Mary Kay Magistad

Mary Kay Magistad

Mary Kay Magistad is creator and host of “Whose Century Is It?,” a podcast about ideas, trends and twists shaping the 21st century. She has served for three years as an Overseas Press Club judge for the Lowell Thomas award for audio journalism excellence.

Magistad began reporting on Asia in 1988, when she moved to Bangkok. After four years of stringing for The Boston Globe, The Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, CBC and NPR, covering everything from Cambodia’s civil war to Burma’s pro-democracy insurgents, she joined NPR full-time. There she reported from Southeast Asia and Hong Kong before moving, in 1996, to Beijing, where she set up NPR’s first Beijing bureau and spent the next three years reporting throughout China and the region.

After a break for Nieman and Radcliffe fellowships at Harvard, Magistad returned to China to spend another 11 years as East Asia correspondent for BBC/PRI’s “The World,” exploring how China’s rapid transformation has affected individual lives, as well as global geopolitics, economics and the environment.

Among her awards is an Overseas Press Club award for the seven-part series “Young China,” on the ripple effects in Chinese society of the One Child Generation coming of age; a Sigma Delta Chi/Society of Professional Journalists award for a series on China’s quest to become a global power in innovation, and a Dupont-Columbia Silver Baton and a Scripps-Howard National Journalism award, shared with two colleagues at “The World,” for a series on stem cell research.

Mary Kay received a BS in journalism, with a second major in history, from Northwestern University and an MA in international relations from Sussex University in England.


Sec. Title Time Location
013 J294 Master’s Project Seminar – Magistad
Fall 2019
By appt. By appointment
1 J294 Master’s Project Seminar – Magistad
Spring 2019
By appt. By appointment


Audio Journalism