The Foreign Press Association 2011 Scholarship Winners were RODNEY MUHUMUZA (1ST) from Uganda, DONGXIAO MA (2ND) from China, MANUEL RUEDA (2ND) from Colombia, BHUMA SHRIVISTAVA (3RD) from India, and JENNIFER HAMBLETT (3RD) from England.
RODNEY MUHUMUZA (1ST)
Rodney Muhumuza was born and raised in Kampala, Uganda, where he served most recently as a senior reporter for the Daily Monitor newspaper. His work has appeared in the Kansas City Star, where he was an international fellow in 2009, the Detroit Free Press, the magazine East Africa Diplomat, and other publications at home and abroad.
He also contributes to the African Center for Media Excellence. In 2007, he was recognized for outstanding news reporting at Uganda’s Golden Pen Awards. At the Daily Monitor, his stories often focused on malfeasance in government agencies, the armed forces, schools and churches, as well as on AIDS and other topics usually ignored by the local press. Rodney studied tourism and geography at Makerere University, in Kampala, graduating with highest honors in 2004.
At Columbia, where he is studying on a Pulitzer fellowship for African students, he is now taking a seminar on covering China, whose involvement in Africa he intends to consistently write about after he returns to Uganda.
DONGXIAO MA (2ND)
Joy Ma (Dongxiao Ma) is from China, and she has been studying, working and living in Beijing for the past ten years. She has worked as a teacher, translator and radio reporter. Before attending the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism, Ma worked for the NPR Beijing bureau, and for Penguin China. Ma has gained insight into the Chinese publishing industry while expanding her coverage onto the broader international publishing industry.
She is a member of the Paper Republic paper-republic.org, a website promoting Chinese literature abroad. Ma has covered issues including homosexuality and sexism in China as well as other cultural topics, including an article for the OPUS publishing house on Chinese Muslims.
Ma has been reporting on the social changes and trends in Chinese society, and she hopes to bring an in-depth understanding of China through her reporting to the world. She was also honored to be a recipient of the DuPont prize as part of NPR’s All Things Considered Sichuan Earthquake ATC reporting crew.
MANUEL RUEDA (2ND)
I have always been fond of storytelling. I was hesitant to become a journalist until my mid twenties. What difference
can a journalist make in the world? Isn´t it better to be a doctor or an economist who designs loan packages for Guatemala? After four years, I am still wrestling with that question. But I am also in love with this métier, because it challenges me to look at what is happening in the world and to question the choices of the powerful.
I began freelancing in Colombia for US radio programs and English language websites. Traveling all over the country, I wrote about starving Nukak Maku indians who had to learn to grow beans because the armed conflict had forced them out of the jungle. I spoke to people suing a US coal company that had allegedly financed right wing death squads.
I reported on how politicians were paying journalists under the table, to produce stories about their campaigns. I’m now a journalism student at Columbia learning about investigative journalism, video story-telling, and report for the Bronx Ink. I am interning at Al Jazeera New York Bureau.
BHUMA SHRIVISTAVA (3RD)
Journalists capture history on the run and document it for posterity so that others can see the world through our eyes. It is this ability to preserve a slice of time that makes my profession most endearing to me. Born in India, I completed my graduate degree in economics from Delhi School of Economics in 2005.
Unable to resist my calling anymore, I jumped into journalism right away and covered pharmaceuticals, intellectual property and health care sectors for Indian publications — Business Standard and Mint. The Society of Publishers in Asia in 2008 awarded a series I had written on counterfeit medicines that generated a heated public debate, eventually resulting in a union legislation against it. Later, I tracked the Reliance business conglomerates which account for over 4% of India’s GDP and are owned by the once-battling, billionaire brothers Mukesh and Anil Ambani. I covered their fight, their truce and everything in between.
Currently pursuing a graduate degree in business journalism from New York University, I’m interning with Forbes and will intern at The Economist this summer. I wish to report on China and India as these two nations script their growth story and simultaneously battle their inner dichotomies.
JENNIFER HAMBLETT (3RD)
I was born and grew up in the United Kingdom. I have always been fascinated by images; from war photographs to renaissance oil paintings and I believe that nowhere are images more important than in journalism. A picture can tell you what a thousand words can in an instant, regardless of language.
Pursuing images I graduated with a first-class honors degree in Art History and Fine Art from Goldsmiths College, University of London. I became intrigued by the lives of artists, their motivations and struggles and by how individual lives can shape culture. I worked in museums and galleries in London and at TATE ETC magazine before moving to New York.
But it wasn’t until I arrived at the Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY that I realized that my curiosity with people was connected to wider issues in society. Through one person’s story I believe we can understand the larger issues with greater empathy and engagement.
My ambition as a journalist is to tell important stories through images and text that will change the way my audience views the world.