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Thirty-Five Global Journalists Join Fifth Cohort of Entrepreneurial Journalism Creators Program

  • By Newmark J-School Staff

The Entrepreneurial Journalism Creators Program (EJCP) at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY is proud to welcome 35 journalism entrepreneurs from around the world — based in 19 different countries — to the fifth cohort of the program.

This 100-day online program, which begins on October 25, aims to help creators develop newsletters, podcasts, local sites, and other niche news products serving communities around the world. 

“We are thrilled to welcome our biggest, most global cohort. Our aim is to strengthen and accelerate the impact these incredible individuals make with sustainable microventures that fill gaps in the media ecosystem,” said Jeremy Caplan, the EJCP’s founding program director. 

Since the program launched in 2020, 127 creators have been selected from more than 600 applicants.

The program is supported by a grant from the Meta Journalism Project. Additional support for scholarships for this cohort and previous ones has been provided by the Meta Journalism Project, Twitter, Substack, the Center for Cooperative Media and Swapstack.

Entrepreneurial Journalism Creators Program Cohort #5

An Mercado Alcantara

Current location: San Pablo City, Philippines
Country of origin: Philippines
Pronouns: She/her

An Mercado Alcantara is a writer and editor who captures stories of leadership and transformation. Her extensive newspaper and magazine experience include being a lifestyle reporter, columnist, and contributor to three nationally-circulated newspapers. She was magazine editor-in-chief of Good Housekeeping Philippines (Hearst-Summit Publishing, Inc.) and Working Mom magazine. As editorial director at ABS-CBN Publishing, she supervised thirteen magazine titles. She also produced over a dozen corporate history books. Beyond print, she is an award-winning documentary writer. She graduated from Ateneo de Manila University and attended the Radcliffe Publishing Course at Harvard University. Today, she writes from San Pablo, Laguna, where she is an innkeeper, heritage advocate, clay artisan, and vlogger.

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Rafe H. Andrews 

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

Rafe H. Andrews is an interdisciplinary artist focused on social and environmental issues across Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Following a diverse professional trajectory as a musician, writer, producer, and photographer, he became a founding member of DAWNING, a DC-based organization that produces deep-dive reporting grounded in journalism, social sciences, and the visual arts. His recent work focuses on gender violence amidst the water crisis in Kenya, and the underbelly of labor migration from Bangladesh to Malaysia. Rafe’s driving artistic and professional mission is to imbue public forums with innovative and generative dialogue on the overlooked and underreported issues of our time.

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Abel Asrat

Current location: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Country of origin: Ethiopia
Pronouns: He/him

Abel Asrat is a digital media enthusiast. He is passionate about open source information, networking, philanthropy, human rights advocacy, and storytelling through infographic design. He is the founder of Addis Insight, an Ethiopian based online news website focused on the latest trends emerging from Ethiopia and its diaspora. He is well known for his humor and passion around digital media.

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Abraham Augustine

Current location: Port Harcourt, Nigeria
Country of origin: Nigeria
Pronouns: He/him

Abraham Augustine is a business and technology reporter covering how Africa’s old, current, and future technology companies are being shaped by scarce resources, the young and dynamic population, and the local/global power centers that stress, break, or support Africa’s entrepreneurial community. He writes for TechCabal and is building Money Myths Africa, an independent newsletter to make African markets less mysterious for local entrepreneurs, and those around the world.

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Dulamkhorloo (Duuya) Baatar

Current location: Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
Country of origin: Mongolia
Pronouns: She/her

Dulamkhorloo (Duuya) Baatar is a journalist, lecturer, fact-checker and an entrepreneur aiming to create a more sustainable and viable way of practicing journalism in Mongolia. She co-founded Nest Mongolia, an NGO that helps Mongolian media organizations establish sustainable business models to serve the information needs of niche audiences. She is a firm believer in the importance of high-quality information on human lives and livelihoods. The NGO also runs the Mongolian Fact-checking Center which is the first IFCN signatory fact-checking initiative in Mongolia aimed at combating misinformation. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master of business administration.

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Sanne Breimer

Current location: Bali, Indonesia
Country of origin: The Netherlands
Pronouns: She/her

Sanne Breimer is a freelance project manager, consultant, and journalism trainer for international media organizations, including clients such as the Thomson Reuters Foundation (TRF) and the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU). She works remotely and divides her time between Europe and Southeast Asia. Previously, she worked in national public broadcasting in The Netherlands for almost thirteen years in managerial positions with a focus on radio, digital media and innovation. Sanne also founded Inclusive Journalism, with which she aims to educate (primarily) Western journalists about media representation and decoloniality through a weekly newsletter and online courses. She is Dutch with Frisian roots.

