Announcing Global Cohort for Dart Center’s Institute on Reporting on Early Childhood and Caregivers – Dart Center

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The Dart Center has announced the 2024 cohort for its Global Institute for Reporting on Early Childhood and Caregivers. The cohort includes journalists from 17 countries. 

The Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma has announced the newest cohort for its Global Institute for Reporting on Early Childhood and Caregivers to be held March 8-11 at Columbia University in New York City. The institute will bring together 30 journalists from 17 countries for four-days of panels, workshops and conversations on early childhood development and innovative, ethical reporting on the youngest children and their caregivers.

Presenters include internationally recognized researchers, clinicians, and child development experts such as Alison Gopnik, Professor of Psychology and affiliate Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley; Charles Nelson III, Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School; Brenda Jones Harden, Professor of Social Work at Columbia University and Catherine Monk, Professor of Medical Psychology at Columbia University. 

“Around the world, this is a difficult time for young children and their caregivers. Escalating adversity in early childhood — whether from war, civil conflict, economic inequality, violence or environmental disasters — all have a lifelong impact. The 30 journalists selected for this institute will be given knowledge and tools to illuminate these critical issues, drawing on evidence-based science and policy to produce reporting that makes a difference in their regions and around the globe,” said Bruce Shapiro, the Dart Center’s executive director.

This reporting institute is the latest program of the Dart Center’s ongoing Early Childhood Journalism Initiative, launched in 2017 to encourage science-informed, child-centered reporting that also examines the mental health and wellbeing of caregivers. Supported by the Van Leer Foundation (The Netherlands), Fundação Maria Cecilia Souto Vidigal (Brazil), and The Two Lilies Fund (United States), the initiative has trained and supported over 200 journalists from nearly 50 countries.

Below are brief bios of the 30 fellows, along with introductions to the program faculty.

E’thar AlAzem (Jordan) is an editor and a coach at Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism (ARIJ). She mentors and trains journalists to work on investigative reporting, including researching, finding sources, and building the story. AlAzem holds a Master’s degree in Journalism and New Media from the Jordan Media Institute (JMI). She has worked as a health journalist for several years and has special interest in topics related to children, including the right to have a safe environment and the right to health.

Hadeel Arja (Syria) is the lead editor of Frontline in Focus, the winner of the Google News Initiative 2021, and a journalist with more than 16 years of experience. She has also worked for HuffPost Arabic, Al-Hayat, the BBC, Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, and IJNET. She is the founder of Tinyhand.net and a member of the Marie Colvin Journalists’ Network. Arja is known for her innovative use of VR and AR technologies in covering stories from the frontlines.

Moriah Balingit (USA) is a reporter who has spent nearly a decade covering young people and schools. After college at the University of Oregon, she went to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, where she covered crime and city hall. In 2014, she joined the Washington Post, where she began to cover national education in 2017. She has written extensively about children in the wake of tragedies and natural disasters. She was recently hired to cover early education at the Associated Press, where she plans to focus on how trauma and poverty impact children and caregivers.

Lara Bonilla (Spain) studied Journalism and Humanities in Barcelona, and later moved to Girona, where she worked as a correspondent for national radio and press outlets (La Vanguardia, El Mundo, diari AVUI, EFE). She later became an international correspondent in New York for diari AVUI, Com Ràdio, Agència CAN and Tele5 (TV). In 2010, she returned to Barcelona and joined the ARA newspaper, where she now specializes in women’s and children’s health. Bonilla led stories that were awarded prizes such as the European Press Prize, the Antoni Esteve – PerCientex Foundation Prize for Health Journalism and the Boehringer Ingelheim Prize for Health Journalism. 

