Lorna Tychostup has over 15 years experience working as a journalist, editor, writer, photographer, communications and outreach/media/public relations consultant. Beginning her writing career covering town and school board meetings for mid-Hudson Valley regional publications, she later broke into international reporting in 1995 covering on the Mexican Zapatista Revolution. In 1999, she approached publishers of the popular mid-Hudson Valley-based Chronogram Magazine and successfully pitched the addition of a separate news and politics section devoted to in-depth reportage of issues not covered by mass media. Under her direct guidance as News and Politics Editor, readership and ad sales increased exponentially regionally and nationally.
As Senior Editor, Tychostup traveled to Iraq in February 2003, just weeks before the bombing began and spent 3 weeks dodging regime-assigned “minders” in order to visit homes, hospitals, markets, schools, and walk the streets unencumbered. Returning regularly over the years to research, write about, and photograph conditions on the ground, she reported stories of the everyday realities facing Iraqis, and eventually became consultant to an Iraqi environmental conservation group working to base-line environmental conditions in Iraq in support of socio-economic development and reconstruction efforts. Always leaving Iraq with more questions than answers, Tychostup chose to round out her on-the-ground experience by attending NYU’s Center for Global Affairs where, in 2009, she earned an MS with concentrations in International Relations and the Middle East. Exactly seven years after her first trip to Iraq, in February 2010, she took up residence in Baghdad working as a Communications and Outreach consultant for USAID-funded and other development projects.
Tychostup’s journalism reputation has been built on reporting the “other truths” – stories that go beyond mainstream media coverage of explosions and dead bodies. Walking among Iraq’s powerful and destitute alike at crucial historical moments, beholden to no editorial authority or political agenda; she has had an unparalleled opportunity to witness complex developments thus earning a unique and comprehensive perspective. While most writers, academics, and pundits talk about the issues in Iraq – many pushing their own agendas while in most cases never having stepped foot in the country – Tychostup’s body of work is essential for anyone hoping to understanding any aspect – domestic, political, environmental, or otherwise – of what has been the world’s most conspicuous crisis.
Her presentations have intrigued and informed at over 100 colleges, high schools, organizations, and events worldwide. Her haunting photographs and poignant stories enable audiences to share the tragedy, the struggle and the triumph of the various communities that make up the Iraqi people. Her photographs have been exhibited nationally and internationally; branded and featured prominently in the American Friends Service Committee’s Eyes Wide Open Exhibit on the Cost of Human War; and used in numerous presentations and on international websites. In addition to Nature Iraq, she has acted as consultant to the American Friend’s Service Committee, Harbinger Films, and the Christian Peacemaker Team; and was Director of Photography for the Woodstock Film Festival during its groundbreaking years 2001 and 2002. Interviewed extensively on radio and TV, including NPR, Fox’s “Hannity & Colmes” and NBC’s “Nightly News”, in addition to Chronogram, Tychostup’s work has appeared in Foreign Policy, The Wall Street Journal, YES!, Z Magazine, Major League Baseball Magazine, NYUs’ Humanus- Journal on Human Rights, Covert Action Quarterly, War Times, and The Women’s Times. Her paper: “Negotiating New Territory in Iraq’s Occupation War Zone,” was published by the University of Tromso, Norway Center for Peace Studies Methodologies in Peace Research Conference, in 2007.