2017 Zanzibar Fellows

ZanzibarThe International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF) selected six journalists to participate as Fellows on the August 2017 African Great Lakes Reporting Initiative to Zanzibar, Tanzania.

Fellows began their trip in Nairobi, Kenya, where they completed an orientation and Hostile Environments and First Aid Training (HEFAT) from August 6 – 9. They then departed for eight days of in-country work from August 10 – 19. The journalists covered stories related to the trip theme of civic engagement.

During the next four years, the IWMF will continue to lead groups of women journalists to the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda. By 2019, more than 250 reporters will have together reshaped traditional media narratives about this complicated and promising region. The IWMF pays for fellowship-related expenses including travel, lodging, meals, and fixers/interpreters unless a selected journalist’s news organization wishes to assume these costs.

Visit our blog for updates from #IWMFfellows on the ground.

Zanzibar Fellows (2017)


Jacqueline Alemany is a multimedia reporter covering President Donald Trump and the White House for CBS News based out of Washington, D.C. Alemany has been with CBS News since 2012, writing and reporting for CBSNews.com on domestic and foreign policy, U.S. politics, and general interest news. She has also appeared on CBS Newspath and the online streaming network CBSN. Before covering the White House, she covered the 2016 presidential election for CBS, based in the states of New Hampshire and Ohio. During campaign season, Alemany broke numerous stories alongside deeply reported and original features. Prior to the 2016 campaign, she was a broadcast associate for “Face the Nation” with Bob Schieffer, where she was a part of the Emmy-award winning show team and reported on the 2014 midterms for CBSNews.com. She is proficient in Spanish and served as a translator and producer for CBS Evening News and “60 Minutes” in Havana after the U.S. re-established diplomatic relations with Cuba in December of 2014. Alemany graduated from Harvard in 2011 with a concentration in government where she was captain of the women’s basketball team.


Ann Babe is an independent journalist based in New York. She writes about international development, technology, and community identity, with an eye on marginalized voices. She has been published by The Guardian, the BBC, CityLab, Quartz, and other publications. In 2016, Ann participated in the International Reporting Project’s Southern Africa fellowship, writing about health and sanitation in Lesotho and South Africa. She has also reported from Korea, where she is originally from, as well as Peru, the Czech Republic, the United States, and beyond. Prior to fulltime freelancing, she was a staff reporter with Courthouse News. Ann is a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors and the Asian American Journalists Association.


Laylah Amatullah Barrayn is an independent documentary photographer based in New York City. Her work investigates social bonds and collective histories on subjects as varied as resistance movements in West African sufism to queer identities among Black women in New York City. Her work has been supported with grants from Columbia University’s IRAAS, the Research Foundation of the City University of New York and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. She is a four-time recipient of the Community Arts Grant from the Brooklyn Arts Council. She has exhibited her projects at New York University, Museo Bardini, Florence, Italy and Open Ateliers Zuidoost Gallery, Amsterdam, Holland, among other venues. Her work has been published in the The Washington Post, The New York Times and Colorlines. She is a recipient of the Reporting Grant from the International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF). She was a featured speaker at the 2017 Women of the World Festival in New York City. Barrayn is the founder and editor of the forthcoming publication, Mfon: Women Photographers of the African Diaspora, due fall 2017.


Lisa De Bode is a freelance journalist covering the public health effects of violence based in Brussels and New York. Her work has appeared in/on CNN, NPR, the Guardian, Guernica, and Al Jazeera America, where she was a staff reporter for three years. Her reporting on homeless women sparked a law in the New York legislature that provides free pads and tampons to city shelters. She’s spoken at places like Human Rights Watch, World Economic Forum, Harvard University, the Newswomen’s Club of New York, and TEDx. Other awards and supporters of her work include a Sigma Delta Chi, the Magnum Foundation, the United Nations Refugee Agency, JournalismFund.eu, International Women’s Media Foundation, and the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture. She is the author of EUROPA, an Illustrated Introduction to Europe for Migrants and Refugees, with Magnum Photos, and Al-Liquindoi. Ten years after dropping out of medical school, she completed Columbia University’s workshops in crisis zone reporting and narrative medicine.


Rebecca Grant is a freelance journalist based in Brooklyn, New York who focuses on women’s health, reproductive rights, and gender-based violence. Her work has appeared in Vice, The Atlantic, Cosmopolitan, Newsweek, Buzzfeed, Fast Company, Glamour, The Nation, The Washington Post, and others. Since she started freelancing full-time in 2015, Rebecca has covered topics including protests and harassment outside of abortion clinics, access to reproductive healthcare for incarcerated women, and racial disparities in maternal mortality rates. She primarily writes long-form and investigative features. From 2014-2015, Rebecca worked as a stringer for KQED, Northern California Public Media, writing about women’s health. From 2012-2014, she was a staff writer at VentureBeat, covering gender equality in STEM fields and business, health technology, and social entrepreneurship. Prior to VentureBeat, Rebecca served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Thailand from 2009-2011, where she worked on public health education projects and chaired the Gender & Development Committee. She worked for Washingtonian Magazine from 2008-2009 as an editorial assistant and graduated from Cornell University in 2008 with a BA in English.


Nicola Kelly is a London-based reporter for the BBC World Service and BBC Radio 4 specializing in minority communities and human rights in sub-Saharan and East Africa. She recently presented a BBC radio documentary on religious freedom in Egypt and will be presenting long and short-form pieces for the World Service from Myanmar next month. She regularly interviews and broadcasts live from the field for English and foreign language services. Her work has also appeared in The Guardian, Thomson Reuters Foundation and Al-Jazeera, among others. Nicola speaks French and Italian and is currently studying Arabic. Before moving into journalism, Nicola worked for the British Foreign Office, posted to Istanbul as the Media Advisor to the Syrian National Coalition. She also has three years experience covering multilateral relations in Brussels, Paris and Rome.