Nathália Braga (Brazil) is a journalist who has worked as host and reporter at the TV channel MultiRio and The Intercept Brazil. She is also co-founder of the platform Influência Negra, which supports black Brazilian creators, and has been head of her self-titled podcast. Braga is a TEDx Speaker (‘Your Body Can’t Handle Any More Bad News’) and has presented many lectures and events. Braga is a fellow of YouTube Black Voices’ community, LinkedIn Top Voice and already received national prizes such as Troféu Mulher Imprensa and Prêmio Sim à Igualdade Racial due to her interest on human rights, education, technology and gender issues.

Eli Cahan, MD, MS (USA) is an award-winning investigative journalist covering the intersection of child welfare and social justice. His work has been featured in The Washington Post, LA Times, Rolling Stone, USA Today, The Guardian, The New Republic, and VICE, and on via ABC TV and NPR. He has won awards from the National Press Club, the News Leaders Association, the Association of Health Care Journalists, and the National Association of Science Writers. His academic research has been featured in NEJM, JAMA, BMJ, and Health Affairs, among other publications. Eli is also a pediatrician at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School.

Joanna Cataldo (Brazil) is a longtime reporter and editor’s assistant for many digital and print outlets in Brazil, such as R7/Estrelando, Revista Claudia, and Jornal Joca. In the past six years, she has been focusing on writing stories about children — their development, issues, behavior, and lifestyle. She also produces articles that explain everyday news for children, with an instructional approach that includes facts and historical context. 

Rupsa Chakraborty (India) is an award-winning journalist who works as a special correspondent at The Indian Express and specializes in health, gender sensitivity, and rural development. In 2023, she was honored with the Statesman Rural Reporting Award. She is a three-time recipient of the United Nations Population Fund-Laadli Media Awards. She has received the ‘Rare Disease Fellowship’ from the National Press Foundation, the Schizophrenia Research Foundation-WHO fellowship, and the Lilly-REACH National Media Fellowship for her investigation into “Diabetes: A Silent Killer in Rural India.” She also earned the 2022-23 Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) South Asia Media Fellowship.

Joyce Chimbi (Kenya) is a science and health journalist based in Nairobi. She writes for both national and regional media platforms. Her work has been published by the Association of Media Women in Kenya, Mongabay, Standard Newspaper, Nation Newspaper, The Star, People Daily, Kenya Times. Chimbi is a regular contributor for Inter Press Service, Gavi Alliance, Talk Africa, Science Africa and Sayansi (Science), a publication of the Media for Environment, Science, Health and Agriculture.

Sara Rebeca de Carvalho (Brazil) is a journalist with over 20 years experience in print and digital journalism, especially in childhood and education coverage. She also worked as a teacher for elementary and high school students and took part in educational workshops for children and teenagers in poor neighborhoods of Fortaleza, Brazil. She founded Vida Ciranda, a digital journalism, multimedia platform specializing in education and childhood. Currently, she writes the Educative City column in O Povo newspaper, dealing with the relationships between childhood, the city, school and education.

Ridwan Karim Dini-Osman (Ghana) is a multiple Pulitzer Center grantee and an award-winning broadcast journalist working for the EIB Network. He is a regular contributor on the U.S. public radio program The World, reporting on science, global health inequities, and sustainable development. Dini-Osman is a 2023 Atlantic fellow for Health Equity at the George Washington University, and recipient of the Eric and Wendy Schmidt Award for Excellence in Science Communications, given by the scientific National Academies of the United States. He is also a 2021 US National Press Foundation Covering Rare Diseases Fellow and a 2022 Falling Walls Science journalism fellow, Germany. In 2018, he received the Lorenzo Natali Media Prize from the European Commission. In 2020 and 2022, he was awarded Best African TV Journalist and Best African Radio Journalist in Environmental and Climate Change Reporting. 

Carlotta Dotto (Italy) is an award-winning data journalist and editor at CNN Digital, covering topics such as the climate crisis, migration, trafficking, human rights, disinformation, and mental health. Her interest lies in utilizing digital tools to conduct in-depth investigations and undertake special projects, exploring new narrative formats through emerging technologies. Her work was featured by Al Jazeera, The Guardian, The Times, Wired UK, Deutsche Welle, the iPaper, La Repubblica, First Draft, and others. She is currently between London and Hong Kong, with a focus on the APAC region.

