IWMF Alumni represent all media platforms including, print, broadcast, online and multimedia. These talented news professionals work with the IWMF as Mentors, Fellows, or Grantees. They are based around the world and are united in their pursuit of under-reported stories that are essential in shedding light on global issues. The IWMF is proud to support this community further develop their on-the-ground reporting skills through training, grants, mentoring, and reporting trips.

Ramatamo Sehoai -- Alex Pioneer

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Reporter Alex Pioneer

Ramatamo Sehoai works as a reporter at Alex Pioneer, a community newspaper in Alexandra, a township of Johannesburg. His job has exposed him to the dire effects of poverty and underdevelopment in his community. He has attended science reporting and investigative reporting conferences at Wits University. He is currently working on a B.A. in communication science at the University of South Africa. Sehoai had to confront the harsh realities of HIV/AIDS after losing two of the closest people in his life to the disease, his friend and his cousin. He has covered several stories relating to the epidemic in his community.

Lara Setrakian -- News Deeply

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Co-Founder News Deeply

Lara Setrakian is the co-founder of News Deeply, a digital media venture that aims to offer comprehensive coverage of a widely misunderstood area of the world. Setrakian pursued government and foreign language studies at Harvard University. By the time she graduated in 2004, she had gained production experience at CBS News and ABC News and begun specializing in Middle Eastern affairs.

News Deeply has launched two single subject news websites that have received critical acclaim, Syria Deeply and Ebola Deeply.

Setrakian has covered regional financial markets from Bloomberg’s Dubai bureau. ABC News picked up on Setrakian’s digital production talent and stationed her in Dubai in 2007. She has contributed to Foreign Policy magazine’s blog, Bloomberg Television and Business Insider among other outlets. She has been named one of the top 9 most influential young professionals in foreign policy under 33 by The Diplomatic Courier.

Whitney Shefte -- The Washington Post

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Multimedia Journalist The Washington Post

Whitney Shefte, an award-winning video journalist at The Washington Post, pitches, researches, shoots, reports, edits and produces multimedia stories for the Post’s digital and print platforms. Shefte serves as an officer and for the White House News Photographers Association and is Mentorship Chair for the non-profit organization Women Photojournalists of Washington. A three-time Emmy Award nominee, Shefte received a Peabody Award in 2011 for her project ‘Coming home a different person’, on traumatic brain injury. She and a team of Post journalists were finalists for the Pulitzer Prize in Explanatory Reporting in 2011. Shefte is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she concentrated in photojournalism.

Whitney Shefte -- Washington Post

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Senior Video Journalist Washington Post

Whitney Shefte is a senior video journalist at The Washington Post in Washington, D.C., where she has worked since 2006. She has documented everything from AIDS in D.C., to press issues in Pakistan, to the forgotten conflict in Western Sahara with the IWMF. Shefte has won Peabody, Emmy, Murrow, and Pictures of the Year International (POYi) awards for her work. Shefte and a team of other Post journalists were finalists for the Pulitzer Prize in Explanatory Reporting for a military medicine package in 2011, and she was a finalist for the Livingston Award in 2015. Shefte also teaches video journalism at Georgetown University and is president of the White House News Photographers Association. She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication where she concentrated in photojournalism.

Stephanie Siek -- The Associated Press

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Digital News Producer The Associated Press

Stephanie Siek works as a digital news producer for The Associated Press at its headquarters in New York. Previously she wrote about race, gender, sexuality and other identity issues for CNN.com’s In America blog, and enjoyed stints at Germany’s Deutsche Welle English news website and Der Spiegel International, and at The Boston Globe. From 2008-2009 she researched multicultural and Afro-German identity as a Young American Journalist Fulbright grantee in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. A native of Cleveland, OH, she currently makes her home in Brooklyn, NY.