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Roberta Cavaglià

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

Roberta Cavaglià is an Italian freelance journalist, content writer, and translator. Her work has appeared in Nieman Lab, Wired, Rolling Stone, Il Post, and many other publications. She focuses primarily on human rights, migration, and EU affairs. Roberta holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Intercultural and Linguistic Mediation and a Master’s degree in Specialized Translation. Currently, she speaks five languages (Italian, French, English, Spanish, and Portuguese), but she is eager to learn more.

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Dexter Chan

Current location: Singapore
Country of origin: Malaysia
Pronouns: He/him

Dexter Chan is an award-winning journalist who has been working in Malaysian and Singaporean media industries for the past seven years, ranging from broadcast to digital platforms. His work has appeared in the national broadcasts of both countries, i.e. RTM and Mediacorp. He has a keen interest in politics and public affairs.

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Lyn Chan

Current location: Singapore
Country of origin: Singapore
Pronouns: She/her

Lyn is a content creator and freelance journalist. Before starting up her own content creation studio in New York, Lyn belonged to Singapore’s leading media company, SPH Media. There, she was a deputy editor of the pioneering team that helped to build its news site into a multi-award-winning entity in Asia Pacific. Lyn spends most of her time collaborating with clients in Singapore and the region to understand their products/services, strategize with them, and create copy that hits the mark, no matter the industry or platform. Driven by her entrepreneurial spirit, she looks to eventually start a healthcare-related content platform that empowers the Singapore community with relevant and relatable information, as well as complete an illustrated book.


Morgan Childs 

Current location: Prague, Czech Republic
Country of origin: United States
Pronouns: She/her

Morgan Childs has reported for The Atlantic, GQ, POLITICO, NPR, and many other places. As of 2021, she works exclusively as an audio journalist and producer. Notable credits include the Slow Newscast and ThinkIn with James Harding (Tortoise), 93 Women (Audible UK), and Foreign Insiders: Migration and Humanity in the Czech Republic, a series she created and co-hosted. She holds a BA from Barnard College, Columbia University, an MA from the Center for Critical and Cultural Theory at Univerzita Karlova in Prague, and a certificate in Radio Production from the National Film School at IADT, Ireland.

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Yan Cong

Current location: Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Country of origin: China
Pronouns: She/her

Yan is a visual storyteller and researcher currently based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. She has previously worked as a freelance photojournalist and video producer in China for international publications such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, Bloomberg, and Vice. Yan co-founded Far and Near, a newsletter that introduces stories created and published by Chinese visual journalists, artists, and filmmakers to an English-speaking audience. She has a Master’s Degree in journalism from Columbia Journalism School. She is currently pursuing a research master in new media and digital culture at University of Amsterdam.

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Claudia L. Cruz

Current location: Guatemala City, Guatemala
Country of origin: Guatemala
Pronouns: She/her

Claudia is a journalist with 20+ years experience in digital projects in conventional newsrooms, mostly key Guatemalan media outlets.  She specializes in audience development, data analysis, community management, social media strategies, performance-driven change, newsroom workflow optimization, and product thinking. As a 2021-2022 Reuters Institute fellow she wrote an essay on how the Central American diaspora in the US presents an opportunity for regional media.  Currently, she is Digital Director at the Guatemalan media outlet Con Criterio. She also joined Blue Engine Collaborative as a coach with a first cohort in Spain and a second in sight with Latin American publishers.

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David Mono Danga

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

David Mono Danga is an award-winning investigative journalist from South Sudan. He is the Founder of The Insider, South Sudan’s first investigative journalism news site. Monodanga also reports for Voice of America and The Continent, a Pan-African digital newspaper. Monodanga holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and is an Alumnus of the Alfred Friendly Press Partners Fellowship at Missouri University, a six-month program for the world’s underdeveloped nations and emerging markets. Monodanga is also an alumnus of the Mandela Washington Fellowship, a Young African Leaders Initiative at Indiana University where he did Leadership in Civic Engagement in 2019.