Hoda Emam (USA) is a multimedia journalist with 15 years experience who has conducted in-depth research and reporting on gender wage gaps, maternal mental health, adolescent health, reproductive rights, postpartum finances and women in underrepresented communities. She is a passionate advocate of diversity and inclusion within the world of journalism. She is currently a USC Center for Health Journalism fellow reporting on the long term impacts of food insecurity with a focus on families who fall above the threshold for government support but still struggle to survive. 

Jenny Gold (USA) covers early childhood development and education for the Los Angeles Times. Before joining the LA Times in 2023, she spent nearly 14 years covering healthcare for radio and print as a senior correspondent at Kaiser Health News. Her stories have appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Atlantic, NPR, Reveal and Marketplace, among others. A Berkeley native, she is a graduate of Brown University and was previously a Kroc fellow at NPR.

Neta Halperin (Israel) has been a journalist for 14 years. She began writing for “The City Mouse”, Tel Aviv’s local newspaper, and went on to report for Haaretz, where she has spent most of her journalism career. In 2022, she published an investigative report that dealt with sexual abuse and violence within the sacred sex community in Israel. Prior to journalism, she taught philosophy to elementary school children while getting a master’s degree in literature. 

Jill Langlois (Canada) is an independent journalist based in São Paulo, Brazil. She has reported for publications including National Geographic, The New York Times, TIME and The Guardian. Fluent in French and Portuguese, her work focuses on human rights, the environment and socioeconomic issues. She is a grantee for the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, the Amazon Rainforest Journalism Fund and the International Women’s Media Foundation. She was on the team that won the 2021 Foreign Press Association in London award for science story of the year and her work was shortlisted for a 2020 Fetisov Journalism Award for contribution to civil rights and a 2022 Fetisov Journalism Award for excellence in environmental journalism.

Noa Limone (Israel) has been the Family and Parenting reporter of Haaretz daily newspaper since 2019. She writes magazine articles, op-eds, investigative articles, a weekly column, and book, TV and film reviews. In 2020 she hosted a podcast at Haaretz that explored ECD topics such as breast-feeding, sleep training, postpartum PTSD, and neurological changes after birth. She’s currently working on a book about the first years of parenting, which will explore its historical, political, economic and cultural aspects with a feminist angle. She is also a yoga teacher and peace activist. 

Alice Martins Morais (Brazil) is a freelance journalist specializing in science communication. She was recently a member of Climate Tracker Latin America’s Green Hydrogen Challenges program and worked as a reporter for the Liberal Amazon project. In 2022, she received the Covering Rare Diseases 2022 Fellowship from the National Press Foundation. Her reporting proposal was among the five winners nationwide of the third edition of the Conexão Oceano Environmental Communication Call for Proposals (2023), to cover Brazil’s role in global commitments related to the ocean.

Daniel Motta (Brazil) is a journalist based in São Paulo, Brazil, with 12 years of experience in print, online, radio and television journalism. His investigative journalism has been honored with more than 16 national and international awards, including the King of Spain award. Topics he covers include drug trafficking, slave and child labor, the environment, human rights, and prejudice against indigenous people. He currently works at TV Cultura, covering topics related to public education in the city of São Paulo. 

Ignacio Pereyra (Argentina) has been a journalist for more than 20 years, and now focuses on fathers and masculinity. He has worked for newspapers, magazines, news agencies, and radio stations in Argentina and internationally, including: USA Today; Rolling Stone magazine; La Nación, Argentina’s second-largest newspaper; Spain’s El País; and Bloomberg’s CityLab. For almost a decade, he was a correspondent for the Spanish-language service of DPA, the German news agency. He publishes a Substack newsletter, called Recalculating, about being a caregiver to his son in a sexist society. 

