Like many news organizations, ProPublica has been pushing to increase its own diversity. There are many reasons to do that, both moral and journalistic. But we’ve also been trying to do something else: to encourage, in some modest way, more diversity in investigative journalism overall.
Last year, we created the Emerging Reporters Program, in which we give college journalists of color mentoring and stipends to give them the financial flexibility and support to do great journalism. We had a terrific crew of young journalists last year. We also had a great response to our call for applications this year. And we’re very excited to announce the winners. Here they are:
Clifford Michel is a senior at the College of Staten Island, where he studies Communications and serves as editor in chief at the school’s newspaper. He worked with ProPublica this past summer as a Knight-CUNY fellow reporting on the Red Cross. In May, he participated in the New York Times Student Journalism Institute. He has also interned at Politico New York and Gotham Gazette. His family is originally from Haiti. Michel plans to investigate and report on issues surrounding the rise of privately managed student housing complexes on CUNY campuses. He’s also interested in covering state relationships with their public universities.
Marina Affo is a senior at Bowdoin College where she is a writer and editor of the school’s student newspaper. This summer she completed a news internship at the Maine Public Broadcasting Network. She was born in Togo and raised in Maine from a young age.
Pam Ortega is a senior at the University of Oklahoma. This past summer she was a fellow at News21 in Phoenix reporting on voting issues across the country. She has also written for the Huffington Post and Oklahoma’s El Nacional, a statewide Spanish language newspaper. Pam currently writes for Oklahoma Routes, her school’s online publication. This year, she plans to report on the impact of Oklahoma’s cuts in education and mental health funding.
Tyler Foggatt is a senior at Yale, where she has reported on the school’s schools controversial policy requiring students from low-income families to work in order to qualify for aid. She has interned at both the Sacramento Bee and the New York Daily News. This year, she plans to focus on the city of New Haven and wants to continue contributing to larger conversations about race and inclusion at Yale.
TyLisa Johnson is a senior at Florida A&M. She has been editor-in-chief of the school’s student magazine, Journey. During her tenure, the magazine was twice named Florida’s best student publication. Johnson has also had a reporting internship at the Delaware News Journal and has written for the Tallahassee Democrat. Johnson is planning to do investigative work on minority and African-American life in America.