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Roberto Deniz

Current location: Bogotá, Colombia
Country of origin: Venezuela
Pronouns: He/him

Roberto Deniz is a Venezuelan investigative journalist. For years he has investigated and uncovered large cases of corruption in Venezuela with a transnational reach. He has received numerous awards both in his country and in Latin America. For years he worked in economics and business information for different media. Since 2016 he has been part of the Armando.Info team and is currently also a partner of the only Venezuelan media outlet dedicated to investigative journalism. Since 2018 he has been in exile in Colombia, from where he continues his work as an investigative journalist.

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Catherine Edwards

Current location: Vienna, Austria
Country of origin: United Kingdom
Pronouns: She/her

Catherine Edwards is an award-winning editor and journalism consultant who focuses on European news, constructive journalism, and audience growth strategies for newsrooms. Formerly Europe Editor at The Local, she has also worked with the International Press Institute, Free Press for Eastern Europe, and Journalism.co.uk. Her writing appears in the Guardian, iNews, and more. Catherine holds a BA in Modern Languages from the University of Oxford and a Postgraduate Certificate in Journalism Innovation and Leadership from the University of Central Lancashire. She speaks five languages and has lived and worked in Italy, Germany, Sweden, and Austria.

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Kési Felton

Current location: Metro-Atlanta, Georgia, United States
Country of origin: United States
Pronouns: She/her

Kési Felton is a 24-year-old multimedia storyteller from Acworth, Georgia. She is the founder of Better to Speak, a community media platform that centers and uplifts the stories of young Black changemakers through contributed articles and interviews on “Better to Speak: The Podcast” – nominated for Best Black News/Informative Podcast at the 2022 Black Podcasting Awards. Kési aims to ground her work in the “sociological imagination,” which explores – in the Combahee River Collective’s words: how “the personal is political” – at the intersection of identity, self-actualization and Black liberation. She studied journalism at Howard University’s Cathy Hughes School of Communications.

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Beimeng Fu

Current location: Shanghai, China
Country of origin: China
Pronouns: She/her

Beimeng Fu is a video journalist and documentary filmmaker based in Shanghai, China. Her work has been published by various international/Chinese news outlets, and awarded/nominated by the SOPA Awards, ONA, and The News & Doc EMMY. She was China Reporter for BuzzFeed News (New York), stringer producer for ABC News (Beijing), and Visual Media lecturer for the Bolton program at Communication University of Zhejiang. Beimeng holds a M.A. from Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY. With Yan Cong and Charlotte Ye Ming, Beimeng co-publishes Far & Near, a newsletter featuring visual storytelling from China.


Rhonda Heckstall

Current location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Country of origin: United States
Pronouns: She/her

Rhonda Heckstall is a TV news producer. She is passionate about local news and keeping people informed of what’s happening in their communities. Rhonda started her professional career working for a local news organization in NYC. She is now based in the City of Brotherly Love. Rhonda holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Broadcast Journalism from Howard University. Her interests include running, taking pottery classes, reading, and mastering new recipes from NYT Cooking. She is launching a news site and podcast that covers Black and Brown women and girls.

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Jamé Jackson

Current location: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Country of origin: United States
Pronouns: She/her

Jamé Jackson is a style and beauty expert and on-camera personality based in NYC. In 2016, she founded TheBlondeMisfit, an award-winning media brand on fashion and beauty. Jamé has reached millions around the world through content on Amazon Live, BuzzFeed, Yahoo, The Business of Fashion, Refinery29, Forbes, and others. She was honored as Google’s “Woman to Watch” and has consulted for Fortune 100 companies on multicultural storytelling, diversity in fashion and beauty, and financial literacy for marginalized communities. Jamé holds a B.A. in English from Howard University and an M.P.S. in Business of Fashion from LIM college.

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Esra Karakaya

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

Esra Karakaya is an award-winning journalist and founder of KARAKAYA TALKS, a talk show and news content startup that centers traditionally marginalized communities in Germany. She was awarded as one of the 30 people under 30 changing Germany by Zeit Campus 2020. She also won the Hildegard-Hamm-Brücher Prize 2021 for democracy. KARAKAYA TALKS was fittingly the winner of the 2020 Grimme Online Awards for culture and entertainment. Esra Karakaya is committed to producing critical and accessible news content for marginalized communities.

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Karnika Kohli

Current location: New Delhi, India
Country of origin: India
Pronouns: She/her

Karnika Kohli manages reader revenue for Scroll.in. For the last decade she has worked at organizations like TheWire.in, The Times of India, stck.me and NewsX. She specializes in audience engagement and acquisition. For the last five years, she has been working on making small newsrooms become financially independent. She also teaches courses on how to build a digital brand and data analytics at the University of Petroleum & Energy Studies in Uttarakhand, India. 

