims that AfriForum and Helpende Hand "stand by their figures". They do not.

As we reported, Simpson's guide through the Sonskynhoekie "squatter camp", AfriForum’s Ernst Roets, told us "there are no reliable figures at this stage about white poverty" and indicated that he had been pressured by the BBC team for a figure. (You can find the Africa Check report here: http://www.africacheck.org/reports/do-400-000-whites-live-in-squatter-camps-in-south-africa-the-answer-is-no/)

Mariana Kriel, the Helpende Hand regional organiser that Roets consulted in a bid to give the BBC a number of poor whites living in "squatter camps" told us her organisation normally did not give out such figures because there "aren't any".  She also called into question the use of the term “squatter camps”. “We don’t really have white squatter camps,” she told Africa Check. “We have homeless shelters. Squatter camps are places where people squat illegally on state-owned land. These people are staying with permission on private land.”

Simpson also now claims the figure of 400,000 refers to "white people living in poverty", yet in both his television story and the online report, the numbers were used to refer to "squatter camps".

South Africa's 2011 census figures suggest that 7754 white households live in informal settlements. Assuming that an average household consists of four people, which is slightly higher than the national average of 3.6 used in the 2011 Census, it would mean that there were around 31,000 whites living in informal settlements.

Simpson argues that census returns are “famously unreliable in assessing the numbers of people who live on the fringes of society” and while there is some truth to this, there is no evidence – and it would seem highly unlikely – that census takers would have underestimated the numbers by nearly 370,000 people or, in the case of the television report, by 170,000.

As many have rightly said, of course, the issue of the poverty identified by Simpson in his report is important, whoever it affects, black or white. But no problem will be properly tackled if it not properly understood.
1
Add a comment...

Lydia Polgreen

Shared publicly  - 
 
 
Are you sad about the news that Google will be shutting down Reader this July? In response, Digg announced that it will release its own Google Reader alternative.

#Reader  
2
Add a comment...

Lydia Polgreen

Shared publicly  - 
 
And so it begins. Violence and intimidation of regime opponents in the runup to the constitutional referendum and presidential election in Zimbabwe. I'll be in Zim from tomorrow. 
2
2
Paul Andrew's profile photo
Add a comment...

Lydia Polgreen

Shared publicly  - 
 
Am sick of Facebook. Is this still on?
5
Giles Anderson's profile photoGraeme Wood's profile photoPhillip de Wet's profile photoVusa Dube's profile photo
4 comments
 
It's a good place to share the kind of content you want to share. And, it's easier to filter out the crazy. 
Add a comment...

Lydia Polgreen

Shared publicly  - 
 
Introducing India Ink, a new India-focused web site from the New York Times, featuring original reporting, compelling essays and analysis and vibrant multimedia from the India staff of the NYT and some of the country's most exciting voices, including +Sonia Faleiro, +Sidin Vadukut, +naresh fernandes, +Vikas Bajaj, +Vivek Dehejia and many more.
5
3
Lydia Polgreen's profile photo
2 comments
 
We have a fair number of "serious" writers, and the list of contributors is just a start. Feel free to suggest others!
Add a comment...
People
Have her in circles
1,490 people
Kiran K's profile photo
Work
Occupation
Journalist
Employment
  • The New York Times
    Journalist, present
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Johannesburg, South Africa
Previously
New Delhi, India
Links
Contributor to
Story
Tagline
Johannesburg bureau chief for the New York Times.
Introduction

Lydia Polgreen is the Johannesburg bureau chief for the New York Times. Before that she was a foreign correspondent for The New York Times, based in New Delhi. She covered India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Bhutan and the Maldives.

From 2005 to 2009 she was the West Africa correspondent for the Times, covering Africa's deadliest and most complex conflicts, from the widening crisis in Darfur, Chad and Central African Republic to the continuing chaos in Congo.

Her work in Africa has been recognized with numerous prizes. In 2007 she was awarded the George Polk Award for Foreign Reporting for her coverage of the conflict in the Darfur region of Sudan. In 2008 she won an Overseas Press Club award for her coverage of Africa, and she was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. In 2009 she won the Livingston Award for International Reporting for "The Spoils," a series on resource conflicts in Africa. In 2011, she was awarded Columbia University's Medal for Excellence. 

After working at the Washington Monthly, the Times Union in Albany, New York and the Orlando Sentinel in Orlando, Florida, Lydia was hired as a reporter on the metropolitan staff of the New York Times in 2002.

Lydia was born in Washington, D.C. and spent most of her childhood in Kenya and Ghana. She attended Saint Johns College in Annapolis, Maryland and Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

You can follow Lydia on Twitter @lpolgreen

Education
  • Columbia University
    Journalist, 1999 - 2000
Basic Information
Gender
Female