The 2015-16 fellowship recipients are:
Steve Fisher, an alumnus of the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism(‘14) and an investigative journalist focusing on U.S.-Mexico relations. He has written for theNational 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 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.
Mike Hixenbaugh (not pictured), an investigative and enterprise reporter for The Virginian-Pilot. His reporting with IRP following a deadly Navy helicopter crash — including a long-form narrative that appeared on NBC News — led the military to implement safety upgrades. Twice he’s been listed among America’s top young journalists as a Livingston Awards finalist, and in 2014, the Military Reporters & Editors Association singled out his work as the best domestic national security coverage in the country. He graduated from the University of Akron and previously worked at newspapers in Ohio and North Carolina.
Jason Paladino, an alumnus of the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism (‘15) and an investigative reporter focusing on the military. After the fatal crash of a U.S. Navy Sea Dragon helicopter during a routine training flight took the life of a close friend, Paladino launched a year-long investigation into the Navy’s Sea Dragon program. Paladino’s subsequent efforts, teaming with reporter Mike Hixenbaugh, resulted in findings that led the Navy to ground the remaining helicopters and implement new safety measures involving more than 180 aircraft. Paladino’s reporting on this story has appeared on NBC News online and NBC Nightly News. He has also won the Mark Felt Scholarship in Investigative Reporting and the Reva and David Logan Prize for Excellence in Investigative Reporting at the Graduate School of Journalism.
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, Peter Wiley, and George Zimmer.