In 2007, in response to cutbacks at major news organizations, the Investigative Reporting Program at UC Berkeley established the nation’s first postgraduate fellowships in investigative reporting. This year-long program is without peer at any academic institution. It is designed to enable select journalists with a proven ability to tell complex stories in the public interest, to pursue a story for up to one year by providing them with a salary, up to $10,000 in approved travel expenses, benefits, and editorial guidance.
Anabel Hernandez, Steve Fisher, Sierra Crane-Murdoch and David Montero (not pictured)
The 2014-2015 fellowship recipients are:
Sierra Crane-Murdoch, who covers rural and indigenous communities in the American West for The Atlantic and for High Country News, where she was a staff writer and is now a contributing editor. Her recent work as a 2013 National Health Journalism Fellow chronicled an unexplained childhood cancer cluster and the way a community coped with scientific uncertainties. As an IRP fellow, she will return to North Dakota, where she has reported on the Bakken oil boom since 2011, to investigate conflicts on a Native American reservation at the boom’s center.
Steve Fisher, an alumni of the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism and an investigative journalist focusing on U.S.-Mexico relations. He has written for the National Geographic, New America Media and Fusion. In 2013, he was a Human Rights Fellow at Berkeley law, where he worked with the ACLU to investigate a little-known Border Patrol program facilitating mass-incarceration of undocumented migrants. Fisher most recently produced the award-winning documentary, “Silent River,” in which a family defies death threats to combat the pollution of one of the most contaminated rivers in Mexico.
Anabel Hernandez, one of Mexico’s leading investigative journalists. She has worked on national dailies including Reforma, Milenio, El Universal and its investigative supplement La Revista. Her book Narcoland: The Mexican Drug Lords and Their Godfathers has been a bestseller in Mexico for three years and has just been translated and published in the U.S. Her previous books include La familia presidencial, Fin de fiesta en los pinos, and Los cómplices del presidente. Hernández became a journalist after her father was kidnapped and killed and the police refused to investigate without a bribe.
David Montero, an Emmy-nominated documentary producer and journalist whose work appears regularly on PBS Frontline. Between 2004 and 2011, Montero was a foreign correspondent in South Asia for The Christian Science Monitor and PBS Frontline/World. He is writing a book about the devastating consequences of Western corporate bribery in the developing world, highlighting how bribes undermine human rights and fuel conflict and political instability. Entitled Black Money, it will be published by Viking/Penguin.
Caitlin McNally, Matthew Brunwasser, Brian Joseph, and Monica Cruz-Rosas (not pictured)
The 2013-2014 fellowship recipients are Matthew Brunwasser, a 2000 Graduate of the Journalism School and an Istanbul-based independent journalist, and Brian Joseph, formerly Sacramento Correspondent of the Orange County Register. The Investigative Reporting Program is also providing special support for Caitlin McNally, a documentary film-maker and producer whose work has appeared on PBS “Frontline,” and fr Monica Cruz-Rosas, a 2013 graduate of the Journalism School who is now an investigative reporter working in Mexico City.
Matthew Brunwasser covered the Balkans reporting for the New York Times, the International Herald Tribune and the World on US public radio. He has reported from Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and the former USSR for dozens of print, radio and television media. His investigations have examined organized crime and corruption in the Balkans, the global illicit trade in small arms, links between Communist-era State Security services and today’s political and business elite in Eastern Europe. His IRP project will investigate the revolving door at the State Department: what former US diplomats do in private business after leaving public service and how it affects US interests.
Brian Joseph joins the IRP after a decade of working for newspapers in California. His most recent stint was at the Orange County Register, where he served as an investigative reporter and Sacramento correspondent covering government waste and secrecy, consumer protection and the intersection of money and politics. As an IRP Fellow, Joseph will be researching a growing sector of California’s foster care system in which vulnerable children are frequently abused and neglected.
Caitlin McNally worked as a producer on a PBS “Frontline” examination of the NFL and concussions. For “Frontline,” she also produced Football High (2011), an hour-long documentary about the new face of high school football, and co-produced Digital Nation(2010), a documentary and web report about life in the digital age. She has also directed and produced a 60-minute episode of “Finding Your Roots,” (2012) the acclaimed national PBS series hosted by historian Henry Louis Gates, Jr. McNally acted as associate producer for the Emmy award-winning HBO documentary, Ghosts of Abu Ghraib (2007). PBS “Frontline” and the IRP are also giving special support to Caitlin McNally to report on the legacy and consequences of sentencing American youth to adult prisons.
Monica Cruz-Rosas is a reporter from Mexico City who, since 2009, has covered politics, crime and US-Mexico border issues for Mexican and US news outlets. Her work has been published in Mexican magazine Emeequis, The Texas Observer and the hyper-local news site Oakland North in the Bay Area. She has also worked for the Investigative Reporting Program at UC Berkeley. The IRP and Univision are giving special support to Monica Cruz Rosas to examine the drug trade in Mexico.
This year’s fellowships are made possible by a core grant from the Sandler Foundation, along with donations from Scott and Jennifer Fearon, Margaret and Will Hearst, Steve Silberstein, the Financial Times, Peter Wiley and the Wyncote Foundation.
