Class of 2022
Caelainn Barr is an Irish journalist and the data projects editor at The Guardian in London, where she leads a team of journalists working on a range of assignments. Her reporting uses data to investigate complexities within the health care and justice systems. She is a member of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and teaches data journalism at The Centre for Investigative Journalism. Her work has won a British Journalism Award, a UK Press Award and a Reuters Reporting Europe Award, and her collaborations with the ICIJ and the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) have won numerous other international awards. She previously worked at The Irish Times and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism in London and has written for The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg and The Texas Observer.
She is studying how missing data in reporting can perpetuate inequality and underrepresentation in journalism. She will examine how news organizations can build and better use data to report on marginalized communities.
- Fewer than one in 60 rape cases lead to charge in England and Wales
- How has life changed for Manchester’s poorest children in 200 years?
- Calls for health funding to be prioritised as poor bear brunt of Covid-19
- Ethnic minorities dying of Covid-19 at higher rate
- Revealed: The rise and rise of populist rhetoric
Bill Barrow has been a reporter on the national politics team at The Associated Press for more than eight years. From his base in Atlanta, he has covered President Joe Biden’s 2020 campaign, the Democratic Party and national political trends in a 13-state region that extends from Maryland to Louisiana. In previous roles at The Times-Picayune in New Orleans and the Press-Register in Mobile, Alabama, he covered the rebuilding of south Louisiana’s health care system after Hurricane Katrina and the federal trial and conviction of former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman. As part of a team at Southern Exposure magazine, Barrow received a joint 2003 George Polk Award for a series on predatory lending.
He is examining the intersection of movement and party politics in the United States, focusing on the institutional structures and prevailing social dynamics that are reshaping Democratic and Republican alliances in the early 21st century.
- Joe Biden: Stumbles, tragedies and, now, delayed triumph
- In Gettysburg, Biden harnesses history to describe urgency of 2020 campaign
- Joe Biden’s next big decision: Choosing a running mate
- How winning turned Joe Biden into a confident candidate
- No Malarkey: Biden courts Iowans, balances national campaign
- Stacey Abrams’ record complicates ‘radical’ label from GOP
- Are there echoes of George Wallace in Trump’s message?
- In New Orleans, Saints turn years of pain, on field and beyond, into joy
Jorge Caraballo Cordovez
Jorge Caraballo Cordovez is a Colombian journalist and growth editor at “Radio Ambulante,” NPR’s only podcast in Spanish. Based in Medellín, Colombia, he leads online and offline engagement initiatives such as listening clubs and a membership program. He’s interested in understanding the underlying factors that help longform journalism podcasts connect with communities and what’s required to harness the power of that unique relationship. Caraballo holds a master’s degree in media innovation from Northeastern University. He was a Fulbright Scholar and a Google News Initiative Fellow.
He is developing a toolkit for narrative journalism podcasts in Latin America, seeking to leverage the power of audio storytelling to strengthen community connections.
Choy Yuk-ling (Bao Choy)
Choy Yuk-ling, who also uses the name Bao Choy, is an investigative journalist and video producer based in Hong Kong. She has covered stories about politics, human rights and corruption, including cross-border bribery and illegal offshore companies, as well as the 2019–2020 Hong Kong protests, known as the Anti-Extradition Bill Movement. She was the first journalist in the city arrested and convicted after accessing public records for an investigation into a 2019 mob attack. Choy was a founding editorial member of the FactWire News Agency, the biggest journalism crowdfunding project in Asia, and has worked as a documentary producer at RTHK, the public broadcaster in Hong Kong. Her work has received recognition from the US International Film & Video Festival, the New York Festivals TV & Film Awards, the SOPA Awards (presented by the Society of Publishers in Asia) and the Asian Television Awards.
She is studying how independent and investigative news outlets can evolve in order to survive the financial, legal and political roadblocks set up by authoritarian governments.
