McGraw Biz Journalism Center hands out fellowships to four journalists

McGraw Biz Journalism Center hands out fellowships to four journalists

Four veteran journalists have been named the latest recipients of the McGraw Fellowship for Business Journalism. Each of the winning projects will receive a grant of up to $15,000.

The new McGraw Fellows will explore subjects ranging from the impact of climate change on New York City’s Superfund sites and the historic roots of wealth inequality between Black and white Americans, to the provision of health care for the elderly.

The McGraw Fellowships, an initiative of the Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Center for Business Journalism at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at the City University of New York, were created in 2014 to support ambitious coverage of critical issues related to the global economy, finance and business. The Fellowships enable experienced journalists to produce deeply-reported investigative or enterprise stories. More than 70 journalists have since won McGraw Fellowships.

The new McGraw Fellows are:

  • Eli Cahan: A freelance health journalist based in Boston, Cahan will use his Fellowship to report on widespread violations of federal law in mental healthcare.Cahan is an investigative journalist covering the intersection of child welfare and social justice. His written work has been featured in the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Rolling Stone, and USA Today, among other publications. His multimedia work has appeared on TV via ABC and radio via NPR. Cahan’s reporting has won awards from the National Press Club, the News Leaders Association and elsewhere. He has received reporting fellowships from the National Press Foundation and the Dart Center, among others; he has also been a grantee of the Fund for Investigative Journalism, the Pulitzer Center and elsewhere. Cahan is also a pediatrician at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School.
  • Jordan Gass-Pooré:  An independent journalist based in New York City, Gass-Pooré will report on the city’s Superfund sites, how they are impacted by climate change, and their past, current, and future relationships with businesses through “Hazard NYC,” a multimedia reporting project with The CITY, a nonprofit newsroom.Gass-Pooré is an award-winning podcast producer and investigative journalist with more than a decade of journalism experience. Her reporting focuses primarily on hazardous sites and the climate crisis. She is also the co-founder of Local Switchboard NYC, a women-led audio collective that trains New Yorkers in journalism and audio production in the form of a local news podcast of the same name.
  • Lee Hawkins: An American investigative journalist and author, Hawkins will probe the wealth disparities between the ancestors within Black and white families who lived on the opposite sides of slavery.He is the creator, co-executive producer, and host of the upcoming series for APM Studios, What Happened in Alabama?. His work documents the lives of Black American descendants of slavery and Jim Crow survivors and the intergenerational impact of racial violence and racism on their families. His forthcoming HarperCollins book, NOBODY’S SLAVE: How Uncovering My Family’s History Set Me Free, is an in-depth exploration of 400 years of his family’s history, highlighting the resilience and triumphs amidst racial and historical trauma through Black entrepreneurship. A 2023-2024 Rosalynn Carter Fellow for Mental Health Journalism at The Carter Center, Hawkins also won a 2024 Alicia Patterson Foundation Journalism Fellowship and was named by the AFP trustees as the Josephine Albright Fellow. A 19-year veteran of the Wall Street Journal, Hawkins was a finalist for the 2022 Pulitzer Prize in Explanatory Reporting as part of a WSJ team and is also a five-time winner of the “Salute to Excellence” Award from the National Association of Black Journalists.
  • Sadia Rafiquddin: A freelance investigative journalist covering health and social policy, Rafiquddin will use her Fellowship to examine the delivery of health care to elderly people in Florida.Her work has been published by STAT, Kaiser Health News, The Guardian and the CBC. Her radio documentary, Engaged at 14: “I was worried about science class. And now I am getting married?”, was awarded two silver prizes at the New York Festival’s World’s Best Radio Programs in 2018. Rafiquddin was a fellow at the Toni Stabile Center for Investigative Reporting at Columbia University, from which she holds a Master’s degree in journalism. She also has a Master of Human Rights from the University of Sydney and an Hons. B.A. in International Relations and Peace and Conflict Studies from the University of Toronto. Prior to journalism, Rafiquddin spent a decade working at the intersection of global health and public policy in Namibia, Botswana, Canada and Australia.

Close to 150 journalists working across a wide array of subjects applied for the latest round of the Fellowships. Each winning project receives funding up to $15,000. In addition to financial backing, the McGraw Center provides Fellows with editorial guidance and assistance in placing stories with media outlets.