Returning to campus? Read our Fall 2021 Reopening Plan.

Twenty Global Journalism Entrepreneurs Join Newmark J-School’s Entrepreneurial Journalism Creators Program Fall 2021 Cohort

  • By Newmark J-School Staff
Collage of the profile pictures of all the cohort #3 participants


Twenty promising journalism entrepreneurs from around the world have been selected for the Fall 2021 cohort of the
Entrepreneurial Journalism Creators Program at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism.

On October 12, they will begin the 100-day online program to develop newsletters, podcasts, local sites, and other niche news products serving communities around the world. The creators were selected from a large global pool of applicants. This is the third cohort of the program, which launched a year ago. 

The program is supported by a grant from the Facebook Journalism Project. Additional support for scholarships has been provided by Substack and the Center for Cooperative Media.

Entrepreneurial Journalism Creators Program Cohort #3

Lillian E. Agosto Maldonado

Pronouns: She, her, hers, ella
Country of origin: USA
Current location: Puerto Rico, USA

Lillian E. Agosto Maldonado is an award-winning independent journalist in Puerto Rico and the United States, digital strategist, and university professor. She is the founder and editor of Mundos Paralelos, a digital magazine that portrays Puerto Rican identity in the world. She has a bachelor’s degree in Information and Journalism from the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras campus, and a master’s degree in Puerto Rican and Caribbean Studies from the Center for Advanced Studies in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean in Old San Juan.  

TwitterLinkedIn

 

Tennyson Donyea Coleman

Pronouns: He, him, his
Country of origin: United States
Current location: Newark, NJ, USA

Tennyson Donyea Coleman is an American journalist and content creator. He began his career as a multimedia journalist for local television stations before transitioning to digital and radio news operations. His career includes stints in Northern California, Maine, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Coleman has covered a variety of topics throughout his career, including race, culture, politics, and entertainment. He is passionate about Black media initiatives and plans to launch a niche local news service that prioritizes communities of color.

TwitterLinkedIn

 

Divine Dube 

Pronouns: He, him, his
Country of origin: Zimbabwe
Current location: Bulawayo, Zimbabwe

Divine Dube is a journalist, media entrepreneur, and publisher leading the creation of sustainable hyperlocal journalism and media platforms in Zimbabwe. A Stanford Knight Journalism Fellow, Dube boasts over a decade of experience as a news reporter, editor, and newsroom manager. A shrewd hyperlocal news leader, he is an expert in editorial strategies and audience engagement across platforms, including digital, print, and broadcast. Dube is currently the chief executive officer of The Citizen Bulletin, a hybrid digital news outlet that covers the greater region of Matabeleland, southwestern Zimbabwe. 

TwitterLinkedIn

 

Alex Enășescu

Pronouns: He, him, his
Country of origin: Romania
Current location: Iași, Romania

Alex Enășescu is a local journalist based in Iași, the second largest city in Romania. In the past six years, he edited a daily national newsletter for one of the leading independent media companies in Romania – PressOne. In June 2021, he was one of the 12 journalists worldwide selected to take part in the Substack Local program. With the seed funding from Substack, he launched a newsletter-first local media startup, Iașul nostru, which aims to shine a light on the people and organizations that make Iași a better place for all who live there.

TwitterLinkedIn

 

Alexandra Haderlein

Pronouns: She, her, hers
Country of origin: Germany
Current location: Nuremberg, Bavaria, Germany

Alexandra Haderlein is founder, editor-in-chief, and CEO of Relevanzreporter Nuernberg, a  community-driven, independent, German local news site. She has benefited from multiple fellowships and grants, including the European Commission’s Stars4Media and the Hamburg Media School’s Digital Journalism Fellowship. Relevanzreporter aims to strengthen civic engagement and democracy.

TwitterLinkedIn

 

Alex Halperin

Pronouns: He, him, his
Country of origin: United States
Current location: Los Angeles, CA

Alex Halperin is a business reporter who has been covering the cannabis industry for seven years. In 2015, he started WeedWeek(.net), a newsletter for professionals in the industry. It’s based on the premise that the least interesting thing about weed is what happens after you consume it. His reporting on fracking, health care, tech, finance, criminal justice, and other topics has appeared in many local, national, and international publications. He was previously news editor at Salon and held reporting positions at BusinessWeek and Dow Jones.