Reuben Fischer-Baum is an editor at The Washington Post who leads a team of graphics reporters focused on visual stories about business and technology. He previously led the Post’s graphics coverage of the Trump administration and the 2018 and 2020 elections. Before he joined the Post, he was a visual reporter at FiveThirtyEight and Deadspin. His work has been recognized by Malofiej and the Society for News Design, and at the Information is Beautiful Awards. He was a 2017-2018 Paul Miller Fellow and has taught data visualization at The New School.
He is collecting lessons from the field to explore how to make interactive journalism more accessible to small newsrooms and help reproduce the audience growth that major news organizations have seen with this form of storytelling.
Fu Ting is a Chinese journalist based in Thailand who covers Southeast Asia and China’s influence abroad for The Associated Press. She spent most of her career in her homeland, most recently as a video producer in Beijing covering topics such as the repression of religious minorities, China’s #MeToo movement and China-U.S. trade tensions. Previously, as an AP news researcher based in Shanghai, she focused on investigative reporting and helped dig into the Trump family’s trademarks in China and other topics. She was part of the team that won the Society of Publishers in Asia’s 2019 Scoop Award, and was a 2017 recipient of AP’s Oliver S. Gramling Spirit Award.
She is researching China’s global expansion, domestic living standards and ongoing brain drain in the face of an economic slowdown that follows years of rapid growth. She will examine how the country and the wider world are addressing the downturn and the resulting social challenges.
Sammy Jo Hester
Sammy Jo Hester is the lead photo editor for sports at the Los Angeles Times. She covers a range of stories at the professional, collegiate and high school levels and uses sports as a lens to illustrate complex issues such as wealth distribution, racial inequality and education. She produced a special feature on female athletes who have blazed trails toward gender equality in sports and has reported on unique recreational activities such as skijoring. Hester previously worked for the Provo Daily Herald, The Virginian-Pilot and the MLive Media Group as a visual journalist. Her work has been honored with a Pictures of the Year International Award, a National Press Photographer Association’s Best of Photojournalism Award and a College Photographer of the Year Award.
She is examining the intersection of gender and athletics, with a focus on the media’s role in perpetuating the ways women are seen and represented in athletics.
Selase Kove-Seyram is a digital media producer from Ghana with more than ten years of experience in news reporting and multimedia storytelling. He specializes in the production of investigative documentaries. He has worked with a network of young journalists and media organizations in Nigeria to produce investigative stories about corruption for a project funded by the MacArthur Foundation. The work is part of his role as the head of operations and digital strategy for the Tiger Eye Social Foundation, a media nonprofit.
He is studying how collaborative efforts to produce public service journalism could enhance professionalism, fight misinformation and help restore public trust in journalism in West Africa.
Patricia Laya is the Venezuela bureau chief for Bloomberg News. Based in Caracas, she directs local coverage and reports on the country’s economic upheaval. She has broken dozens of stories on Venezuela’s clandestine gold sales and illicit money moves and regularly writes features on topics including the military’s growing power and her country’s hunger epidemic. She has reported from five bureaus, including Mexico City, Washington, D.C., and Madrid. Laya is Bloomberg’s first woman and native Venezuelan in her current role.
She is studying Venezuela’s economic, sociopolitical and health crises as tools of social oppression and how the country’s authoritarian government has benefitted from a population subdued by hunger, misery and disease.
Felice León is a video producer and presenter at The Root, a leading African American news site. She is the lead producer and host of the Webby Award-winning series “Unpack That,” which features videos that delve deeply into topics related to society’s tenuous relationship with race. In 2019, León received a Writers Guild of America nomination for the “Unpack That” episode “’Tis the Season: Here’s How Jesus Became So Widely Accepted as White.” León has also hosted and produced many of the site’s viral explainers and on-air interviews, including one-on-ones with Massachusetts Rep. Ayanna Pressley, filmmaker Ava DuVernay and Trevor Noah, host of “The Daily Show.”
She is studying the manifestations of Black joy from the antebellum era to the present, and the ways that the media can document these stories through visual storytelling.