Wadud Salangi (Afghanistan) is a journalist committed to reporting on children’s issues in both Asian and European contexts. He worked as a news reporter for TOLONEWS, Afghanistan’s largest 24-hour news channel, and as a freelance journalist for CNN, GIZ, and Koodak News, focusing on children’s rights and welfare in Kabul. He relocated to Germany after the fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban, and since 2022, has been a journalist for DW in Berlin, focusing on children, human rights, Afghan immigrants in Germany, and education for refugees. 

Luciana Garbin Santos (Brazil) is a journalist with 25 years of print and digital experience, currently working as an executive editor and columnist at O Estado de S. Paulo (Brazil’s largest national newspaper) and Eldorado Radio. She teaches Journalism at Fundação Armando Alvaro Penteado (FAAP), where she also coordinates the Journalism Laboratory (LabJor). She began her career covering childhood and devoted part of her work at O Estado de S. Paulo to the coverage of public social policies.

Hannah Seo (Canada) is a Korean-Canadian freelance journalist and poet based in Brooklyn, New York. Her journalism can be found in outlets like The New York Times, The Atlantic, Scientific American, The Washington Post, The Guardian, and Catapult (RIP), among others. She writes about science, health, and environment, but primarily focuses on neuroscience and psychology, ecology, social science, and the intersection of climate and health (mental and physical). Most recently, Seo completed a year-long reporting fellowship with The New York Times, where she reported for the Well desk. 

Katherine Stanley (Costa Rica) is a journalist specializing in in-depth reporting on immigration, education, women’s rights, and civil society initiatives. As the co-founder and editor of El Colectivo 506 in Costa Rica, she has received recognitions including the Rosalynn Carter Fellowship for Mental Health Journalism and the Mercury Phoenix Trust HIV-AIDS Reporting Fellowship. She is the former editor-in-chief of The Tico Times in San José, and is an experienced nonprofit leader and coach. She is the co-founder of JumpStart Costa Rica and the Costa Rica Corps.

Pamela Subizar (Argentina) is a bilingual journalist with more than a decade of experience across Latin America and the United States, including Telemundo-NBC News, Democracy Now! and Spectrum News in the U.S., El País in Mexico and La Voz del Interior in Argentina. She studied journalism in her native Argentina and New York. She has covered migration, politics, gender and children’s rights, with special projects on minority students with special needs in New York City and inhumane detention conditions for migrant children in Mexico. 

Luiza Tenente (Brazil) has been an education reporter for G1, the news portal of Globo TV, the largest media company in Brazil, since 2015. She is also host of the “g1 in 1 Minute” flash news on Globo TV. She directed, produced, and wrote the documentary “Tô aqui, meu irmão” (“I’m here, dear brothers and sisters”) which explores the experiences of the siblings of people with disabilities. She has won two Inep Journalism Awards (2017 and 2018), the Andifes Journalism Award (2021), and the Specialists Award (2023) for education journalism.

Chrissie Thompson (USA) is the founding director of the Education Reporting Network at The Associated Press. Previously, she led the award-winning education team at USA Today and the USA Today Network. Before covering education, Chrissie won top awards for reporting in politics and business, and she served as an editor on a team that won the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Local Reporting. She has a master’s degree in higher education administration from the University of Michigan. She lives in Spokane, Washington.

Stephen Tsoroti (Zimbabwe) is a journalist reporting in radio, print, and online, in his home country and abroad. His beats have included health, environment, politics, human rights, arts and culture, and developmental issues, and he has also covered organized crime and illicit gold smuggling in Zimbabwe, UAE and India. He has won several journalism awards and fellowships, including Journalist of the Year Award (Zimbabwe Biodiversity Award 2000), Journalist of the year Award (Environment Africa Award 2015) World Bank Investigative Journalism fellowship Arusha Tanzania (2004), and the Thomson Reuters Foundation fellow, COVID-19 Crisis Reporting Hub – sub-Saharan Africa (2020) and the Rare Diseases Fellowship – USA (2021) USA.

