2016 Fellowship Class

Gokce Aytulu 

Istanbul, Turkey | Deputy Editor, Hurriyet newspaper

Alfred Friendly Fellow | Host: The Kansas City Star

Turkish reporter criticizes restrictive media environment

The independence of Turkey’s news media has deteriorated significantly since Gökçe Aytulu got his start as an intern for CNN Turk a dozen years ago. Now, it seems appropriate that the aspiring journalist is working for a newspaper that means “liberty” in Turkish. (More…)


Mario Jose Pentón 

Cienfuegos, Cuba | 14ymedio.com

Alfred Friendly Fellow | Host: El Nuevo Herald 

Cuban runaway leaves a “life of slavery” behind 

When Mario Penton finally made it to American soil after a 1,600-mile odyssey, he was left with only two personal possessions: his university degree and the Cuban flag. On the north shore of the Rio Grande, in Laredo, Texas, what Penton felt inside was incalculable: “the thrill of feeling free.” (More…) 


Amal Khan 

Lahore, Pakistan | Editor, Features Desk, The Nation

Daniel Pearl Fellow | Host: Los Angeles Business Journal

Pakistani journalist devoted to truth telling 

In the winter of 2012, the managing director of The Nation was looking for a new voice to enliven the daily newspaper’s opinion and editorial pages, and she decided to take a chance. Rameeza Nizami gave the job of op-ed editor in her predominantly male newsroom to a young woman with knack for writing but with no experience in journalism. (More…)


Mercy Adhiambo

Nairobi, Kenya | The Standard Media Group

Alfred Friendly Fellow | Host: The Oklahoman

Humble Kenyan writer becomes renowned journalist

As a child, Mercy Adhiambo would run home and do her chores and help cook so she could break away to hear elders telling village tales in her native language Luo. When she reached high school, Adhiambo showed a knack for writing stories of her own in English – her fourth language. Adhiambo lived in a small hut without electricity with four siblings, and her single mother, Beatrice, worked as a fishmonger to see them all through school. (More…)


Olena Goncharova

Kyiv, Ukraine | Kyiv Post

Alfred Friendly Fellow |Host: Pittsburgh Post Gazette

Shy Ukrainian transforms into ambitious reporter

Olena Goncharova was born close to nine months after the Revolution on the Granite paved the way for Ukraine’s independence from the Soviet Union.“Our newborn country was poor, very weak in terms of the geopolitical situation,” Goncharova said. (More..)


Thobile Hans

Johannesburg, South Africa | Africa Business News

Alfred Friendly Fellow |Host: Forbes Media

Rugby player falls in love with storytelling

Since he was a young boy in a township outside Port Elizabeth — a city on Algoa Bay in South Africa’s Eastern Cape Province — Thobile Hans’s motto has always beencarpe diem – seize the day. His desire to make the best out of every opportunity, and his passion to tell stories,  inspired him to become a journalist in South Africa.“Life is all about knowing what you want, and chasing it with all you have,” Hans said. (More…)


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