Winners of Journalism Fellowship Announced

Aug 12, 2009

WASHINGTON– The Washington Post and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars announce this year's group of winners of their Fellowship for professional working journalists from Latin America and the Caribbean. The winners are: Ingrid Brown, Jamaica Observer (Jamaica); Andrea Daza, El Mundo Economía y Negocios (Venezuela); Diana Durán Núñez, El Espectador (Colombia); Ana Francisca Vega Valdés, El Economista (Mexico); and Demetrio Weber, O Globo (Brazil).

This year's fellowship program builds upon the success of the 2008 pilot program by expanding the call for applications to journalists from all of Latin America and the Caribbean and by extending their residence in Washington to three weeks. The winners were selected from among fifty-five applicants from 14 countries. Under the fellowship, the journalists will conduct three weeks of investigative reporting in Washington (September 14 through October 2, 2009), working from the newsroom of The Washington Post. The articles they produce will be published in the journalists' home media, on washingtonpost.com, and on the Woodrow Wilson Center's website.

"Again this year, we believe we have the makings of some very impactful journalism on issues of great public concern in Latin America, the Caribbean and the United States," said Washington Post Senior Editor Milton Coleman. "The Washington Post is proud to be a partner in such meaningful efforts and to work side by side with some of the most talented among our colleagues in the hemisphere. This is good, really good."

"We were pleased to be able to expand the geographic reach of the fellowship this year," added Cynthia Arnson, Director of the Woodrow Wilson Center's Latin American Program. "We see this as a great opportunity for Latin American journalists to gain a better understanding of how Washington works, and to convey those insights to readers in their home countries as well as in the United States."

The Selection Committee based its final decision on the applicants' exceptional journalistic background, the originality of their proposals and feasibility of carrying them out in Washington and within the allowed time. Ingrid Brown will investigate several stories on U.S.-Jamaican immigration, including the plight of undocumented Jamaican immigrants with HIV/AIDS who forego healthcare in the United States for fear of deportation. Andrea Daza will examine Venezuelan oil company lobbying in Washington and its impact on Venezuelan politics and economics. Diana Durán Núñez will research the depositions of Colombian drug traffickers extradited to the United States. Ana Francisca Vega Valdés will look at U.S.-Mexican relations in light of police accountability and public safety issues in Mexico. Demetrio Weber will explore policies to improve the quality of education in the United States and their possible relevance for Brazil.

The Selection Committee was comprised of two outside judges recognized for their journalistic and scholarly excellence as well as senior representatives of the two sponsoring institutions. The members of the committee were: (from the Washington Post) Paula Andalo, managing editor, El Tiempo; Milton Coleman, senior editor; Scott Wilson, White House correspondent; Jeff Leen, assistant managing editor of investigations; Carlos Lozada, deputy editor of the Post's Outlook section; (from the Woodrow Wilson Center) Cynthia Arnson, director of the Latin American Program; Andrew Selee, director of the Mexico Institute; Paulo Sotero, director of the Brazil Institute; and independent journalists John Dinges, author and associate professor, Columbia University School of Journalism; and Dolia Estévez, senior Mexican correspondent and radio commentator.

The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars is the living national memorial to President Wilson established by Congress in 1968 and headquartered in Washington, D.C. The Center establishes and maintains a neutral forum for free, open, and informed dialogue. It is a nonpartisan institution, supported by public and private funds and engaged in the study of national and world affairs.

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