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A veteran BBC journalist stationed in Nepal, an Egyptian TV anchor and a Hungarian business journalist are among the 11 international journalists and communicators studying this year at Arizona State University.
The professionals are part of the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.
Each year, the Cronkite School welcomes a cohort of midcareer professionals from around the globe to study journalism, take part in leadership training and connect with media organizations as part of the Humphrey Fellowship Program, an initiative of the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs.
The 10-month program, which starts this week, is administered by the Institute of International Education. The Cronkite School is the only school in the U.S. that hosts a Humphrey Fellowship in journalism.
“The impact of having the Humphrey Fellows at the Cronkite School literally brings the world into our classrooms,” said Assistant Dean B. William Silcock, director of Cronkite Global Initiatives and curator of the Humphrey program. “Cronkite students, faculty and staff benefit immensely from their global perspectives and fresh ideas on the toughest issues of our time.”
The fellows study leadership under Silcock as well as Professor of Practice John Misner and enroll in classes at Cronkite and in other ASU programs. They give public presentations as part of Cronkite Global Conversations, an annual spring lecture series on global journalism. The fellows also travel across Arizona and the U.S., sharing their experiences and learning about democracy and journalism. They spend the final weeks of the program working at a variety of U.S. media organizations.
This year’s fellows have a wide range of professional backgrounds. They are from China, Egypt, Ethiopia, Hungary, Lebanon, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Russia and South Africa.
This is the ninth year the Cronkite School has hosted the program. Since 2010, 91 journalists and communicators from 56 countries have been part of the program at Cronkite.
Established in 1978, the Humphrey Fellowship Program provides non-degree academic study for experienced professionals from countries undergoing development or political transition. Fifteen major universities host a total of approximately 120 fellows each year.
2018-2019 Humphrey Fellows in Journalism
Phanindra Dahal, Nepal
Phanindra Dahal is a bilingual journalist at the BBC’s Nepali Service in Kathmandu. He produces audio, visual and digital content focusing on current political and social affairs that reaches nearly 6 million people. His reporting has included investigative pieces on post-earthquake recovery and reconstruction as well as the achievements and challenges of Nepal’s United Nations-supported peace process. In 2017, he was one of 15 journalists selected by the UN to cover its General Assembly. He worked for Nepal’s leading English daily newspaper, The Kathmandu Post, before joining the BBC in 2013. As a Humphrey Fellow, he plans to focus on the intersection of storytelling and technology.
Alexey Gorbachev, Russia
Alexey Gorbachev is the chief deputy editor of the political desk at the Russian newspaper Nezavisimaya Gazeta (The Independent Newspaper). His reporting focuses on human rights violations, the Russian opposition movement and relations between Russia and the West. He started his journalism career in 2009 after witnessing fraud during the Moscow City Parliament elections and has since focused his reporting on providing an alternative view to state-controlled media. As a Humphrey Fellow, Gorbachev plans to hone his professional skills, learning American media best practices. He also hopes to learn more about American culture and share his knowledge of modern Russia.
Jinjin Mo, China
Jinjin Mo is a veteran filmmaker. She worked as a journalist for the Southern Metropolis Daily, a newspaper in Guangzhou known for its investigative reporting, where she covered social issues. Mo is co-founder of the BOCUT Film Studio, where she has produced films ranging from documentaries to fiction pieces. Her films have been recognized with several honors. Mo holds a master’s degree in filmmaking from The Communication Univ¬ersity of China. As a Humphrey Fellow, she plans to develop her filmmaking skills and script writing.
Sebenzile Nkambule, South Africa
Sebenzile Nkambule is a media professional based in Johannesburg, South Africa, with eight years of experience in print and broadcast media. Nkambule works in talk radio and recently joined Oxford University Press Southern Africa’s marketing team, where she leads marketing research projects and provides thought leadership and expertise. She holds a master’s degree in gender studies from the University of Pretoria in South Africa, where she was a Mandela Rhodes Scholar. As a Humphrey Fellow, she hopes to develop digital skills that will help her create innovative content across platforms. She also wants to learn more about effective market research, data mining and data analysis in digital journalism.
