And who was I?
Why was I traveling?
To look, to walk around, to ask, to listen,
to sniff, to think, to write.
–The Soccer War , 1969
A reporter whose interests range from foreign policy, international development, science and ethics, M.R. O'Connor has made big ideas and counterintuitive questions the heart of her stories. Does foreign aid perpetuate poverty? Did feminism give birth to Girls Gone Wild? Is species extinction ever ok?
A graduate of Columbia's Journalism School, she has reported from Africa, Afghanistan and Haiti, and her work has appeared in a variety of publications which can be viewed here. In 2008/2009, she was a reporter for The Sunday Times, an English-language newspaper in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
O'Connor's investigative reporting on topics like disappearances in Sri Lanka’s civil war, global agriculture trade, and American development enterprises in Afghanistan have been funded by institutions such as the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, The Phillips Foundation, and The Nation Institute’s Investigative Fund.
For a long time she made her bread and butter as a stringer covering crime, courts and breaking news in New York City for publications such as The Wall Street Journal and New York Post, and covered the criminal justice beat for the online investigative site The New York World.
Her first book will be out in September 2015 with St. Martin's Press, and received support of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation's Program for the Public Understanding of Science, Technology, & Economics.