TwitterLinkedIn

 

Polly Irungu

Pronouns: She, her, hers
Country of origin: Kenya
Current location: Norman, OK, USA

Polly Irungu is a multimedia journalist and the founder of Black Women Photographers. Most recently, she served as a digital editor at New York Public Radio station WNYC. As a self-taught photographer, writer, and founder, Polly’s work has been published in numerous publications, including Adobe’s Create Magazine, The New York Times, Reuters, Global Citizen, NPR, BBC News, Refinery29, The Washington Post, BuzzFeed, CNN, and others. In 2017, Polly completed a degree in Journalism from the University of Oregon. Currently, Polly is a photo editor fellow at The Intercept. In the winter, she will be teaching a course on building community at The International Center of Photography.

TwitterLinkedIn

 

Alizeh Kohari

Pronouns: She, her, hers
Country of origin: Pakistan
Current location: Mexico City, Mexico

Alizeh Kohari is an independent Pakistani journalist who divides her time between Karachi and Mexico City. She has been reporting for nearly a decade. For four years, she was a staffer at the monthly Herald, Pakistan’s oldest current-affairs magazine. Her reporting has been published in Harper’s, Wired, Rest of World, BBC, and Reuters. She is co-founder of the Peepal Project, an upcoming platform for narrative storytelling from Pakistan. 

TwitterLinkedIn

 

Kristin Leong

Pronouns: She, her, hers
Country of origin: United States
Current location: Seattle, Washington, USA

Kristin Leong is a 2021 AIR New Voices Scholar and a producer with NPR-affiliate KUOW Public Radio. As one of 30 international TED-Ed Innovative Educators, she founded RollCallProject.com, a storytelling project humanizing the culture gaps in schools. Her portrait project “HALF: Biracial + Bicultural” was nominated for a USA Today Award. When she was a senior at Sarah Lawrence College, The New York Times called her a “graduate already in the driver’s seat.” She is a Citizen University Fellow, a recipient of The Slants Foundation’s Countering Hate Award, and a 2020 Seattle Mayor’s Arts Award nominee. She lives in Seattle with her wife and son. Subscribe to her newsletter at RockPaperRadio.com and learn more about her work at kristinleong.com. 

TwitterLinkedIn

 

Birte Meier

Pronouns: She, her, hers
Country of origin: Germany
Current location: Berlin, Germany

A senior producer/director at German national public broadcaster ZDF, Birte Meier produces feature-length documentaries on current affairs. She has been awarded the Thomas Mann Fellowship, the Environmental Media Award, the Friedrich Vogel Award for economic reporting, and the German Economic Film Award. Prior to 2020, she produced investigative and explanatory magazine stories for ZDF´s prime time program for over a decade and worked for Spiegel-TV. Also, she has written for newspapers and conceptualized online services as a freelancer. She studied at the FU Berlin, University of Chicago, and Berlin University of the Arts and teaches at Munich´s IFP journalism school.

TwitterLinkedIn

 

Ankur Paliwal

Pronouns: He, him, his
Country of origin: India
Current location: New Delhi, India

Ankur Paliwal is a queer independent journalist who writes about science, inequity, and LGBTIQ+ people. He has reported from India, Ethiopia, Ghana, Tanzania, Kenya, Germany, and the United States for various international media organizations. Ankur has been awarded reporting grants by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, Alfred Friendly Press Partners, GroundTruth Project, and Medicines Sans Frontiers, among others. He has a master’s degree in science journalism from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York. He is building Queerbeat–a collaborative journalism project focusing on the LGBTIQ+ community in South Asia. 

TwitterLinkedIn

 

Maria Vitória Ramos

Pronouns: She, her, hers
Country of origin: Brazil
Current location: Carvoeiro, Algarve, Portugal

Maria Vitória Ramos is co-founder and director of Ficam Sabendo, an independent media startup in Brazil keeping the powerful accountable through Freedom of Information. She was a finalist in the SIGMA Awards and winner of the Cláudio Weber Abramo Award for Data Journalism and the Jornalismo-Mosca Award. She is part of Chicas Poderosas and an alumna of the “Transparency and Accountability in Government” program, run by the U.S. Department of State. She was also a participant in the “Product Immersion for Small Newsrooms” program at the Newmark Graduate School of Journalism. She is the author of “Indigents: the State that buries without warning,” a book-report published by Abraji.

TwitterLinkedIn

 

Hanna Raskin

Pronouns: She, her, hers
Country of origin: United States
Current location: Charleston, South Carolina USA

Hanna Raskin is the editor and publisher of The Food Section, a newsletter covering food and drink in the American South. Her effort to invigorate food journalism across the region won the support of Substack Local, a $1 million initiative to support independent news writers. Raskin previously served as food editor and chief critic for The Post and Courier in Charleston, S.C., where her work was recognized by the International Association for Culinary Professionals, the National Center on Disability and Journalism, S.C. Press Association, and The James Beard Foundation, which in 2017 awarded her its first Local Impact Journalism prize. 

