Ten young journalists have won Hearst Journalism Fellowships and will begin their two-year appointments in Hearst newsrooms around the country on Aug. 17, Hearst President and CEO Steven R. Swartz and Hearst Newspapers President Jeff Johnson announced today.
The 10 new journalists will join five fellows who have completed their first year of work as professionals in training, and who are rotating to a second Hearst Newspapers newsroom.
“We are proud that some of the best early-career and just-graduated young journalists in the country annually join Hearst to begin their transition to top-tier performance,” Johnson said. “They bring vitality and talent to our newsrooms, and often help Hearst achieve the diversity in staffing that is essential for contemporary journalism.”
Fellows undertake varied reporting assignments as full-fledged staffers of the newsrooms where they are assigned, Johnson explained, with guidance from key editors and mentors. After the first year, they rotate to a second newsroom, where their professional development continues. They will report for the San Francisco Chronicle, the Houston Chronicle, the San Antonio Express-News, the Times Union (Albany, New York) and the Connecticut Media Group (publisher of the Connecticut Post and the New Haven Register, among other titles).
A record 220 applicants sought fellowship appointments this year. In April, top editors at Hearst’s five major properties did intensive remote interviews with 20 finalists before choosing nine reporters and one web developer to join their newsrooms.
“We are proud that for more than 20 years, Hearst has continued its commitment to what we consider the most outstanding program of professional development in the industry,” Johnson said.
Learn more about the new Hearst Newspaper fellows:
Eduardo Medina, a 2020 graduate of Auburn University, will join the Times Union as a breaking news reporter for his first rotation. In college, Medina was editor-in-chief of The Auburn Plainsman and won a metro reporting internship at the San Francisco Chronicle.
Claire Bryan, who just completed a master’s degree at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, where she was a Stabile Investigative Reporting fellow, will join the Times Union business desk. She has an undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan and has worked as a freelance fact-checker for Condé Nast’s portfolio of magazines and Hearst Magazines’ Harper’s BAZAAR.
Vanessa Arredondo, a recent graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, will join the metro desk reporting team at the San Francisco Chronicle. Arredondo has completed three internships in television newsrooms and was a media relations assistant at the Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive.
Leah Brennan, who was editor-in-chief of The Diamondback newspaper during her just-completed senior year at the University of Maryland, will join Hearst’s Connecticut Media Group. Brennan has completed two internships for Baltimore Sun Media.
Shayla “Lee” Colon, who will also join the Connecticut Media Group, received both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from Quinnipiac University. She was an intern for Futuro Media Group in New York City and an administrator in the investment industry.
Liz Hardaway, who has served as a reporter for Sun Newspapers in Port Charlotte, Florida, for the past two years, will begin her fellowship on the metro reporting staff of the San Antonio Express-News. Before her graduation from Ohio Wesleyan University, she was an intern for the film director John Sayles and Straus News, which publishes weekly newspapers in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
Edward McKinley, who has just completed a master’s degree in government at Georgetown University, will join the state capitol reporting team in Albany for the Times Union. McKinley’s undergraduate degree is from the University of Missouri. He has completed internships for the McClatchy Newspapers Washington Bureau, The Kansas City Star and CNBC.
Andres Picon has just completed a metro reporting internship at The Boston Globe, where he previously did an internship as a research assistant for the Spotlight Team. He will begin his Hearst Fellowship at the San Antonio Express-News. Picon is a 2020 graduate of Boston University.
Abhinanda Bhattacharyya, a journalist with a background in technology, math and education, will pursue her fellowship as a San Francisco-based developer for Hearst Newspapers. She has done reporting internships with The Seattle Times and Crosstown LA. She has an undergraduate degree from Bard College and master’s degrees in education and journalism from the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Southern California, respectively. She has been part of the U.S. Army Reserve since 2015.
Nora Mishanec, who has been covering rural Columbia County, New York, for the (Hudson) Register-Star, will begin her fellowship as a breaking news reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle. From 2017 to 2019, Mishanec lived with vanilla and rice farmers in northwest Madagascar as a member of the Peace Corps. She is a graduate of Wellesley College. She also has done entomological research in various countries and at Harvard University.
In addition to the 10 newly-named fellows, five fellows appointed in 2019 will continue their work in new locations:
Cayla Harris, who has reported for the Times Union’s state capitol bureau for the past year, will cover Texas politics in Austin for Hearst’s Texas newspapers. She is a 2019 graduate of The George Washington University. During her college years, Harris interned for the Hearst Newspapers Washington Bureau.
Becca Carballo will join the Houston Chronicle for her second rotation, after a year as a local news reporter for the Times Union. She previously was a reporter for the Charleston Gazette-Mail (West Virginia) and an intern at The Virginian-Pilot and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. She is a 2018 graduate of Marquette University.
Michael Williams, after a year as a business reporter for the Times Union, will become a news reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle. He earlier spent a year covering breaking news for the Orlando Sentinel. He is a 2018 graduate of the University of Central Florida.
Anna Baumann will spend her second fellowship year at the Houston Chronicle, after a year covering breaking news for the San Francisco Chronicle. Baumann, a 2019 University of Oklahoma graduate, did internships for The Oklahoman and the Omaha World-Herald while at college.
Alejandro Serrano, who has been a breaking news reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle, will also do his second rotation at the Houston Chronicle. A 2019 graduate of Northeastern University, he previously completed internships at The Boston Globe and the New England Center for Investigative Reporting.