Meet the 2016 fellows

The 2016 Bringing Home the World International Reporting Fellows:

Stephanie Beasley
Media organization: Bloomberg BNA
Destination country: Cuba

Stephanie Beasley is a transportation and infrastructure reporter for Bloomberg BNA. Prior to that, she reported on arts and culture, politics and a variety of policies related to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Beasley graduated from the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism’s concurrent degree program for Latin American Studies. She is an Ohio native and knows a thing or two about buckeyes (the candies) and traveling through Amish country (home of great butter and cheese).

Project description: Beasley will be traveling to Cuba to report on U.S. companies’ attempts to make inroads with the Cuban government to re-establish trade relations and launch large-scale infrastructure projects.

Dominique Bonessi
Media organization: Fuller Project for International Reporting
Destination country: Turkey

Dominique Bonessi is a freelance multimedia reporter, currently with the Fuller Project on International Reporting. Dominique has a broadcast news background, including work with NPR and Al Jazeera America. She has also contributed to several online organizations like Viviana Hurtado Ph.D.'s The Wise Latina Club, USA Today's breaking news team, and Slant News.

Bonessi recently graduated cum laude from the George Washington University (GWU) with double bachelor’s degrees in Journalism and Mass Communications and Arabic Language and Culture. At GWU, she was awarded the prestigious Manheim-Sterling Research award for her research in Jordan where she looked at how social media plays a dynamic role in the conversation on Jordanian women.

As an Arabic-speaking Cuban-American, Dominique is dedicated to telling stories about minority groups such as women and migrants with a focus on the Middle East. While in Jordan, she created a video project for Reclaim Childhood, a non-profit teaching sportsmanship and English to underserved Iraqi, Palestinian and Syrian female refugees. She also hopes to hone in on stories about human rights abuses worldwide. While at PBS Newshour, she has contributed stories of human rights abuses in Cuba and attacks on freedom of press worldwide. Dominique hopes that this program will allow her to start a career in international reporting and better understand of the plight of refugees.

Project description: The project “Girl Learning” will emphasize data-driven reporting on female Syrian refugees in Turkey and how they continue their education while enduring other challenges of adjustments to a new country. Roughly 450,000 Syrian refugee children do not attend school in Turkey; this poses a problem for the future of Turkey and Syria if they have an uneducated population that will be unable to find work. For girls, this means a future with a gender gap in the workforce. This video-audio project will focus on three to four Syrian children and their experience with education and new life in Turkey.

Meghan Dhaliwal
Media organization: Freelance
Destination country: India

Meghan Dhaliwal is a freelance photojournalist based in Mexico City. In her day-to-day, Dhaliwal is pitching stories, shooting a story, shooting an assignment or doing office work. Most recently, her work has been focused on religion--looking at a pilgrimage in Mexico, Vodou in Haiti, and now the religious rifts demonstrated by the beef ban in India. Before going freelance, she was the multimedia projects coordinator at the Pulitzer Center in Washington, D.C. Besides being a staff member for the Pulitzer Center, she has been a Pulitzer Center student fellow, Pulitzer Center grantee and International Reporting Project fellow. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Foreign Policy and Buzzfeed.

Project description: Along with writer Beenish Ahmed, Dhaliwal will be looking at food consumption trends in India, the second-most populous country in the world. .

Valeria Fernández
Media organization: Radio Bilingue, Freelance
Destination country: Mexico

Valeria Fernández, from Uruguay, is an independent journalist with more than a decade of experience as a bilingual documentary producer and reporter on Arizona’s immigrant community and the U.S.-Mexico borderlands.

Her award-winning, independent reporting has focused on topics ranging from migrant kidnappings to racial profiling. Fernández also contributes to Radio Bilingue, CNN Spanish, Al Jazeera English, and has been published by newsrooms such as The Associated Press. In 2012, she produced the documentary “Two Americans,” which contrasts Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and a 9-year-old U.S. citizen trying to stop her parents’ deportation. In 2014, she helped produce the international award winning web documentary “Connected Walls,” about life along the Arizona borderlands. Fernández is proud to be a contributor to the Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting. In 2015, she was a producer and reporter in a team that cast light on the economic and social impacts of a mine spill in Northern Mexico that broadcast in PBS, San Diego. The multi-media project won Arizona Press Club recognition for environmental reporting. Fernández hopes the International Center for Journalists grant will help her draw connections on the international impact of immigration foreign policies and also offers her the opportunity to get to know a team of talented and motivated journalists.

