News correspondent, Tokyo
Barry Petersen returned as a correspondent to the CBS News Tokyo bureau in October 1995. He reports primarily for the CBS Evening News with Dan Rather, but contributes to virtually all CBS News broadcasts.
He came to Tokyo after almost five years in the London bureau (January 1991-October 1995). Before that, he was CBS News' Moscow bureau chief and correspondent (February 1988-December 1990).
Petersen is one of CBS News' most experienced foreign correspondents. He reported from Somalia on the famine and U.S. troops' involvement in Operation Restore Hope; from all parts of Bosnia on the war, including the siege of Sarajevo; from the former Soviet Union on the first free, multi-candidate elections and the Soviet Party Congress; from Moscow, Cuba, Malta and Washington on Mikhail Gorbachev's summit meetings with world leaders, including U.S. Presidents Ronald Reagan and George Bush; and from Beijing on Gorbachev's trip and the subsequent uprising in Tiananmen Square. From Kabul, he covered the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan and, from Vilnius, Lithuania's declaration of independence.
After returning to Asia, Petersen was the first American television journalist allowed to report from inside a courtroom in Communist China. He covered the protests against American military bases in Okinawa, Japan, and a young American boy believed to be a reincarnated Buddhist monk studying in Katmandu, Nepal. He also covered the 1998 Olympic Winter Games in Nagano, Japan, for CBS News and CBS Sports.
Prior to his assignment in Moscow, Petersen was a CBS News correspondent based in Tokyo (February 1986-February 1988) and San Francisco (March 1981-February 1986). He joined CBS News as a reporter based in Los Angeles in 1978 and was named a correspondent in May 1980 while there. While based in San Francisco, Petersen did the first network news report on a new disease called Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS).
He won an Emmy Award for his Bosnia coverage for CBS News Sunday Morning (1993) and was nominated for another for his coverage of the orphans created by the refugee crisis in Rwanda. Petersen was part of the CBS News team covering the student uprising and government crackdown in Tiananmen Square that was honored with an Alfred I.duPont-Columbia University Award and a George Foster Peabody Award. He also won awards for investigative reporting and spot news coverage while working in local news.
Prior to joining CBS News, Petersen worked for WCCO-TV, the CBS Owned station in Minneapolis (1974-78), where he was a reporter, a moderator of Newsmaker, a weekly interview show, and anchor of The Saturday Weekend Report. He also worked for WITI-TV Milwaukee as an investigative reporter (1972-74). Before that, Petersen was a general assignment reporter for the Milwaukee Journal (1971-72) and a stringer for Time magazine.
He was born in Norflk, Virginia. He was graduated from Northwestern University in 1970 with a B.S. and in 1972 with an M.S. degree in journalism. Petersen has two daughters by a previous marriage.