Debora Silva -- Freelance

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Video and Photojournalist Freelance

Débora Silva is a Brazilian video and photojournalist based in California. She has produced television content in Brazil, Mexico, Mozambique and in the United States and has collaborated with several news networks, including KQED, Fusion, Univision and PBS. Silva is passionate about women’s issues and topics related to Latin America, which is reflected in her work. She is a graduate of the U.C. Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. 

April Simpson -- The Associated Press

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Freelance Journalist Independent

April Simpson is a South Florida-based freelance journalist. Her work has appeared in The Boston Globe, The Seattle Times, and Tampa Bay Times. A 2010-11 U.S. Fulbright Scholar, April freelanced for U.S. media outlets and taught Media Studies at the University of Botswana, where she also researched the development of online news media. In addition to her freelance work, April travels monthly to Central America and the Caribbean to report on extreme poverty for a global development charity. April earned her Master of Science from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and her Bachelor of Arts, cum laude, from Smith College.

Thandi Skade -- The Star

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Journalist The Star

Thandi Skade permanently joined The Star as a journalist in 2008 after completing an internship in April 2007. Skade graduated from the University of Cape Town in 2006 with a B. Soc. Sc in media and writing and politics. She has received additional media training on interpreting and reporting on clinical trials for cancer, TB and HIV/AIDS. While studying she volunteered at an AIDS fundraising shop in Cape Town, South Africa.

Ina Skosana -- The New Age

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Health Reporter The New Age

Ina Skosana has been a health news reporter at The New Age, a national newspaper, since 2011. She recently received a top achiever award for the most aspiring person in her newsroom.

Skosana earned her B.A in journalism at the University of Pretoria, where she co-founded and chaired the journalism society and served as the political reporter for Kampus Beeld, a varsity installment of the regional publication. During her school years, Skosana served as an HIV/AIDS peer counselor.

Yanga Soji -- The Daily Sun

Photo of Yanga Soji The Daily Sun
Journalist The Daily Sun

Soji is a journalist for The Daily Sun in Johannesburg, the biggest daily newspaper in South Africa. She completed her Bachelor of Arts Honors Degree in 2011 at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, majoring in Journalism and Media Studies. Her curiosity to read anything with words led her to gaining a coveted year-long internship with Media 24 Newspapers.

In 2012, Soji joined The Daily Sun as an intern and currently still works at the news desk where she can be reporting on service delivery issues or interact with the country’s political and business elite. She has a strong interest in women and children’s rights and aims to change the plight of the voiceless through her journalism.

Oluwabusayo Sotunde -- Freelance

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Freelance Journalist

Oluwabusayo Sotunde is a freelance journalist based in Lagos, Nigeria. She is currently the Team Development and Managing Editor at Rural Reporters. Her writings have appeared in different publications including Ventures Africa, Celebrating Progress Africa, Development Diaries, The Cable, Edufrica, RuralReporters.com, and Leading Change –a program by Cambridge University for the Queen’s Young Leaders where she served as the assistant editor and youth writer and was commissioned to create content from Africa as part of the 2016 Leading Change Journalism Bursary. She has reported on business, agriculture, entrepreneurship, reproductive health, migration and other development issues in different parts of Africa while shining a spotlight on people who are injecting innovation, creativity and some serious communal change into their communities. A graduate of Nigerian Institute of Journalism, Sotunde has a keen interest in using communication tools to develop positive change.

Megan Specia -- New York Times

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Video Journalist New York Times

Megan Specia is a video journalist with The New York Times based in New York. She specializes in international multimedia storytelling, with a focus on human rights and conflict. Prior to working for The New York Times, Specia worked for Mashable as assistant real-time editor. While there she covered major stories in the field including the Baltimore riots, the Ferguson protests, the aftermath of the Paris attacks, the Brussels attacks, and the refugee crisis. She traveled to Jordan to report from the largest Syrian refugee camp in the region and Greece to report on refugees living in squalid conditions there. Specia reported on the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign and travelled across the nation, utilizing live streaming, Snapchat, and other emerging platforms. Before moving to New York in 2013, Specia lived in Ireland for four years, where she worked for Dublin-based news organization Storyful. While there, she worked in the newsrooms of Yahoo, ABC and VICE. Specia was University of New Hampshire’s 2015 Donald Murray Visiting Journalist. She received a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Hampshire, with a dual honors degree in journalism and communications.