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Ye Charlotte Ming

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

Ye Charlotte Ming is a journalist and visuals editor. Her work focuses on underreported and nuanced stories on the themes of culture, history, and identity. She has been published in TIME, National Geographic, Atlas Obscura, The Art Newspaper, among others. Previously, she worked as a journalist and photo editor for TIME and Getty Images. She’s a recipient of the Robert Bosch Crossing Borders grant and Kim Wall Memorial Fund. Together with Yan Cong and Beimeng Fu, Ming founded Far & Near, a newsletter curating the best visual stories from China. Ming graduated from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in 2014.

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Kim Moy

Current location: Shoreline, Washington, United States
Country of origin: United States
Pronouns: She/her

Kim Moy is a digital content leader who thinks like a journalist, marketer, and product manager. She has 30 years of experience as a newspaper reporter, online producer, content marketer, and content strategist. Over the past 14 years, she has led content teams at Yahoo, realtor.com, and B2B tech companies. Kim is the founder of a support group for family caregivers of people with ME/CFS, a debilitating, complex illness with no cure that affects up to 24 million people. Now more than 100 million people with long COVID suffer from the same range of symptoms. She currently lives in the Seattle area with her husband and two sons.

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Jina Moore Ngarambe

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

Jina Moore Ngarambe is the editor in chief of Guernica, a global magazine of arts and politics, and a member of the board of Adi Magazine, a literary journal rehumanizing foreign policy. She’s been a foreign correspondent for 15 years, inaugurating BuzzFeed News’s coverage of global women’s rights and covering Africa as a bureau chief for The New York Times, a correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor, and a freelance writer for The New Yorker, the Atlantic, The Nation, PRI’s The World, and other outlets. 

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Rishu Nigam

Current location: New Delhi, India
Country of origin: India
Pronouns: She/her

Rishu Nigam is an independent writer, documentary filmmaker, and trainer specializing in energy and climate communication. She previously worked as Associate Director of Communications and Advocacy at The Energy and Resources Institute in New Delhi, where she led a team of writers and video producers to create multimedia content on sustainable development. Rishu currently mentors cohorts of rural youth from Central India in video storytelling on ecology and conservation. She aims to launch a platform for climate stories in collaboration with local and indigenous journalists from vulnerable regions in India. Rishu is a Chevening alumna and has studied broadcast journalism in New Delhi.

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Ivan Perez

Current location: Mexico City, México
Country of origin: México
Pronouns: He/him

Ivan Pérez is the founder/director of the sports industry and business newsletter El Míster. He began his journalistic career in 2003 and has collaborated with Forbes Mexico, Vice Sports, and Univision. He was the editor-in-chief of the sports section of the Mexican newspaper El Economista for 10 years. He was the first place winner of the written press contest, “50 years of the Copa Libertadores”  organized by Banco Santander. He is co-author of the books World Cup Tales and Copa de las Fantasias. Perez has done coverage and editorial planning for four Olympic Games and three Soccer World Cups.

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Stacey L. Peters

Current location: Vermont, United States
Country of origin: United States
Pronouns: She/her

Stacey L. Peters moved from New York City to Vermont over a decade ago, where until recently she oversaw the technology product offerings at VTDigger, a digital-native independent nonprofit newsroom. Peters oversaw the rapid growth of VTDigger’s service from a blog-style website serving 40,000 readers a month, to a suite of award-winning tools delivered to over 650,000 monthly readers. She hopes to apply the learnings presented by the Entrepreneurial Journalism Creators Program toward opportunities for platform, service journalism, and community building in rural news deserts throughout New England and beyond.

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Pedro Luis Rueda

Current location: Lima, Perú
Country of origin: Venezuela
Pronouns: He/him

Pedro Luis Rueda is a journalist with 15 years of experience leading news websites. He left Venezuela and arrived in Peru to start over. When the perception of Venezuelans turned negative due to crimes, he felt that he had to do something because not all Venezuelans are part of criminal activity. Pedro went to a TV station and explained the situation. They liked what Pedro presented, and they proposed a digital TV show about Venezuelan migrants in Peru. Thus, Rostros Venezolanos (Venezuelan Faces) was born. It started on Youtube, but now has a web page of news and success stories of Venezuelan migrants.

