Jonathan Myerson Katz is a journalist and author. A regular New York Times and New York Times Magazine contributor covering national and international affairs, his work has been featured in the New Republic, Slate, the Guardian, Foreign Policy, Politico Magazine, and The New Yorker online, and other publications, with grants from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.
Katz was the Associated Press chief correspondent in Haiti on January 12, 2010, when he survived and provided the first international alert of the deadliest earthquake ever recorded in the Western Hemisphere. He stayed on for another year to cover the aftermath and flawed recovery.
That fall he broke the story that United Nations peacekeepers had caused—and were covering up their role in—a cholera epidemic that has since killed at least 10,000 people and counting. In the eyes of one observer, Katz's groundbreaking investigation “irrevocably refram[ed] a massive health crisis and probably chang[ed] international policies for years to come." A key United Nations human-rights adviser described the scandal as the UN's "Watergate." In 2016, Katz obtained a copy of a damning, confidential report on the crisis, which forced the UN high command to make its first public admission of having played a role in the outbreak.
Katz was awarded the Medill (pronounced: meh-DILL) Medal for Courage in Journalism (since renamed in honor of the late James Foley) in 2011. Other journalism recognition has included the National Headliners Award, two finalist recognitions by the Livingston Awards for Young Journalists, Society of Professional Journalists Deadline Club awards, and finalist recognition by the Michael Kelly Award for the “fearless pursuit and expression of truth.” In 2013, Katz was named one of Diplomatic Courier Magazine’s Top 99 Foreign Policy Leaders Under 33.
His first book, The Big Truck That Went By: How the World Came to Save Haiti and Left Behind a Disaster (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), was a PEN Literary Award Finalist and winner of the Overseas Press Club of America's Cornelius Ryan Book Award for the year’s best book on international affairs. It was the first book ever to receive two recognitions from the J. Anthony Lukas Prize Project at Columbia and Harvard University, garnered the Washington Office on Latin America’s Human Rights Book Award, was shortlisted for the Ridenhour Book Prize and Robert F. Kennedy Book Award, and one of five finalists for the New York Public Library’s prestigious Helen Bernstein Award for Excellence in Journalism alongside four Pulitzer Prize winners and finalists. The Big Truck That Went By was also selected for Barnes & Noble’s prestigious Discover Great New Writers program, and named one of the year’s best books by Slate, Amazon.com, The Christian Science Monitor, and Kirkus Reviews. Widely lauded by reviewers and a frequent best-seller, it was recommended twice in the New York Times Sunday Book Review by authors Sheri Fink and Edwidge Danticat.
Katz is now working on a book for St. Martin’s Press about the creation and legacy of American empire.
As an AP correspondent, Katz reported from more than a dozen countries and territories and worked as an editor on the Latin America Desk in Mexico City and at AP headquarters in New York. He previously reported for Congressional Quarterly and covered the Pentagon for Lee Newspapers at the start of the Iraq War.
In addition to writing and reporting, Katz currently lectures in journalism at Duke University and is director of the media and journalism initiative at Duke's John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute.
He is a frequent guest on radio and television.