Rula Rizk, Lebanon
Rula Rizk is a broadcast journalist and producer with 10 years of experience in content development and production. Rizk works with MTV Lebanon, a leading TV station in the MENA region. She has covered a range of topics, including raising public health awareness and promoting wellness practices. Rizk began as a freelance news editor and correspondent, contributing to media outlets such as BBC World. She also has been a guest speaker in media training workshops for Iraqi journalists. Rizk holds a bachelor’s degree in mass communication and journalism from the Lebanese University in Beirut. As a Humphrey Fellow, she plans to focus on strategic communication, content creation, TV hosting and digital media.
Benazir Samad, Pakistan
Benazir Samad is the digital media editor at ARY NEWS, a Pakistani news channel that publishes reports in English and Urdu. Samad oversees the day-to-day production and presentation of news and information on ARYNEWS.TV (English and Urdu) websites, mobile apps and social media. She received her bachelor’s degree in media sciences from SZABIST Karachi. Samad also has participated in the U.S.-Pakistan Professional Partnership Program in Journalism at WKOW-TV, the ABC affiliate in Madison, Wisconsin. She has keen interest in culture, society, politics, international relations and religion. She plans to enhance her expertise in media management and develop her multimedia journalism skills while at Cronkite.
Balint Szalai, Hungary
Balint Szalai is a business journalist for Index.hu, a popular and influential website in Hungary. With six years of reporting experience, Szalai covers a wide range of economic issues, with an emphasis on fraud and corruption. At Index.hu, he has interviewed leading economists and business theorists, including Joshua Angrist, Kenneth Arrow, Clayton Christensen, Dani Rodrik, Emmanuel Saez and Richard Thaler. Szalai holds a master’s degree in business administration from Corvinus University of Budapest. As a Humphrey Fellow, he plans to sharpen his skills in data journalism, learn about business and organizational models for media outlets and examine the phenomena fake news.
Adey Tegene, Ethiopia
Adey Tegene is a producer, editor and educational talk show programs coordinator for National Radio, part of the Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation. As a journalist, Tegene has focused on social and legal affairs. This has included reports on gender-based violence, divorce and its effects on children, human trafficking and the rights of people with disabilities. Tegene holds a degree in law from Unity University as well as a degree in library science and a master’s in social work from Addis Ababa University. During her Humphrey year, she wants to focus on media leadership as well as digital and investigative reporting to help bring more women into the profession in Ethiopia.
Lilan Wu, China
Lilan Wu is the director of NGOCN, an independent media organization that focuses on social issues and policy advocacy for China’s non-governmental organization sector. Wu is a policy advocate who has led six projects for NGOCN that strive for the sustainable development of a civil society through information exchange and the matching of resources. She also has been invited to share the NGO’s development in China as a visiting scholar. Wu holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Guangdong University of Finance and Economics. As a Humphrey Fellow, she plans to study digital journalism, storytelling, NGO management and leadership.
Dalia Younis, Egypt
Dalia Younis is a producer and anchor for Nahda TV, the online channel for Nahda University in Egypt, where she produces programs that target students. Younis has worked in radio, podcasting and voiceover for many nongovernmental organizations, and she also has digital media and marketing experience. She is a filmmaker and mentor at “Raise Your Voice,” a volunteer initiative for which she makes documentaries exploring female issues. Younis holds a bachelor’s degree in mass communication from Cairo University. As a Humphrey fellow, she wants to learn more about digital media and how technology can be used to help educate and empower youth and women.
Salisu Ibrahim Yunusa, Nigeria
Salisu Ibrahim Yunusa is the principal news translator for Radio Nigeria Kaduna, which has one of the largest radio audiences in sub-Saharan Africa. With 12 years of broadcast journalism experience, Yunusa produces reports on human and disability rights, social justice, democracy, maternal and child health and HIV/AIDS related issues. He holds a Master of Arts in Digital Technologies, Communication and Education from the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom as well as a Higher National Diploma and National Diploma in mass communication from Kaduna Polytechnic in Nigeria. He is an alumnus of the Ford Foundation International Fellowships Program. Yunusa plans to focus on investigative journalism, human rights, advocacy, disability policy and leadership.