David Steynberg -- Business Day HomeFront

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Editor Business Day

David Steynberg studied information science, specializing in publishing at the University of Pretoria from 2002 to 2004. He began working at Farmer’s Weekly magazine as a junior sub-editor in March 2005. In May 2007, he was promoted to Deputy Chief Copy Editor, and for the first eight months of 2008 worked as a journalist. His main areas of interest included legal and business journalism. In September 2011, he received two awards, Caxton Magazines Editorial Excellence Awards for Best Feature: Real Life for the story Tragedy At Grootvlei Gold Mine: Ruined Lives and Suicides, and runner up for Writer of the Year.

Elaisha Stokes -- Freelance

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Freelance Journalist Independent

Elaisha Stokes is a freelance journalist and documentary filmmaker based in Brooklyn. Her work has been supported by the Nation Institute for Investigative Reporting, the Ontario Arts Council and the Patsy Pulitzer Fellowship for Documentary Filmmaking. Her films have aired nationally and her freelance journalism appears regularly in the New York Times and Monocle Magazine. Her most recent film, Faile Street, was honoured with a Columbia-DuPont Award for emerging student work.

Stokes holds a Masters degree in Journalism from Columbia University.

Nina Strochlic -- The Daily Beast

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Reporter The Daily Beast

Nina Strochlic is a staff writer covering all things exploration for National Geographic magazine in Washington, D.C. She previously worked for The Daily Beast focusing on international issues and breaking news. She has visited the Democratic Republic of the Congo three times as an IWMF Fellow and later an IWMF Connect Fellow, working on stories ranging from the Congolese army of Jack Bauers to a lost Belgian resort island on the Congo River. She’s also reported from Rwanda, Jordan, and the Balkans. Her work has been published in Vice, National Geographic Traveler, Marie Claire, and elsewhere. She graduated with a degree in journalism from the University of Oregon.

Siphosethu Stuurman -- SABC

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Digital Media Producer SABC Digital News

Stuurman is a digital media producer at the South African Broadcast Corporation (SABC) in Johannesburg. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism from Rhodes University and describes himself as a versatile journalist who has done radio, TV and online journalism. He started off working for NGO media houses such as Health-e News Service and IPS Africa.

In 2012, he won a Discovery Health Journalism Award for Best Health Radio Journalism and he was also a finalist in the Young Health Journalist of the Year category. He covered the 5th South Africa AIDS Conference which attracted senior scientists and government officials from around the world.

Alice Su -- Independent Journalist

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Independent Journalist

Alice Su is awarded a grant of $3,000 grant to complete Hostile Environments & Emergency First-Aid Training (HEFAT). Su is an independent journalist based in Amman, Jordan. Her work focuses on refugees, religion, China and the Middle East, and has been published in The Guardian, The Atlantic, BBC News, Foreign Policy, Vice News, WIRED and Al Jazeera America, among other outlets.

Alice Su -- Freelance

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Photojournalist Freelance

Alice Su is a freelance journalist based in Beijing, China, formerly in Amman, Jordan. Her work focuses on refugees, religion, China, and the Middle East, and has been published in The Guardian, The Atlantic, BBC News, Foreign Policy, and Al Jazeera, among other outlets. Su has reported from Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, Tunisia, China, the United States, Israel, and Palestine. She won the 2014 Elizabeth Neuffer Memorial Prize (gold) from the United Nations Correspondents Association for her work on refugee survival in Jordan and Lebanon.

Su graduated from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in China Studies as a Yenching Scholar at Peking University, focusing on Islam in China and Sino-Middle Eastern relations. Su is fluent in Mandarin Chinese and proficient in Levantine Arabic.

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