Project description: The project will explore how U.S. funds are used to support the enforcement of immigration in Mexico, and how that connects to the experiences of unaccompanied children's from detention to repatriation through their journey to the northern border with the U.S.

Channing Joseph
Media organization: Truthdig
Destination country: Japan

Channing Joseph is a San Francisco-based journalist who covers politics, social inequality and other topics for Truthdig, The Guardian and MTV News, and he has previously been an editor and writer on the staffs of The New York Times, The New York Sun, and The Associated Press. His articles have appeared on the front pages of prominent papers, led the home pages of major sites around the world, been featured on TV and radio, and gone viral on the web. He has also edited stories that went on to win the Polk Award and the Pulitzer Prize. Channing holds bachelor’s degrees in philosophy and theater from Oberlin College and a Master of Science degree from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. He has taught undergraduates at Oberlin and the State University of New York in Plattsburgh, and his stories are assigned reading in high school and college courses across the nation. He hopes to return from the BHTW fellowship with greater insight into how we can solve the baffling problem of social isolation in our increasingly interconnected world.

Project description: This project will explore Hikikomori, a complex and poorly understood psychological condition in which young people avoid all social contact and can even refuse to leave their bedrooms for years. It is an epidemic in Japan, affecting up to 2 million. The condition has been growing across the East Asian nation for the last two decades, and leading medical and psychiatric researchers now have evidence that it is spreading to other countries, including the United States, and raising concerns about how to combat the disorder here.

Cristiano Lima
Media organization: POLITICO
Destination country: Brazil

Cristiano M. Lima is a Brazilian-American journalist and a senior web producer at POLITICO, where he produces stories for publication and outfits them with multimedia, manages social media and covers national political affairs. He previously served as a reporter, producer, host, researcher and intern for various outlets and non-profits including Al Jazeera, WHYY, Media Matters and WFMZ. His writing has also been featured in or cited by BuzzFeed, The Huffington Post, NBC, Fox, The Daily Mail, AlterNet and the United Nations, among others. Additionally, he was a 2014 Webby Official Honoree with The Stream. In 2016, he received his Master of Arts degree in policy from Lehigh University as a Community Fellow with the Muhlenberg Institute of Public Opinion, where he researched the intersection of identity politics, the media and social movements. Through the BHTW fellowship, he hopes to shed light on the plight of marginalized women in his native country of Brazil.

Project description: Lima will investigate how the prevalence of sexual violence and rape, coupled with stringent abortion laws and deeply conservative social norms, affect women in his native country of Brazil, in particular, women of color.

Sarah Macaraeg
Media organization: Freelance
Destination country: Philippines

Sarah Macaraeg is an investigative journalist based in Chicago, where her coverage of human rights has focused primarily on police misconduct. A former data analyst trained as an oral historian and journalist, Macaraeg’s approach to storytelling combines deep dive data analysis and extensive interviews to bring to light the human cost of systemic failures in oversight, as well as community-envisioned solutions. Her investigations have been featured in Al Jazeera America, ColorLines, Fusion, The Guardian, VICE and Truthout. On a daily basis, she can be found poring over documents and spreadsheets, interviewing Chicagoans about their experiences with policing, attending court trials or obsessing over the right verb to use while writing. Her work has received fellowship support from Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) and the Institute for Journalism and Natural Resources, but Macaraeg is most proud of the personal notes she has received from readers affected by her work. In participating in ICFJ’s Bringing Home the World Fellowship as a Filipina-American journalist, she hopes to help U.S. audiences understand America’s role in the developing mining economy in the Philippines and cover human rights violations that have occurred alongside the sector’s expansion.

Project description: Reporting from one of the frontlines of environmental justice worldwide, Macaraeg hopes to uncover the conflicts underlying the demand for gold in the global market from various regions of the Philippines, where access to the second largest reserves of gold in the world — valued at $1.4 trillion — are in contention between indigenous communities and multinational mining corporations.