Jauhn Etienne Villaruel (Philippines) is a Manila-based journalist with more than eight years of professional experience as a reporter and editor, both in print and online news media. The first few years of his career were spent as a reporter in the field, covering the Philippines’ Senate and House of Representatives. In 2017, he moved to ABS-CBN News to become the section editor of its first Filipino/Tagalog section called Patrol.Ph

 

Alia Wong (USA) is an award-winning reporter based in the Washington, D.C., area who covers inequities in education for USA TODAY. Wong previously worked as a staff writer and associate editor at The Atlantic, where she developed its education section. Born and raised in Hawai‘i, she began her journalism career as a watchdog education reporter at Honolulu Civil Beat. She graduated summa cum laude from Boston University in May 2012 with degrees in journalism and Latin American studies. She attended BU as a Martin Luther King Jr. scholar.

Institute leadership

Irene Caselli leads the Dart Center’s Early Childhood Journalism Initiative, as well as its Latin American Early Childhood Reporting Fellowship. She has also served as a story coach for the Global, Brazil and Latin American ECJI fellowships. Caselli is a multimedia reporter and writer, with two decades of experience in radio, TV and print, now focusing on early childhood, reproductive rights, and caregivers. For a decade, Caselli was a foreign correspondent in Latin America, reporting for the BBC, The Washington Post, The Guardian, The New York Times and others. In 2019, she started covering early childhood for The Correspondent. In January 2021, she launched her own newsletter, The First 1,000 Days, where she continues her writing about the first 1,000 days, the foundational period of our lives that is too often overlooked, partly influenced by her experience as the mother of Lorenzo and León. She published a chapter in “Unbias the News,” a book about how to make journalism more diverse. She produced a documentary on women’s football and gender inequality, and one of her short films on the same subject received a prize for collaborative journalism. Caselli has been awarded fellowships by the International Women’s Media Foundation, the European Journalism Centre and the Solutions Journalism Network. She speaks six languages (English, Italian, Spanish, German, French, Portuguese), and is now learning Greek.

Karen Brown is the director of the Global Early Childhood Reporting Fellowship. Brown is a public radio reporter, print journalist, essayist and audio documentarian, with a special focus on health, trauma, and mental health. In addition to 25 years reporting for New England Public Radio, Karen has contributed to NPR, The New York Times, The Boston Globe, American Radioworks and other national outlets. She has focused recently on training other journalists, including consulting for the Dart Center’s workshops on Early Childhood Development and serving as mentor/senior fellow for the USC Center for Health Journalism’s training program. Her own reporting projects have explored the biology of resilience, trauma-informed communities, bipolar disorder in children and addiction treatment. In 2019, she co-produced the narrative podcast for PRX’s Radiotopia called “The Great God of Depression.” Her awards include the National Edward R. Murrow Award, The Daniel Schorr Journalism Prize, the Erikson Prize for Mental Health Media and the Dart Award for Excellence in Coverage of Trauma (Honorable Mention). She was an MIT-Knight Science Journalism fellow and a Rosalynn Carter Mental Health Journalism fellow. For a selection of stories, visit karenbrownreports.org.

Fábio Takahashi is the director of the Brazil Early Childhood Reporting Fellowship. He is a former editor at the Folha de S. Paulo newspaper, where he ran the data journalism desk. Takahashi previously worked as an education reporter at Folha from 2003 to 2016, and helped create Folha’s University Ranking, Brazil’s most comprehensive evaluation of college-level institutions. Takahashi was a Spencer fellow at Columbia University 2016-2017. He is also the founder and current president of Jeduca (the first association for education reporters in Brazil, the Education Reporters Association), which was launched in 2016. In 2013, he was the first journalist to attend the Executive Leadership Program in Early Childhood Development, a short course at Harvard University. Currently he works as a PR content manager at Loft.

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