John Dinges

John Dinges will be joining us for the Okoboji Writers’ Retreat. For this ‘Emmetsburg boy’ it will be a homecoming. Dinges taught sailing at Camp Foster on East Lake Okoboji before launching his distinguished career as a journalist, author, editor, and professor.

John Dinges work has specialized in the dictators of  Latin America. He was awarded the Maria Moors Cabot gold medal for excellence in reporting on Latin American. The Godfrey Lowell Cabot Professor of International Journalism Emeritus of Columbia University,  he coached young writers and trained reporters for more than a decade. He served as managing editor and international editor of National Public Radio News, and was named in two DuPont-Columbia broadcasting awards (gold and silver batons). For the Washington Post (1975-1983), he was special correspondent in South and Central America, and an assistant editor on the foreign desk. He was a freelance correspondent (stringer) in Chile for Time, ABC Radio and other publications from 1972-1978, at the time of the military coup and for the first five years of the Pinochet dictatorship. He is founder or co-founder of three publications in Chile: APSI Actualidad Internacional, and Recent writing has appeared in SpyTalk, The Washington Post, Caretas (Lima), The Clinic (Chile), ReVista (Harvard U.) and Newsweek.

He is a native of Iowa, graduating from Emmetsburg Catholic High School, and Loras College, Dubuque, Iowa. He studied theology at the University of Innsbruck, Austria for three years. After leaving the seminary and teaching theology for two years at his alma mater, Loras, he became a journalist, a vocation to which he has been dedicated for more than 40 years. His first job was at the Des Moines Register and Tribune, as copy editor and police reporter.  He then got a master’s degree in Latin America Studies from Stanford University and headed for Latin America.

 His books include: 

The Condor Years: How Pinochet and His Allies Brought Terrorism to Three Continents (The New Press 2004). A new sequel in Spanish will be published in June 2021 and in English next year. 

Assassination on Embassy Row, with Saul Landau (Pantheon 1980; Open Road 2014);

Our Man in Panama (Random House 1990; Times Books 1991). Nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. Selected as a New York Times notable book of 1990.

Sound Reporting (co-editor); Independence and Integrity (co-editor). These last are guides to production and professional practice and ethics for NPR and public radio journalism.    

Toward a Theology of Christian Faith, co-editor and translator, (Kenedy 1968)

Dinges link C-Span

Here’s a column about John Dinges written by Okoboji Writers’ Retreat participant Lonnie Hoffman Meyer for the DeWitt Observer: