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Journalism Creators From Around The World: Announcing Our Fourth Cohort of Journalism Entrepreneurs

  • By Newmark J-School Staff

An exceptional group of journalism entrepreneurs from around the world – representing 15 different countries –  has been selected for the Spring 2022 cohort of the Entrepreneurial Journalism Creators Program at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism.

On March 24, 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 fourth cohort of the program, which launched in 2020. 

The program is supported by a grant from the Meta Journalism Project. Additional support for scholarships has been provided by the Center for Cooperative Media, the International Center For Journalists, and European Press Prize.

Entrepreneurial Journalism Creators Program Cohort #4

Hannah Ajakaiye

Hannah Ajakaiye

Pronouns: She, her
Country of origin: Nigeria
Current location: Lagos, Nigeria

Hannah Ajakaiye is an award-winning journalist leading a fact-checking initiative with journalists and social media influencers in Nigeria. She is a recipient of prestigious journalism fellowships including the Newscorp Fellowship and the Reham Al-Farra (RAF) Journalism Fellowship hosted by the United Nations Department of Public Information. Hannah is a Chevening alumna with an M.A. in Media Practice for Development and Social Change at the University of Sussex. She is committed to leading digital innovations in African newsrooms.

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Ambreen Ali

Ambreen Ali

Pronouns: She, her
Country of origin: United States
Current location: Hopewell, N.J., USA

Ambreen Ali writes primarily about technology, politics, and food from her adopted home of New Jersey. She is a lifelong journalist whose work has appeared in The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Bloomberg, Fortune, Runner’s World, Seattle Magazine, and numerous trade publications. Before going freelance, she reported from Capitol Hill, the White House, and the New Delhi bureau of Agence France Presse. She holds a master’s degree in New Media Journalism from Medill at Northwestern University. She is a proud Pakistani immigrant with Bay Area roots.

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Alkadri Heba

Heba Alkadri

Pronouns: She, her
Country of origin: Syria
Current location: Bremen, Germany

Heba Alkadri is originally from Syria. In Germany, Heba worked for Taz, Wilhelmshavener Zeitung, and Storyfelder as a freelance journalist, moderator, and podcaster in Arabic and German. She has a bachelor’s degree in Islam Studies in Syria and will graduate this summer with a bachelor’s degree in Media Management and Journalism. She was nominated for the DAAD Prize for outstanding achievements by foreign students at German universities. As part of the Journalism Innovators Program at Hamburg Media School, she and her friend Zoe Bunje are developing the Tik-Tok format “Labneh and Pretzel” about Arab-German friendship.

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Dana Amihere

Dana Amihere

Pronouns: She, her
Country of origin: United States
Current location: Los Angeles, Calif., USA

Dana Amihere is a designer, developer, and data journalist. She left conventional newsrooms in 2021 to start Code Black Media, a digital media consultancy that lives at the intersection of data, design, and equity. Previously, she worked in data, interactive design, and news apps for Southern California Public Radio/KPCC, The Dallas Morning News, Pew Research Center, and The Baltimore Sun. Amihere taught data journalism and interaction design at conferences and colleges across the country. Since relocating to L.A. in 2018, she has been an instructor at the University of Southern California and a lecturer at UC Berkeley.

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Zoila Antonio Benito

Zoila Antonio Benito

Pronouns: She, her, they, them
Country of origin: Peru
Current location: Lima, Peru

Zoila Antonio Benito is a journalist specializing in gender, music, human rights, and fact-checking. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Pontifical Catholic University in Peru. She was an exchange student at the Pontifical Javeriana University in Colombia. She is the co-founder and director of La Antígona (The Antigone), a Peruvian digital platform that focuses on gender journalism. Zoila also participates in transnational investigations about women and LGBTIQ+ populations in Latin America. She is a winner of the 2022 Red de Periodismo Responsable contest (Responsible Journalism Network contest).

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Joanne Bamberger

Joanne Bamberger

Pronouns: She, her
Country of origin: United States
Current location: Washington, D.C., USA

Joanne Bamberger is an opinion journalist and award-winning author of two books on women and politics, including “Love Her, Love Her Not: The Hillary Paradox.” Her work has appeared in numerous publications including USA Today, CNN.com, the San Francisco Chronicle, U.S. News & World Report, and more. She was the founder of The Broad Side, a site devoted to women’s opinion writing. She is also an attorney and a former board member of the Association of Opinion Journalists. She is a sought after speaker on the power of women in the political world. She lives outside Washington, D.C. with her husband and daughter.

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Cecilia Bazan

Cecilia Bazán

Pronouns: She, her
Country of origin: Argentina
Current location: Córdoba, Argentina

Cecilia Bazán is a journalist and media consultant, specializing in digital platforms. She has a master’s degree in Digital Journalism from Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. She began her career as a multimedia journalist for the regional newspaper La Voz and in recent years, became an online editor for hyperlocal news, audience, and multimedia content. She worked as a consultant for independent media in Sembramedia Accelerators Velocidad and GNI Startups Lab. She currently manages some of the online training programs for the Journalism Forum of Argentina (FOPEA). As a food and travel lover, she runs her own gastronomy and lifestyle blog, Córdoba en Sabores.

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Namrata Bhingarde

Namrata Bhingarde

Pronouns: She, her
Country of origin: India
Current location: Pune, Maharashtra, India

Namrata Bhingarde is a multimedia journalist and leads digital content at the Paani Foundation, a water sector non-profit. She recently started a podcast on menstrual health and hygiene in Marathi, a language spoken by 80 million people worldwide, to counter ignorance about the taboo subject. In her current role, she leads a team of content creators and editors that tracks how communities in water-stressed parts of her home state are coping and innovating. Over the years, she has traveled across India to document folk arts, artists, and the evolving cultural scene.

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Lynn Brown

Lynn Brown

Pronouns: She, her
Country of origin: United States
Current location: New York, N.Y., USA

Lynn Brown is a writer, teacher, digital storyteller, and traveler whose work centers on issues of race, place, culture, and history. Her work has been published in well-known media outlets such as GQ, Ebony, Vice, Conde Nast Traveler, and others. Lynn currently serves as the Digital Editor of News & Trends and Lonely Planet.

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Zoe Bunje

Zoe Bunje

Pronouns: She, her
Country of origin: Germany
Current location: Kassel, Hessen, Germany

Zoe Bunje has worked for ZEIT Campus, jetzt.de of the Süddeutsche Zeitung, and the Paralympics newspaper. She has lived and studied in Germany, Vietnam, and Spain and will graduate this summer with a bachelor’s degree in Media Management and Journalism. As part of the Journalism Innovators Program at Hamburg Media School, she and her friend and colleague Heba Alkadri are developing the Tik-Tok format “Labneh and Pretzel” about Arab-German friendship. She has a keen interest in international topics and new innovative media formats. In her free time, she enjoys hiking and is trying to finally learn how to snowboard.

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Lucia Caretti

Lucia Caretti

Pronouns: She, her
Country of origin: Italy
Current location: Turin, Italy

Lucia Caretti, an Italian journalist, started her career at La Stampa. She has been working on the local sports news team as a freelancer since she was 20. She won national prizes and edited social media and video contents. Now she is 28 and manages online fundraising and digital development of Specchio dei tempi and Specchio d’Italia, two charity foundations financed by the readers of the biggest editorial group in Italy. She’s studying to specialize in innovation for media companies, to help build more sustainable business models thanks to new technologies.

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Shawn Carrie

Shawn Carrié

Pronouns: He, him
Country of origin: United States
Current location: Beirut, Lebanon

Shawn Carrié is an investigative journalist who has covered the Middle East since 2014 for outlets including The Guardian, VICE, The Intercept, and Newlines Magazine. He launched CodeTheNews.com during the pandemic as a hub to learn, collaborate, and expand on the toolkit of modern digital journalism.

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Patricio Contreras

Patricio Contreras

Pronouns: He, him
Country of origin: Chile
Current location: Santiago, Chile

Patricio Contreras is a Chilean freelance journalist and university professor of entrepreneurial journalism. He worked as a reporter for «Arts and Letters», the Sunday cultural section of El Mercurio newspaper. In 2011, he co-founded Ojo en Tinta, a multimedia platform to talk about books and reading promotion. For ten years he was the chief editor of Puroperiodismo, the media magazine based at Alberto Hurtado University. In March 2020, Patricio started two initiatives: Hipergrafía [Hypergraphy], a bymonthly newsletter about books, and Sala de herramientas [Tool room], a newsletter and a YouTube channel oriented to virtual teachers and remote workers.

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Boryana Dzhambazova

Boryana Dzhambazova

Pronouns: She, her
Country of origin: Bulgaria
Current location: Sofia, Bulgaria

Boryana Dzhambazova is a freelance journalist based in Sofia, Bulgaria. She reports on a wide range of topics – from economic and political developments, to social affairs and human rights issues. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, the Economist, and Politico Europe, among others. She has a master’s degree in New Media from New York University.

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Ties Gijzel

Ties Gijzel

Pronouns: He, him
Country of origin: The Netherlands
Current location: Utrecht, The Netherlands

Ties Gijzel is an investigative journalist at Follow the Money, an independent newsroom for investigative journalism in the Netherlands. At Follow the Money, he sets up and coordinates cross-border investigative projects. Ties is also the co-founder of Are We Europe, a journalistic platform for European storytelling, and a 2019 and 2021 European Press Prize laureate.

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Pit Gottschalk

Pit Gottschalk

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

Pit Gottschalk is an award-winning sports journalist, now editor-in-chief and COO at SPORT1, a leading TV station and digital outlet in Munich. He has an MBA degree in creative leadership from BSCL in Berlin and is founder of Fever Pit’ch in Hamburg, a daily and unique newsletter for soccer fans all over Germany.

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Sandra Hannebohm

Sandra Hannebohm

Pronouns: She, her
Country of origin: Canada
Current location: Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

Sandra Hannebohm is a journalist and digital producer who first covered media, racism, and sexism in a podcast featuring the first black members of the local legislature, then decided to go to journalism school. She has most notably done work for The Coast, where she covered the local housing crisis and the growth of Airbnb, as well as CBC, the Black Business Initiative magazine, Halifax Examiner, and Lion’s Roar, the largest Buddhist magazine in the English speaking world. She has helped launch multiple journalistic startups based on community issues around race, media, and politics.

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Nicole Hertvik

Nicole Hertvik

Pronouns: She, her
Country of origin: United States
Current location: Gaithersburg, Md., USA

Nicole Hertvik publishes DC Metro Theater Arts, Washington, D.C.’s dedicated performing arts website, and is a freelance writer covering performing arts in the Washington, D.C. region. Nicole received a B.A. in English from the University of Cincinnati and an M.A. in International Affairs from Columbia University. She studied journalism at Georgetown University and was a 2019 National Critics Institute Fellow at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center. Nicole lives in Maryland with three daughters, two bunnies, and one very patient husband.

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Claudia Jardim

Claudia Jardim

Pronouns: She, her
Country of origin: Brazil
Current location: Bangkok, Thailand

Claudia Jardim is a multimedia journalist and documentary maker with more than 15 years of experience, focusing on human rights and politics. Born in Brazil, she was based for a decade in Venezuela, covering the intense years of Hugo Chávez and reporting across Latin America, mainly for BBC Brasil. Since 2015, she has been based in Thailand and working across Southeast Asia, where she now focuses on migration, modern slavery, and human trafficking. In 2021, Jardim was a member of the jury of the Gabriel García Marquez Prize. Also in 2021, with the ICFJ’s supports, she started to develop a narrative podcast about modern slavery. Jardim holds an M.A. in Latin American History and has a diploma in journalism.

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Dylan Klempner

Dylan Klempner

Pronouns: He, him
Country of origin: United States
Current location: Silver Springs, Md., USA

Dylan Klempner is an independent journalist based in the Washington, D.C. area. With more than a decade of journalism experience, he is particularly interested in covering the intersection of health, medicine, and the arts. His articles and essays have appeared in The DC Line, Dallas Morning News, TVO, and Artsy. Dylan has also worked as a writer/artist-in-residence for The Georgetown Lombardi Arts and Humanities program and UF Health Hospital’s Arts in Medicine program and served as a faculty member with the University of Florida’s Center for Arts in Medicine.

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Joanna Kopacka

Joanna Kopacka

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

Joanna Kopacka is a community engagement coordinator and a cooperative member at Investigate Europe (IE), a cross-border investigative journalism outlet. With a background in EU-wide political campaigning and community organizing, her focus at Investigate Europe is to reach its international readership with quality journalism on Europe’s systemic problems. Working at the intersection of editorial, audience, and product development, she collaborates with reporters who write in several languages and regularly publish via IE’s own channels as well as with outlets across Europe; including Der Tagesspiegel (Germany), Mediapart (France), Il Fatto Quotidiano (Italy), Pùblico (Portugal), and Open Democracy (The UK).

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Nneka Okona

Nneka M. Okona

Pronouns: She, her
Country of origin: United States
Current location: Atlanta, Ga., USA

Nneka M. Okona is a Nigerian American journalist and author who writes about travel, food, grief, the African Diaspora, and global Black history as she travels the world. Her work has been published in The Washington Post, New York Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, Travel + Leisure, Condé Nast Traveler, AFAR, and Lonely Planet among many others. She plans to launch a multimedia travel resource for Black women.

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Nelson Apochi Owoicho

Nelson Apochi Owoicho

Pronouns: He, him
Country of origin: Nigeria
Current location: Abuja, Nigeria

Nelson Apochi Owoicho is a storyteller, documentary photographer, and communication professional with over seven years of experience. His work has been around the intersection of stories, media, and development. He has been commissioned and published by Getty Images, UNICEF, WaterAid, UNOCHA, Global Citizens, and many more. Nelson is an Acumen Fellow and has a certificate in Public Narrative: Storytelling, Leadership and Action from the Harvard Kennedy School, a diploma in Photojournalism from the New York Institute of Photography, and a certificate in social sector management from Pan Atlantic University Lagos. He currently works as field communication officer for CBM Global covering Africa.

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Ira Puranick

Ira Alok Puranik

Pronouns: She, her
Country of origin: India
Current location: Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh

Ira Alok Puranik is a business reporter for Moneycontrol.com, one of India’s most popular financial news platforms. Straddling across the domains of personal finance and new technology, including crypto and blockchain, Ira aims to develop a financial literacy platform demystifying finance dedicated exclusively to women. Prior to this, she finished her Master’s in Convergent Journalism from AJK Mass Communication Research Center, Jamia Millia Islamia. She lives in Delhi, India.

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Sowmya Rajaram

Sowmya Rajaram

Pronouns: She, her
Country of origin: India
Current location: Bangalore, Karnataka, India

Sowmya Rajaram has been a print journalist across national publications in India for about 15 years. She has reported on startups and entrepreneurship, gender violence, environmental issues, city matters, and arts and culture, among other subjects. She is currently authoring two books for HarperCollins publishers — a sports autobiography and coverage of a murder trial in small-town India. She is passionate about exploring matters of gender justice and disenfranchisement by sexual violence in her work.

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Mohammed Rayaan

Mohammed Rayaan

Pronouns: He, him
Country of origin: India
Current location: Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Mohammed Rayaan is a journalist who studied mechanical engineering before he realized that writing was his true passion and started blogging. His blog helped him to get his first job as a news reporter at the evening daily News Today and Talk Media, a weekly neighborhood tabloid. He then worked as a features reporter at DT Next, a morning daily. Currently, he works at The Hindu BusinessLine as a Sub-editor. Through his email newsletter, The Chennai Emailer, Rayaan aims to bring out the best of local journalism from Chennai.

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Ayodeji Rotinwa

Ayodeji Rotinwa

Pronouns: He, him
Country of origin: Nigeria
Current location: Abuja, Nigeria

Ayodeji Rotinwa is a writer, reporter, and editor that covers the intersection of visual art, culture, and social issues across West Africa. He has reported from Morocco, Brazil, South Africa, the U.S.A, Colombia, and Germany. He is published in The New York Times, The Continent, Guardian Nigeria, Financial Times, Art Forum, and National Geographic. Interested in the business of journalism, sustainability, and product thinking, he is an alumnus of the CUNY Product Immersion for Small Newsrooms program. He is an Africa No Filter grantee and manages African Arguments’ first product, a training fellowship for young freelancers. He is also the platform’s deputy editor. He is a two-time nominee for The Future Awards’ Journalist of the Year.

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Ambika Samarthya Howard

Ambika Samarthya-Howard

Pronouns: She, her
Country of origin: India
Current location: New York, N.Y., USA

Ambika Samarthya-Howard is a video producer and communications specialist. She has been creating, building, and writing at the intersection of storytelling and social good for two decades. She believes in working with local teams, developing work collaboratively, and taking risks. She has produced content for Current TV, UNICEF, Havas, Praekelt.org, UNICEF, UNFPA, and Save the Children. While head of communications at the South African technology organization, Praekelt.org, she spoke at more than 20 conferences globally, including co-partnering to launch the MERL Tech Joburg. She is currently the director of communications at the Solutions Journalism Network.

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Alec Schreck

Alec Schreck

Pronouns: He, him
Country of origin: United States
Current location: Washington, D.C., USA

Alec Schreck left banking and technology to become a journalist around 2000. It has been a meaningful work-life journey. The opportunity to tell stories and to positively impact people’s lives has been a privilege. Professionally, he has either won or been nominated for EMMYs or EMMAs for his work as a reporter, video journalist, photographer, editor, and most recently as a producer. He has also been recognized for mentoring inner city youth and is now mentoring returning citizens.  Professionally, he works for a CBS affiliate and lives in northeast D.C. with his wife and a pride of formerly homeless alley cats.

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Judith Torrea

Judith Torrea

Pronouns: She, her, ella
Country of origin: Spain
Current location: Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico

Judith Torrea, an immigrant herself, launched a pioneering live news service on Instagram from the Mexico/US border to serve the needs of political asylum seekers. She has been awarded the Ortega y Gasset Prize for her blog, which focused on the impact of the war against drugs in Ciudad Juarez. She is an independent border reporter based in Juarez and author of the book “Juárez En La Sombra.” She began her career working in Spain (Diario de Navarra, El Mundo), France (RFI, Euronews), and the U.S. (EFE, univision.com, El DiarioNY, People). Her passion as a journalist began when she learned to read and took on the task of reading the newspaper to her Basque grandfather, who had lost both of his eyes during the Spanish Civil War.


Deepal Trivedi

Deepal Girishbhai Trivedi

Pronouns: She, her
Country of origin: India
Current location: Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India

Deepal Trivedi is the founder of Vibes of India (Vo!), a multilingual, multimedia startup that targets everyone interested in the idea of India. With the motto, #onlythetruth, it specializes in authentic, inclusive reportage from Gujarat. Deepal has been awarded scholarships, including the Chevening Fellowship (United Kingdom), Jefferson Fellowship (USA), and Asia Journalism Fellowship (Singapore). Her work has appeared in Times of India, NDTV, Indian Express, The Asian Age, Deccan Chronicle, Sambhaav Media Group, The Strait TImes, Mumbai Mirror, The New York Times, The Quint, The Wire et al. Her reportage has been quoted by the United Nations, Amnesty International, and Human Rights Watch.She has a master’s in Developmental Communications.

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Constance White

Constance C. R. White

Pronouns: She, her
Country of origin: England
Current location: New York, N.Y., USA

Constance C.R. White is an award-winning, independent journalist and content creator with expertise in style and Black culture. She is the author of How To Slay: Kings and Queens of Black Style and editor of Essence: A Salute to Michelle Obama. She’s written extensively for The Wall Street Journal, Avenue, The Chicago Tribune, British Vogue, and The Impression. She co-created and hosted  the “How To Slay”  Univision podcast covering DEI, entrepreneurship and style. 

Previously, she worked for The New York Times; Essence, as editor in chief; and eBay, as style director, advising on content, partnerships, events, and media strategy. She holds an MBA from Kellogg and has taught workshops on fashion reporting. Her project will prioritize Black women.

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