Eileen Truax
Media organization: Hoy Los Ángeles (freelance)
Destination country: Spain
Eileen Truax is a Los Angeles-based freelance journalist who covers immigration, politics and the U.S.-Mexico relationship. She’s a news contributor to Hoy Los Ángeles and El Universal newspapers, among other publications. Previously, she worked for La Opinión, the largest Spanish-Language daily in the U.S. Originally from Mexico, Eileen founded a network for journalists called Cuadernos. Colectivo de Cronistas Iberoamericanos. Currently, she’s a board member at the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ). Truax is the author of “Dreamers, an immigrant generation’s fight for their American Dream” (Beacon Press, 2015). Her second book about the exile and asylum process from Mexico to the U.S. is due for publication in 2017 (Verso). After years of studying immigration from a binational perspective, Truax hopes to apply a more holistic approach to understand how other countries are integrating immigrants into their own societies.

Project description: Truax will report on immigrant youth in Spain, the way they overcome daily challenges like racism, cultural rejection, or access to education or a job, and the policies implemented by the national and local governments to integrate these individuals into their society and help them thrive.

Andrea K. McDaniels
Media organization: The Baltimore Sun
Destination countries: Singapore and Middle East

Andrea K. McDaniels is a national award-winning health and medicine reporter for The Baltimore Sun, with a special interest in urban health issues, trauma and disparities. Her series “Collateral Damage,” about the invisible health impacts on those who live in violent communities, has won several recognitions, including The American Association for the Advancement of Science Gold Award and the Association of Health Care Journalists’ top award for public health reporting.

McDaniels grew up mostly in Northern Virginia and graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park. She has also worked at The Charlotte Observer where she covered race and immigration, as well as chronicled the changing racial dynamics in North Carolina as an influx of Mexican immigrants moved to the area.

Since coming to Baltimore in 2001, McDaniels covered business for more than a decade before moving to the health and medicine beat, where she writes about the latest medical research, has investigated Maryland’s troubled health exchange and keeps readers abreast of all the latest fitness trends. She also contributes to the Picture of Health blog. She hopes to use the BHTW fellowship to explore a side of Johns Hopkins, a part of the beat she regularly covers, that few have written about.

Project description: McDaniels will explore Johns Hopkins Medicine's vast expansion over the last decade in Singapore and the Middle East. She will delve into how the move into other countries has impacted research and business opportunities for the medical institution. McDaniels will also explore the influence on health care in these countries and how the medical institution has dealt with cultural differences.

Kendra Pierre-Louis
Media organization: Inside Climate News
Destination countries: India, Myanmar and Philippines

Kendra Pierre-Louis is a journalist who splits her time between New York City and Somerville, Massachusetts. Her writing, which includes the book “Green Washed: Why We Can't Buy Our Way to a Green Planet,” focuses on science with an emphasis on the relationship between humans and our environment. Pierre-Louis currently works with Inside Climate News and has written articles for numerous publications including The Washington Post, Newsweek, and In These Times. She has a B.A. in Economics from Cornell University, an M.A. in Sustainable Development with a focus on Policy Analysis and Advocacy from the SIT Graduate Institute, and is currently finishing a Master of Science Degree in MIT's Graduate Program in Science Writing. She hopes that the fellowship will enable her to establish the broader links between general environmental degradation and the social choices we make around habitat while also giving her the skills and guidance to make her a more effective international reporter. You can often find Pierre-Louis on an airplane or achieving dramatic feats like living in France without eating butter.

Project description: Pierre-Louis seeks to investigate and report on the effects of climate change induced disasters on forced human migrations by contrasting the recent impacts of Cyclone Komen in Myanmar and Typhoon Lando in the Philippines, with the impact of the 2010 floods in Ladakh, India.

Lori Robinson
Media organization: Freelance
Destination country: Colombia

Lori Robinson is an award-winning freelance journalist who covers a broad range of topics including African American issues, Afro-Latin American issues and violence against women. Among her previous jobs are editor of the city magazine BLAC Detroit and consultant at the nonprofit organization Solutions Journalism Network. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Detroit Free Press,, and other publications. As author of "I Will Survive: The African-American Guide to Healing from Sexual Assault and Abuse," she is particularly proud of her work that has been helpful to rape survivors and those working to eradicate sexual violence. As a reporter who enjoys covering Latin America, she looks forward to strengthening her international reporting skills by working with ICFJ.

Project description: Afro-Colombians—Colombia’s largest minority group—have been disproportionately impacted by the nation’s half-century conflict. My project will expose the underreported effects of the war on Black Colombians, their fight for inclusion in peace negotiations and the domestic and international strategies their organizations are using to pursue restitution, justice and equality.