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Ohio University announces 2022 Kiplinger Fellows

Published: February 7, 2022 Author: Staff reports

Twenty-two journalists from around the world will make up the Kiplinger Program in Public Affairs Journalism’s inaugural class in climate reporting. 

The U.S. and international fellows will come to Ohio University’s campus April 19-22 in a fellowship designed to address one of the most vital, yet underreported issues of our times – climate change. The fellowship will conclude on Earth Day. 

Fellows will attend workshops on environmental justice, covering natural disasters, localizing climate stories and understanding climate science, as well as how climate change intersects with public health, the economy, international relations and policy making and governance. Fellows will also learn how to properly apply digital media skills to climate change reporting in the form of mobile journalism and social media. They will also hear from climatologists and federal environmental policy makers.

“After 12 years of training journalists exclusively in digital media, Kiplinger will pivot from digital mediums and technology to theme-based training. Climate change is one of the greatest threats to our world, yet it goes underreported,” Kiplinger Executive Director Kevin Z. Smith said. “Our goal is to understand why we are deficient in certain areas of reporting and how we can expand on our coverage in the coming years.”

The fellows currently cover climate change for a variety of media around the globe and some are book authors on the topic and others are scientists-turned-journalists, Smith said. “We are excited about this class and what they bring to the table in terms of their previous work. All of them want to learn more and do more reporting on behalf of the public.”

The U.S. fellows include:

  • Dr. Joan Meiners – ecologist and climate reporter for The Arizona Republic, Phoenix 
  • Lindsey J. Smith, freelancer whose work has appeared in Pacific Standard, Smithsonian and San Francisco magazines 
  • Xander Peters – New Orleans-based freelancer who’s written for Christian Science Monitor, National Geographic and Huff Post
  • Rachel Sarah – freelance reporter and author of the book “How 25 Young Activists Are Saving the Earth”
  • Robert Chaney – veteran environmental writer, The Missoulian in Montana
  • Cheryl Nelson – freelance certified meteorologist, TV host, founder/owner of Prepare With Cher, LLC; Fox News, Weather Channel, AccuWeather, Norfolk, Va. 
  • Erin Douglas – environment reporter, Texas Tribune
  • Sheri McWhirter – environmental reporter for MLive.com, a chain of Michigan weeklies
  • Steven Herman – chief national correspondent, Voice of America, Washington, D.C.
  • David Ferry – freelancer from Los Angeles whose work has been seen in Outside, Wired, and Mother Jones magazines
  • Marianne Messina – Nashville-based journalist whose work can be seen in Mongabay, Civil Eats, Women’s Media Center and Earth Journal

International fellows:

  • Serena Renner – podcast editor/audio producer whose work has appeared on CBC, BBC Capital, and in National Geographic Traveler and Outside
  • Christopher Bendana – climate change freelance writer for Christian Science Monitor and Thompson Reuters in Kampala, Uganda
  • Marcello Rossi – freelance climate change writer whose work has appeared in Al Jazeera, National Geographic, The Economist and Smithsonian magazines
  • Paula Diaz-Levi – freelance science journalist who has published in Ladera Sur, El Pais among other media, Santiago, Chile 
  • Guilherme Justino – multimedia environmental reporter for Editora Globo, Climate Tracker and Earth Journalism Network fellow, Porto Alegre, Brazil
  • Deepa Padmanaban – Bangalore-based freelancer whose work has appeared in The Guardian, BBC Earth, Christian Science Monitor, National Geographic and Mongabay, India
  • Matthew McClearn – data journalist, energy/environmental reporter, Toronto Globe and Mail
  • Richard Fisher – senior science and technology journalist, British Broadcasting Corp, London, England
  • Martin De Ambrosio – science journalist and multiple book author whose work has appeared in La Nacion, SciDev.Net, Anfibia and Revista N, Buenos Aries, Argentina 
  • Laura Lynch – host of the podcast and radio show, “What on Earth” a CBC program based in Vancouver, Canada
  • Peter Yeung – freelance writer based in Paris whose work has appeared with BBC, The Guardian, Bloomberg, National Geographic and the Los Angeles Times, France

The Kiplinger Program in Public Affairs Journalism was founded in 1972 following a generous donation from the family of Willard Monroe Kiplinger, a 1912 journalism graduate of Ohio State University and founder of the Kiplinger Letter and Kiplinger Magazine in Washington, D.C. The Kiplinger Program moved to Ohio University in 2019 and is located in the Scripps College of Communication and E.W. Scripps School of Journalism. It will mark its 50th anniversary in 2022. Its first fellowship began in 1973. In that time, it has trained thousands of journalists globally through its fellowship and outreach efforts both in the U.S. and abroad.