Journalist, founder, People's Production House, New York, N.Y.
Project: Develop technology infrastructure enabling collaboration between citizen journalists and traditional newsrooms.
Deepa Fernandes began her reporting career as a freelance foreign correspondent for the BBC World Service and Australian Broadcasting Corporation from several locations, including Cuba, the slums of Bombay and the ghettos of South Africa. She saw a deep need for gender and ethnic diversity among those who were reporting the news. In 2000, she set out to do something about this – founding a nonprofit journalism training and production institute. People’s Production House has trained hundreds of new reporters of color, most of whom come from low-income backgrounds. Major news outlets have published their work. While she was doing this, Fernandes earned a master’s degree from Columbia University and continued to do high-impact stories for radio and print. She has written for Mother Jones, the Village Voice and the Nation and authored the 2005 book, Targeted. Homeland Security and the Business of Immigration. She was a national host for Pacific Radio for a decade and hosted a live morning show on WBAI in New York City.
Fernandes wants to help people who are capturing news on their mobile phones learn basic journalism standards, gain technical skills and connect with traditional media.
Information on this page is from the fellowship year.