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Maranie Rae Staab

Current location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania & Portland, Oregon, United States
Country of origin: United States
Pronouns: She/her

Maranie is an independent photographer, videographer and print journalist. Drawn to raw human experience, Maranie strives for a visual intimacy born of earned trust and a willingness to get close. With extensive global experience, her work focuses on social justice, displacement, and the effects of conflict. She is dedicated to under-reported, human stories, fueled by steadfast convictions, a deep love of journalism, and just the right amount of grit. A 2020 Pulitzer Center Reporting Fellow, Maranie is an Eddie Adams Workshop alumni, 2019 NSC Student Photographer of the year and recipient of the Ed Kashi Fellowship at Syracuse University.

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Emma Thomasson

Current location: Berlin, Germany
Country of origin: United Kingdom
Pronouns: She/her

Emma Thomasson is a British journalist who worked for the Reuters news agency for 27 years as a correspondent and bureau chief in Europe and Africa, covering business, politics, and economics. Based in Berlin, she is now forging a new path as a journalism innovator, consultant, and leadership coach. She ran the Reuters global mentoring program and was a coordinator of a peer network that supports journalists suffering from stress and trauma. She sings in a choir and loves art and wants to experiment with more creative, constructive forms of journalism that will engage and inspire young people.

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Carolyn Thompson

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

Carolyn Thompson is a freelance data and investigative journalist whose reporting focuses on human rights, conflict, and displacement. Her work has been published by Al Jazeera, the Washington Post, CBC, Radio-Canada, France 24, NPR, News Deeply, and Maclean’s Magazine, among others. She’s interested in projects that use new technologies to help people explore and understand their world and the ways actions are linked across borders. She holds a Master’s Degree of Journalism and has been a Dart Center Ochberg Fellow, a NewsCorp News Media Fellow, and a Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting grant recipient.

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Tatiana Velásquez Archibold

Current location: Barranquilla, Colombia
Country of origin: Colombia
Pronouns: She/her

Tatiana Velásquez Archibold is the co-founder and reporter of La Contratopedia Caribe. She is a social communicator and journalist and she graduated from the Universidad Autónoma del Caribe in Barranquilla. She earned a Master’s Degree in Investigative Journalism, Data and Visualization from the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos of Spain with a fellowship from Google. She has worked in several Colombian media outlets, including El Heraldo, El Tiempo, and La Silla Vacía, and has also published articles in El Espectador, El Confidencial de España, Vice Latinoamérica, and ColombiaCheck. She has done content management for the Gabo Foundation and was a professor at the Sergio Arboleda University in Santa Marta and at the Universidad Tecnológica de Bolívar in Cartagena. She was an Emerging Media Leader Fellow at ICFJ in 2021.

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Sammy Villarreal

Current location: San Diego, California, United States
Country of origin: United States
Pronouns: He/him

Sammy Villarreal is a military veteran who proudly served on active duty in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1996-2007. Sammy has a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science from Brandman University. Having been born and raised in Midland, TX and spending his adulthood in Southern California, Sammy says his roots are in Texas, his heart in California. While on active duty, Sammy launched a site similar to Craigslist but with a military twist. Now Sammy is embarking on a new project called PerksForVets.com, a weekly newsletter highlighting benefits, programs, and other “perks” offered only to veterans.

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Anrike Visser

Current location: Berlin, Germany
Country of origin: The Netherlands
Pronouns: She/her

Anrike Visser is an investigative journalist and illicit finance policy advisor. She has 10 years of experience investigating financial crime and corruption in Europe and Southeast Asia. Her stories appeared in The Diplomat, Deutsche Welle, The Conversation, and the Netherlands public broadcasting NOS. She also advises European governments, EU institutions, International Financial Institutions, and private companies on policies countering illicit finance. Previously, she worked at the Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets. In 2018, she founded Global Ground Media, an online publication for investigative journalism in Southeast Asia. She lived in Myanmar from 2017 until 2021.

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Agnieszka Wądołowska

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

Agnieszka Wądołowska is deputy editor of Notes from Poland. She leads a network of independent English-language media in Central and Eastern Europe created by Notes from Poland and produces and hosts The VoiCEE podcast. She has previously worked for Polish mainstream media: Gazeta.pl and Tokfm.pl and contributed to Gazeta Wyborcza, Wysokie Obcasy, and Duży Format. Throughout her career, she was always most passionate about articles on social injustice, especially on women’s rights in Poland. She covered topics like: abortion tourism, feminist activism, domestic violence during pandemic, as well as women’s rights protests. 

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