- When Crack Kills: Media, Misinformation and the Truth About the War on Drugs
- I’ve Got a Meme for That: Unpacking the Racist Practice of Digital Blackface in the Information Age
- Fallen but Not Forgotten: Unpacking the Erasure of Black Women in Conversations About Police Violence
- Coronavirus and the Racist History of Pandemics
- Ayanna Pressley in Conversation at The Root Institute
Julia Lurie is a senior reporter at Mother Jones, where she writes narrative features about public health, criminal justice and child welfare. Her coverage of the opioid overdose crisis and fraudulent rehab systems earned nominations for the Livingston Award for Young Journalists in both 2019 and 2020. She also was part of a team awarded the Online Journalism Award in 2015 for reporting on the financial cost of gun violence. Her work has appeared in The Atlantic, The Washington Post and HuffPost.
She is studying the complex history of the U.S. child welfare system and examining the system’s racial and socioeconomic inequities; the impact of the movement for racial justice on reform efforts; and the effects of the overdose epidemic and the coronavirus pandemic on families in the system.
Pacinthe Mattar is a Canadian journalist based in Toronto. She previously spent a decade at the CBC, where she covered a range of topics including Middle East politics, pop culture, race, refugees and migration, Indigenous issues and more. Her work has been published by Deutsche Welle, BuzzFeed News, Toronto Life, Chatelaine and The Walrus. Her feature article, “Objectivity Is A Privilege Afforded to White Journalists,” was longlisted for the 2020 Allan Slaight Prize for Journalism. In 2018, she was selected as an Arthur F. Burns Fellow by the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ). Mattar is the 2022 Martin Wise Goodman Canadian Nieman Fellow, sponsored by the Martin Wise Goodman Trust.
She is studying how journalism can better foster, retain and promote Black, Indigenous and other racialized journalists. She will focus on developing initiatives that lead to more representative newsrooms and coverage.
- Objectivity Is a Privilege Afforded to White Journalists
- “It’s All Journalism” podcast: Objectivity, racism, and the crisis of credibility
- ‘I know the Yazidis are going through hell’: ISIS survivors in Canada plead for help for family left behind
- Screaming In The Dark: Baltimore’s history of police brutality goes back long before Freddie Gray
- Personal website: pacinthe.com
Dave Mayers is an Emmy-winning documentary producer and cinematographer at Vice News. Through his stories, he strives to evoke empathy and understanding for people and places that are often misunderstood and overlooked. He joined Vice after working on the Johannesburg desk of The New York Times, for Al Jazeera, and across several Time Life publications. He has taught journalism at the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa, Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and many workshops at various CUNY schools.
He is studying the barriers to entry for those wishing to diversify documentaries, and the best methods for overcoming them domestically and internationally.
Shereen Marisol Meraji
Shereen Marisol Meraji was most recently co-host and senior producer of NPR’s “Code Switch,” a groundbreaking podcast covering race and identity that Apple named as its first-ever “show of the year” in 2020. Based in Los Angeles, she has worked in public radio as a producer, reporter and host, and has told the stories of underrepresented communities while fighting for equity and inclusion in journalism. Prior to her work at “Code Swith,” she reported for the radio business show “Marketplace” on its wealth and poverty desk. After her Nieman Fellowship, Meraji will join the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley, as an assistant professor of race in journalism, the first female tenure-track faculty member specializing in audio.
She is exploring ways for public media to attract and retain Latino audiences.
Jakob Moll is co-founder and former CEO of Zetland, a membership-based digital newspaper in Denmark. He began his career as a political reporter and feature writer for major Danish newspapers and spent three years in book publishing, working with literary journalism. Zetland, which has won numerous awards, including one for the best digital design in Scandinavia, turned profitable in 2019. The Copenhagen-based publisher has received international attention for its groundbreaking results turning members into ambassadors to recruit new subscribers, live journalism events and audio stories.
He is studying how trust evolves on the preferred digital platforms of the younger generations, and how those dynamics can help support the membership business model for news organizations.
Marisa Palmer is a senior video producer for Business Insider’s news and documentary team who covers business news and police reform. She helped launch Facebook’s first digital daily news program, “Business Insider Today,” which became the platform’s most-watched business news show and won a Telly Award in the social video category. Before arriving at Business Insider, Palmer worked for CBS News. She was also a board member for the New York Association of Black Journalists, where she led efforts to better connect newsroom employers with prospective Black and brown employees.