Twitter

 

Fabian Reinbold

Pronouns: He, him, his
Country of origin: Germany
Current location: Berlin, Germany

Fabian Reinbold is a political correspondent in Berlin. Until recently, he served as Washington Bureau Chief and U.S. Correspondent for t-online, Germany’s biggest digital news outlet. While covering the White House, he launched his award-winning newsletter “Post aus Washington” (Post from Washington), in which he explained America to his readers in a personal manner. With his newsletter and other projects, he has explored ways to restore trust in the media. Previously, Fabian served as a reporter and editor at Der Spiegel for six years. He was an Arthur F. Burns Fellow at the Denver Post.

TwitterLinkedIn

 

Isabelle Roughol

Pronouns: She, her, hers
Country of origin: France
Current location: London, United Kingdom

Isabelle Roughol is the founder of Borderline, a podcast, newsletter, and niche media about lives lived across borders. She was previously an international editor at LinkedIn, where she led the global expansion of the platform’s news products and the teams from France, Australia, and the United Kingdom. Isabelle worked as a foreign editor at Le Figaro in Paris and a reporter at The Cambodia Daily in Phnom Penh. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism and is now based in London. 

TwitterLinkedIn

 

Sheeka Sanahori

Pronouns: She, her, hers
Country of origin: United States
Current location: Atlanta, Georgia USA

Sheeka Sanahori is a video journalist, producer, and director with a wide range of domestic and international storytelling experience. As director of video for Lonely Planet, Sheeka leads a team of producers, video editors, and freelancers from around the world as they create editorial and sponsored content. She earned her master’s degree from Medill’s Media Strategy and Leadership Program at Northwestern University. She received her bachelor’s degree in Broadcast News from the University of Georgia. During the program, Sheeka will develop a website to help travelers plan trips that give greater impact to the local communities they’re visiting.

TwitterLinkedIn

 

Joanna Socha

Pronouns: She, her, hers
Country of origin: Poland
Current location: Warsaw, Poland

Joanna Socha is a business journalist based in Warsaw. In the past few years, her byline appeared on Mergermarket, Harvard Business Review Poland, and Vogue Poland. In 2018, she launched W Insight, a platform that features women entrepreneurs from all over the world with the goal to encourage aspiring leaders to follow their career-related plans. Joanna graduated from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and the University of Warsaw. She enjoys breaking news (both professionally and personally), asking questions, and all things fashion, art, and music.  

TwitterLinkedIn

 

Marcia Stepanek

Pronouns: She, her, hers
Country of origin: United States
Current location: New York, NY, United States

Marcia Stepanek is an award-winning news editor, executive producer, media entrepreneur, and investigative reporter specializing in how digital voices/crowds interact with traditional power. A former Knight Fellow at Stanford, Marcia teaches networks and narratives at the graduate Nonprofit Management Program at Columbia University and is founder and chief storyteller at Brand Stories, a Manhattan-based digital media studio and storytelling collaborative. Honors include a George Polk Award and Obama Internet fellowship. She is the author of a forthcoming book on digital culture.

TwitterLinkedIn

 

Jason Strother

Pronouns: He, him, his
Country of origin: United States
Current location: Bloomfield, New Jersey USA

Jason is an independent, multimedia journalist who has filed from dozens of international datelines over the past 15 years. He recently returned home from his longtime base in Seoul to launch a new reporting beat that examines the intersection of disability and accessibility with global concerns, including climate change, poverty, and migration. Jason’s interest in this stems from his own experience of having a low vision impairment. He is also a National Geographic Explorer and teaches journalism at New Jersey’s Montclair State University.       

TwitterLinkedIn

 

Gayathri Vaidyanathan

Pronouns: She, her, hers
Country of origin: Indian-Canadian
Current location: Bangalore, Karnataka, India

Gayathri Vaidyanathan is an independent Indian-Canadian journalist who writes about science and the environment. Her work has appeared in Nature, The Washington Post, and other places and won multiple awards. She was previously a staff reporter for Washington, DC-based E&E News. Gayathri is co-founder of Scrolls & Leaves, a world history podcast that narrates stories of colonialism, science, and cultures through the eyes of the marginalized. This is India’s first binaural (3D) sound podcast. She has a Master’s in Journalism from Columbia University and biochemistry degree from McMaster University. She lives in Bangalore and considers herself a lifelong immigrant.

TwitterLinkedIn