Jacinta Fernandes-Brough '24
Swarthmore College's 2023 Pulitzer Fellow is Jacinta Fernandes-Brough '24. Jacinta's project will examine the growth of women's football in Nigeria and the experiences of national team players ahead of the upcoming 2023 Women's World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
Zane Irwin '23
Swarthmore College's 2022 Pulitzer Fellow is Zane Irwin '23. Zane's project will look at how Cameroonians are seeking new ways to stay informed. He writes, "Public channels like CRTV don’t cover the full story, and international outlets like RFI report from a distance. Additionally, though more than 250 languages are spoken in Cameroon, most major outlets feature just two: French and English. But despite government opposition and other barriers to access, local alternative news sources are attracting more attention. What are these sources, and what effect are they having? How do Cameroonians report on Cameroon?" Zane's project emerged from having met two local journalists who were threatened by authorities for their work (one of them, a TV director, has used interesting tactics to evade censorship) and seeing a rise of influence of social media. For example, in two separate incidents just days apart—an explosion at a nightclub and a stampede at a stadium killed dozens—official sources undercounted the victims and neglected to interview their families, while news spread rapidly on WhatsApp. Zane plans to interview local social media users on popular platforms like WhatsApp, Facebook, and TikTok to examine how information (true or false) spreads online; Cameroonian journalists to understand how they gather and disseminate information despite funding constraints, limited access, and government threats; and prominent political opposition leaders to understand how they voice their criticisms in a constrained media environment. Zane hopes to write and publish articles emerging from his interviews in both English and French.
Ramiro Hernandez '23
Swarthmore College's 2021 Pulitzer Fellow is Ramiro Hernandez '23, whose project is based in Hidalgo, Texas. Citizenship status is a key factor in much of the decision-making within immigrant communities in the United States. Career opportunities, educational goals, income stability, and even things as basic as housing can all be affected by citizen status. Left without other tangible pathways to attain citizenship, many immigrants have historically resorted to serving in the armed forces — including the U.S. Army, the Marines, the Air Force, and the Navy — with the promise of being granted citizenship for themselves and/or their loved ones after fulfilling their contract. Despite them risking their entire livelihoods for this country, this promise is oftentimes not fulfilled. Although the deportation of veterans has been taking place since at least 1996, mainstream media has neglected to bring these stories into the national spotlight. Throughout this neglect, organizations such as the Deported Veterans Support House, the Unified U.S Deported Veteran’s Resource Center, and the Deported Veteran’s Advocacy Project have risen up to do the work of supporting these vulnerable populations and advocate for legislation that would ban the deportation of U.S service personnel. Ramiro's focused on writing a piece that highlights the multiple realities of this issue, centering the stories of veterans, past and present, who face legal citizenship issues after their contract with the armed forces is fulfilled. The ultimate goal would be to bring nation-wide attention to these narratives, bringing the mentioned legislation to the forefront of immigration policy. Ramiro's reporting project led to a publication, in Spanish, with El Debate. You can also read this article in English on the Putlizer Center's website.
Anya Slepyan '21
Swarthmore College's 2020 Pulitzer Fellow is Anya Slepyan '21, whose project is based in Kyrgyzstan. Despite the fact that Kyrgyzstan is responsible for only 0.034% of annual global emissions (compared to the United States' 14.8%), Kyrgyzstan (and all of Central Asia) is predicted to be one of the places most devastated by climate change. Anya's goal in this reporting project was to investigate the global nature of climate change and the resulting inequalities through the stories of some of the people who are most impacted but least responsible for the crisis. The focus was on local responses, such as a call to return to the nomadic, eco-centric way of life traditionally practiced in Kyrgyzstan and much of Central Asia, which preceded Soviet collectivized farming. The purpose was to explore localized, culturally rooted, and decolonizing responses to climate change that go far beyond the global agreements most broadly covered by the international media such as the Paris Climate Accords. Anya has always been interested in journalism, and was excited to have this opportunity to conduct a project, in the field, with guidance from an experienced reporter. Note: Due to COVID-19, Anya's travel plans were derailed. She worked closely with the Pulitzer Center to re-imagine her project, which focused on mine reclamation in Appalachia. Anya's reporting resulted in a story published by Southerly.
Pulitzer Center Partnership Contact
Emily Paddon Rhoads
Peace & Conflict Studies
Senior Associate Director, Lang Center for Civic & Social Responsibility
Lang Center for Civic & Social Responsibility