She is studying the effects of police training programs in the U.S. and will develop a database for journalists, communities and police departments that ranks the programs by quality, efficacy and accessibility.
Deb Pastner is director of photo and multimedia at the Star Tribune in Minneapolis, where she manages a 21-person department of photographers, videographers and editors. During her seven-year tenure as director, her department’s work has been recognized by World Press Photo, Pictures of the Year International (POYi,) the Edward R. Murrow Awards and the Online News Association. She additionally has been named one of the best visual editors by both POYi and the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA). Before joining the Star Tribune, Pastner was a photographer at newspapers in Massachusetts, Washington and Michigan.
She is examining how the racial reckoning in the wake of George Floyd’s death has altered the relationship between photojournalists and their subjects. She will explore ways to reframe and renew that association.
Jonathan Rabb is a journalist and entrepreneur. After researching digital audience development as a Fulbright journalism grantee, he founded Watch The Yard, a digital platform for Black college students and alumni, to tell authentic stories about, with and for the Black community. The NAACP has called the site, which reaches over 20 million people monthly, the “central digital voice for today’s Black experience.” Motivated by his own reporting on stories of racist violence, Rabb founded ClutchSOS, a security app at the intersection of tech and activism that is now serving his South Minneapolis community in the wake of George Floyd’s death. As a 2021 Nieman Visiting Fellow, he researched revenue models for minority-owned media companies.
He is examining the use of virtual reality for journalism, with a focus on creating ethical and inclusive practices when using 360-degree video technologies to cover marginalized groups.
Gabrielle Schonder, a producer and reporter for “Frontline” and the Kirk Documentary Group, covers national affairs, foreign policy and national security. In 2020, she directed “NRA Under Fire” and produced “The Choice 2020: Trump vs. Biden,” part of PBS’s ongoing election-year series. Her work on the previous installment, “The Choice 2016,” was recognized with an Emmy Award. Prior to joining PBS, Schonder was a producer at “60 Minutes.” Her coverage of the 2015 Paris attacks for the program also received an Emmy Award. Her groundbreaking report about insider trading by members of Congress led to the passage of the STOCK Act.
She is studying innovations in reporting methods for documentary filmmakers and examining the intersection of media, technology and policy to find ways to combat distrust and misinformation.
Jim Urquhart is a Colorado-based photojournalist who reports from across the U.S. Previously a staff photojournalist at The Salt Lake Tribune in Utah, he has been freelancing for 10 years for clients that include Reuters and NPR. For the last seven years, his main focus has been extremism, hate groups and anti-government militias. He also works as a consultant and reporter for several news organizations seeking to improve their sourcing and security while covering the far right.
He is strengthening his understanding of the rapid rise of right-wing extremism, studying the history of far-right violence and the writings and political and social concepts that inspire militants.
Natalia Viana is the co-founder and executive director of Agência Pública, Brazil’s first nonprofit investigative journalism outlet. She leads long-term investigations and multimedia projects about human rights violations and the abuse of power. Viana has reported from Paraguay, Colombia, Bolivia, Angola, India, Mexico and Venezuela. She also is the author or co-author of six books about political violence and social issues in Latin America. Her latest, “Dano Colateral” (“Collateral Damage”), looks at how the military regained prominence in Brazilian politics during the last decade. Viana is president of the Brazilian Association of Digital Journalism (Ajor), a member of the Ashoka network of social entrepreneurs and a board member of the Gabo Foundation, an organization dedicated to promoting better journalism and the stimulation of creativity.
She is studying the erosion of democracy in Brazil and Latin America and the rise of far-right movements, with a focus on media manipulation and disinformation campaigns.
- “Keep it Confidential.” The Secret History of U.S. involvement in Brazil’s Scandal-Wracked Operation Car Wash
- São Gabriel and its Demons
- Natália Viana: 2021 begins with threats to investigative journalism in Brazil
- In Brazil, Dismissing Coronavirus Misinformation with In-depth Investigations