Meet some of our fellows:
A journalism career led Phuong Ly, who was born in Vietnam and grew up in North Carolina, to coverage of immigrant communities at the Washington Post. She learned a lot about the barriers facing reporters trying to make real connections – and immigrants’ challenges in being accurately reflected in news coverage.
In 2011, she became a John S. Knight Fellow at Stanford with a goal of creating ways to foster those connections and hopefully, expand and deepen coverage. Her first step was to create a Facebook network, California Immigration Journalists. That led to a nonprofit called Gateway California, which hosted training workshops that attracted grant money and support, including from the Institute for Justice and Journalism. Today, Ly is executive director of the institute, which provides training and develops digital tools to help journalists report on social justice issues.
And in that role, she has helped launch another project to improve coverage of immigrant issues – Migrahack. Initiated by Knight colleague Claudia Nuñez, Migrahacks are multi-day hackathons on immigration data that bring together journalists, programmers and community members to build stories and reporting tools. The events, which have attracted national attention and funding, have been held in Los Angeles and Chicago. The next Migrahack is scheduled for spring 2014 in Mexico City.
This year, the Knight Fellowships is honored to have three Asian Americans working to improve news coverage of coverage of Islam and millennials, and to increase visual literacy through better data visualizations.
Umbreen Bhatti encountered media misunderstandings and misrepresentations of Islam while a lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union. It prompted her to co-found Islawmix, an attempt to help add context and nuance to coverage. At Stanford, she is developing a model for drawing on legal academic expertise to produce informed relevant reporting of Muslim communities.
Tran Ha transformed the Chicago Tribune’s print-centric RedEye into a digitally driven site targeting millenials. But even as the publication gained credibility and fans in that audience, she saw millenials moving to new mediums, like mobile. Today, she is working at Stanford to create a toolkit for news organizations on how to connect with new generations of media consumers.