Emad Mekay, Antonia Juhasz, and Daniel Alarcón
Daniel Alarcón divides his time between Peru and Oakland, California, though his writing, both fiction and non-fiction, is oriented towards Latin America. His fiction has received numerous awards: he was listed among the New Yorker’s “20 under 40” new writers, a finalist in the 2010 O. Henry Prize, winner of a PEN Literary Award in 2008. In addition, the British literary magazine Granta in 2007 named him the Best Young Novelist. As an IRP Fellow, Alarcón’s foray into investigative reporting explored the social and political landscape of the Peruvian penal system, with a special focus on Lurigancho, one of South America’s most notorious prisons.
Antonia Juhasz, based in San Francisco, has written three books on the oil industry and the environment and numerous articles on this topic, most notably her cover story in The Nation on the hidden health risks of the BP oil spill in the Gulf. Her articles and op-ed pieces have appeared in the New York Times, the International Herald Tribune, the Washington Post and in many other publications. She graduated from Brown University and has a Masters in Public Policy from the Georgetown University Public Policy Institute. Her topic, as an IRP Fellow, explored the oil rush in Afghanistan in which China was pitted against the petroleum giants.
Emad Mekay joins the IRP after a John S. Knight Fellowship at Stanford University in which he explored how to use information technology and Freedom of Information laws to make Arab governments and U.S. policy in the Middle East more transparent. From Cairo, Mekay reported on political and business issues around the Middle East for some of the world’s leading newspapers and news agencies. As an IRP Fellow, Mekay researched how the U.S. tried and ultimately failed to influence the political shifts of the Arab Spring movement that is sweeping dictators from power around the Middle East.
The 2012-2013 fellowships were made possible by core grants from the Sandler Foundation and the Hellman Foundation along with donations from Scott and Jennifer Fearon, The Financial Times, Peter Wiley, and the Zimmer Family Foundation.
Joe Mullin, Annie Murphy, and Chanan Tigay
Annie Murphy is a regular contributor to NPR, and her writing has been published in The Atlantic, The Nation and The Virginia Quarterly Review. While at the IRP, Murphy has been reporting on the escalating conflict in Honduras—currently considered the most violent nation in the world—and how a 2009 coup contributed to the country’s breakdown. Her Honduras investigation has been a broadcast series for NPR’s Weekend Edition and will soon be published in Pop-Up magazine and the Spanish-language podcast “Radio Ambulante.”
Chanan Tigay has contributed to publications including Newsweek and The Wall Street Journal covering the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, 9/11, the United Nations and the U.S. Jewish community. As an IRP fellow, Tigay is reporting on U.S.-Israel relations in light of Iran’s nuclear program and a Syrian arms trafficker.
Joe Mullin previously worked as a reporter for paidContent, where he covered the intersection of media, technology and the law. Before that, he worked for American Lawyer, The Seattle Times and The Associated Press. Mullin is reporting on patent litigation and abuses of the patent system. Thus far, his work has included coverage of a major patent trial over web technology for Wired.com, as well as working with journalism students to create a website (patentexaminer.org) that tracks patent cases that have been underreported in the mainstream press. He is a graduate of U.C. Berkeley’s graduate school of journalism.
Trevor Aaronson, Lee Wang and Tim McGirk
Winners of the 2010–2011 $47,000 full–time year–long fellowships are Trevor Aaronson, an award–winning print reporter, and Lee Wang, a documentary filmmaker and 2006 graduate of the Berkeley J–School. The Investigative Reporting Program is also providing special in–residence support to veteran investigative reporter and former Time magazine bureau chief Tim McGirk, who has covered the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Israeli– Palestinian conflict and the hunt for al–Qaeda.
This year’s fellowships were made possible by a core grant from the Sandler Foundation along with donations from Scott and Jennifer Fearon, The Financial Times, The Gruber Family Foundation, The Hellman Foundation, John Keker, Jerome Simon and Peter Wiley.
Matt Isaacs, Katie Galloway, Ryan Gabrielson and Zach Stauffer
Because there were so many qualified applicants in the 2009 competition, the Investigative Reporting Program created a new category to help support the work of Zachary Stauffer, a 2008 graduate of the journalism school and Katie Galloway, a lecturer in the Media Studies department at UC Berkeley.
Mr. Stauffer continues his work as an in–residence cinematographer and reporter. Ms. Galloway, our Filmmaker in Residence, was given special support for her feature documentary on a domestic counterterrorism case to be completed by 2011. Mr. Isaacs continues his work as a staff reporter of the IRP.
Jonathan Jones, Carrie Lozano, and Sam Kennedy
Winners of the 2008–2009 fellowships were Jonathan Jones, a 2005 Berkeley graduate, Sam Kennedy, a 2001 Berkeley graduate and Carrie Lozano, a 2005 Berkeley graduate. Ms. Lozano, a documentary filmmaker, continues to work with the IRP as the project coordinator of a unique grants–funded project on collaboration in investigative reporting. Mr. Jones continues to work on his book on Liberia out of the offices of the IRP.
Marton Dunai, Siri Schubert, and Andrew Becker
Winners of the 2007–2008 fellowships were Andrew Becker, a 2005 UC Berkeley graduate; Marton Dunai, a 2004 Berkeley graduate, and Siri Schubert, a freelance business and financial reporter.