The Foreign Press Association 2013 Scholarship Winners are Matteo Lonardi, Italy (1st), Yun Lu, China & Salma Amer, Egypt (2nd), and Mariana Marcaletti, Argentina & James Gachau, Kenya (3rd). Click more to read their bios.
MATTEO LONARDI, ITALY
Originally from Milan, Matteo Lonardi came to New York for the first time as an undergraduate in 2008. He attended the photography program at Parsons, The New School for Design and after living between Casablanca and Milan came back to New York to obtain his Master’s at Columbia School of Journalism.
In 2010, he interned at an arts and culture magazine in New Delhi, India where he was assigned to photograph the art of a series of senior Delhi based visual artists. As he toured those studios, he discovered that he was more interested in the stories that he was being told rather than the work itself. He became interested in the way in which artists could be used by journalists as doors in misconstrued cultures and countries.
His story about the artists of Morocco appeared in Il Corriere Della Sera on a six page spread featuring his article and photos. At Columbia he is working on the production of an online interactive documentary about Iranian artists residing inside and outside of Iran.
YUN LU, CHINA
Yun Lu, originally from Beijing, is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Business and Economic reporting at New York University. She earned her undergraduate degree at Fudan University in Shanghai where she studied Communications and International Economics.
Previously, Yun interned for three major news organizations in China: China Daily, China Central Television and Global Times. Those experiences gave her insight into how the state-owned media works in China and helped to enhance her skills.
Her study at NYU and internship at CNN helped her gain a global perspective in journalism. In the future, Yun aspires to bring her experiences back to China and become a multimedia investigative reporter. She has an interest in startups and small businesses and a genuine passion in data journalism and new business models to help quality journalism thrive.
SALMA AMER, EGYPT
Originally from Egypt, Salma Amer is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Journalism from Columbia University. Salma received her undergraduate degree in Broadcast Journalism at the American University in Cairo in 2010.
Before coming to New York, she worked as a journalist in Egypt covering the revolution and political challenges that followed. She worked as an investigative producer for ONTV where she was awarded second prize in 2012 for Best TV Investigation by Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism. The award was granted to Salma and her colleague for their work on Gas Wars, a political investigation revealing Egypt’s rights to discovery of extensive natural gas in the Mediterranean Sea between Egypt, Cyprus and Israel.
She worked, as well, with Al Jazeera English on the Academy Award nominated film, The Square. Upon graduation in May 2014, Amer plans to continue her career as a broadcast journalist and documentary filmmaker covering the MENA region.
MARIANA MARCALETTI, ARGENTINA
Mariana Marcaletti is a Fulbright student from Buenos Aires, Argentina enrolled in a Master of Arts in Journalism at the City University of New York. She worked as a journalist for the past eight years, with the BBC, The Independent and Newsweek.
Mariana was Google’s Latin American Spanish Language specialist ascertaining that Google products were relevant to the region. Prior to that she was a digital producer at Argentina’s most popular news channel, TN.com.ar. of Grupo Clarin and part of the Buenos Aires Herald for three years.
She is creating Latin American Radar , a platform of news and research on Latin American entrepreneurship by forming a network of contributors across countries. Mariana has worked in the Philippines, Europe and the United States as part of several fellowships and she has written several award winning essays in Buenos Aires.
JAMES GACHAU, KENYA
Having lived in his native home of Kenya during the repressive regime of President Daniel Arap Moi, and seeing how members of the press sacrificed life and limb to give voice to the frustrations and privations experienced by the majority of the population, James Gachau was convinced that journalism should always and everywhere play the role of watchdog against the powers that be.
James is therefore currently working on his PhD at the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland with the aim of becoming a journalism educator and researcher who can help mold and turn out a cadre of professionals dedicated to the democratic function of a free press.
The majority of people in the Global South remain voiceless amid government corruption and the hegemonic globalization of dominant Western cultures. James hopes his PhD will help him articulate the yearnings and dreams of such populations.