Alumni Testimonials

Marina Walker Guevara, executive editor of the Pulitzer Center and former deputy director of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, said her fellowship in 2002 “changed my life in more ways than I can possibly write here. The fellowship was the best introduction I could possibly get to the great traditions of American journalism: its thoroughness, its independence, its fairness. Working at a newsroom with a rich history of hard hitting investigative reporting helped me fully understand and embrace journalism as a moral force, as a force for good.”

After his Alfred Friendly fellowship in 2001, Paul Radu established the Romanian Center for Investigative Journalism and then co-founded the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Network. “Alfred Friendly Press Fellowships made a huge difference,” Radu said. “I got to know how to work with commercial companies’ databases while I was in San Antonio (with the Express-News). “AFPF has been very important for the advances I made in my career.”

Alia Ibrahim, the co-founder and CEO of a groundbreaking digital media company in Lebanon established in 2017 called Daraj, said, “I am fully convinced that our future as a media and the future of the countries we live in depends on how well we train our young reporters. When it comes to that, I always find myself drawing lessons from my time with AFPP. To put it simply, to me there has always been a before and after the fellowship. The exceptional part, however, is that almost two decades later, I continue to gain from.” 

Umar Cheema attributes his dedication to holding institutions accountable and his drive to create the Center for Investigative Reporting in Pakistan to the months he spent working at The New York Times in 2008 during his fellowship. “The urge to set up the center was driven by the fellowship because I realized I had learned many things that are not being practiced and that were not being taught to other people,” he said. “This is the way I’m trying to make a difference.”

Sinfah Tunsarawuth teamed up with Thailand’s premier university to launch a science show on Chula Radio in March 2021. “Under this current project, I am applying what I learned in journalism from the Alfred Friendly Press Fellowship in my reporting, editing and production of the show,” Tunsarawuth said. “I have been telling my younger journalist friends that Alfred Friendly Press Fellowship is the best journalist training program in the United States, and have been encouraging them to apply.

Aoun Sahi is a television station bureau chief in Pakistan and a contributor to the Los Angeles Times who shared a Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News with LA Times colleagues in 2015. He said of the Alfred Friendly fellowship: “It was the highlight of my career, so far. I made some of the most important friends of my life during this fellowship and have spent some of the most beautiful and full moments of my life here. I will never be able to wash away the images and experiences of these five months from my mind. It was more than a learning experience for me.” 

Two years after his Alfred Friendly fellowship, in the middle of the Covid19 pandemic, Juan Luis Garcia joined two colleagues to create a nonprofit news platform that overcomes free-speech barriers and provides an independent, fresh perspective on life in Mexico. “My experience in the Texas Tribune was a key to falling in love with nonprofit media. Once I came back from the U.S., my first interest was to pass the message to other colleagues, share what I learned,” Garcia said. “I kept applying the new methods in my work, but now I think it’s a great chance to use it on a whole platform level.”

Ankur Paliwal of India studied food security issues at the University of Missouri and then went to work for Scientific American magazine and Undark for six months during his specialty reporting fellowship in 2019. “The Alfred Friendly fellowship helped me immensely in achieving my goal of reporting and writing deep and moving stories about food insecurity in Africa,” Paliwal said.

Deepak Adhikari, an Alfred Friendly Fellow in 2008, collaborated in 2021 with two other journalists for a major investigation into tax evasion. Adhikari said the Alfred Friendly fellowship had  “a tremendous impact on my career. The fellowship and my work at the (Pittsburgh) Post-Gazette boosted my confidence. As a result, I started doing ambitious reporting projects.”

Emran Hossain, who reports for New Age, an English-language daily based in Dhaka, said, “The fellowship experience in 2013, which included five months of reporting for Huffington Post in Washington, made me more confident and assertive despite pressing challenges.”

Sabrina Valle had this to say about the impact of the fellowship on her career:  “I’ve written investigative pieces on oil and corruption that resulted in three Congressional hearings in Brazil. One of them triggered Brazil’s largest corruption investigation to date, Carwash. A country president was impeached after it and another two were jailed.  Seven years ago, I became an international correspondent and worked for the world’s two largest business media organizations out of Brazil. Earlier this year, the CEO of Latin America’s biggest oil company was fired by the president after a story I wrote showing how he was manipulating fuel prices. It’s been 14 years of impact. Reuters has recently offered me the most high profile beat in commodities in the Americas. I’ve moved to the U.S. and job now is to ask oil producers including Exxon, Chevron and Petrobras how they plan to survive without burning the world further. Please note that I wouldn’t be able to achieve ANY of the above if it wasn’t for the AFPP program. It was a life changing experience that raised me as a professional and amplified my work’s reach.” 

What other alumni say about the program:

“The Alfred Friendly and Daniel Pearl Foundation fellowships made me realize I could go that extra mile to prove I am a competent journalist. My experience in the US was priceless in the sense that I will return with a vast knowledge to share with my home newsroom.”

—     Aida Ahmad, Malaysia, 2012, hosted by Los Angeles Times (Daniel Pearl Fellow)

 “… the Alfred Friendly Fellowship has blessed me with such a lasting legacy. For almost two years I have been benefiting from the journalism training in your country. My six-month experience in Washington and Denver has taught me to be a more aggressive – and versatile – reporter, and that’s what I’m doing.”

—    Huanxin  Zhao, China, 2002, hosted by Denver Rocky Mountain News

“Alfred Friendly Press Partners made me a complete journalist.”

—    Ranee Mohamed, Sri Lanka, 1987, hosted by St. Petersburg Times

escort istanbul escort