COVID-19 reporting fellowships for NJ ethnic and community media
Sixteen reporters will produce coronavirus stories during the four-month fellowship
The Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University is proud to introduce you to our 16 COVID-19 reporting fellows. This fellowship is part of a project at the Center to support ethnic and community news outlets in New Jersey as they cover coronavirus in their communities.
The diverse group of fellows consists of multimedia reporters and editors — including those who publish in Chinese, Korean and Spanish, as well as African American, Pakistani and Bangladeshi online, broadcast and print publications. The fellows are covering a vast range of topics and information on the coronavirus pandemic for the immigrants and people of color that they serve in the state.
The fellows began publishing and broadcasting their stories in May. Through the lens of their communities, the projects take a closer look at the barriers and challenges that low-income and vulnerable communities disproportionately face in the time of the COVID-19 crisis.
Some of the topics the fellows will explore through their reporting and storytelling include:
- How many Mexican families in New Jersey are repatriating the remains of their loved ones who died of COVID-19 to Mexico?
- How can undocumented immigrants access free food sites when they don’t have a car or a driver’s license?
- With no available COVID-19 vaccine or cure, how do Filipinos undertake herbal remedies and other homeopathic measures without exposing themselves to misinformation while fighting the virus?
Over the course of this four-month fellowship, recipients will receive reporting training from leading health, government and journalism experts in New Jersey to update them on the latest developments on the coronavirus and help them carry out their reporting so that their communities get first-hand and reliable information.
Each fellow will also receive a $1,500 stipend to support their projects, thanks to Democracy Fund.
The latest from our reporting fellows:
By Marivir R. Montebon
July 27, 2020
Despite warnings from scientists and health officials that natural remedies are by no means a medically proven treatment for various diseases, Filipinos in New Jersey could not be stopped from using traditional remedies to fight the coronavirus. (OSM! Magazine)
By Jun Hyong Sook
July 7, 2020
Korean restaurants are designed to be indoors. Known for their meat barbecues, or gogigui (meat roast for Korean), these restaurants offer a unique experience where diners gather around a gas or charcoal grill in the middle of the table to cook and eat together. (K-Radio 1660 AM)
By D. Kevin McNeir
June 26, 2020
The coronavirus pandemic has exposed long-persisting racial disparities in health and health care. African-American patients with COVID-19 remain 2.7 times more likely than Non-Hispanic white COVID-19 patients to be hospitalized and with more severe symptoms, per a recent study in the medical journal Health Affairs. (NJ Urban News)
‘I felt so alone’: Daughter shares pain and joy of taking care of her parents who contracted COVID-19
By Marivir Montebon
June 26, 2020
Despite her ordeal, Jessie Ruiz said she would do anything for her parents. The coronavirus may have given her anxiety and depression, but taking care of her parents brought her much closer to them. (OSM! Online Magazine)
For the first time in Korean church history, NJ and NY Koreans hold memorial service for Black victims of police brutality
By Eun Sook Lim
June 23, 2020
For the first time in Korean church history, members of the Korean American community in New Jersey and New York prayed and joined together in a virtual memorial service that was both the celebration and mourning of African American men and women who died at the hands of white police officers. (The Korea Daily)
Amid coronavirus in NJ, young Korean Americans in matchmaking tradition change perception of dating and marriage
By Ilgon Kim
June 22, 2020
In the time of coronavirus, when most potential couples are in quarantine, many young Koreans are pondering deeply the meaning of dating and marriage — and the more they contemplate on the process, the more it changes their views as well as the role of their matchmaker. (The Korea Daily)
By Eun Sook Lim
June 19, 2020
In New Jersey and New York, more and more Korean Americans, like Kim and Lee, are returning to South Korea since the coronavirus outbreak. The idea of returning to their homeland, temporarily or permanently, has become a household conversation among Korean families. (The Korea Daily)
By Maria del Carmen Amado
June 17, 2020
Essex County has the highest number of COVID-19 cases in the state, with nearly 19,000 people tested positive for the virus and more than 1,750 deaths, but there is one particular demographic group in Newark that has been hit hard by the coronavirus: undocumented immigrants. (New Jersey Hispano)
By Kleibeel Marcano
June 11, 2020
While thousands of Latino workers are risking their lives to feed families, take care of the elderly, clean homes, tend farmlands, or bring meals and toiletries to people’s doorstep, many of them are earning sub-minimum wages and working long hours without paid leave. (Reporte Hispano)
By Don Tagala
June 1, 2020
Of the 94 Filipino Americans who died of COVID-19, 40 of them worked at the front lines. Many of whom were nurses, EMT and doctors in New Jersey and New York hospitals. (ABS-CBN News)
By D. Kevin McNeir
May 29, 2020
The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living [AHCA/NCAL], representing more than 14,000 nursing homes and long term care facilities across the country that provide care to approximately five million people each year, recently released the following statement after HHS announced $4.9 billion in funding to help skilled nursing facilities respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. (NJ Urban News)
By Hyong Sook Jun
May 29, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the funeral culture of all immigrant communities in New York and New Jersey. Like other ethnic groups, Korea’s funeral culture is no different. (K-Radio)
By Raymond Tyler
May 21, 2020
A church is an essential place for many African Americans; it’s where they seek refuge during almost every crisis. But COVID-19 has taken away their access to the church. Here’s a Q&A with a therapist on how the Black community in Atlantic City is coping with mental stress during this pandemic. (Shore Local)
By Rong Xiaoqing
May 17, 2020
In New Jersey and other parts of the country, Asian Americans have reported an uptick in racist verbal and physical harassment. Representing only 6 percent of the U.S. population, the bigoted incidents have left Asian Americans in a bind. But a group of second-generation Chinese Americans in Fort Lee, NJ have raised funds to help those impacted by the pandemic, hoping to build a positive image of Asians in the community. (Sing Tao Daily)
By Laszlo Bartus
May 15, 2020
A carpenter who lost his job, a caregiver who worked in a nursing home, and a bus driver who could no longer support his family — they are among the Hungarian immigrants in New Jersey whose lives have been upended by COVID-19. (Amerikai Nepszava)
By Diego Maya
15 Mayo 2020
Featured in a short video essay, Latino essential workers in the restaurant industry are risking their lives to ensure health, safety and security of NJ residents by delivering their food and serving their meals. (The Latino Spirit)
By Kleibeel Marcano
14 Mayo 2020
On February 14, Robert Mejía, his wife and two children contracted the coronavirus. In less than a week, all of them were admitted at Morristown Medical Center for COVID-19. But as a family with mixed immigration status, not all of them qualify for public assistance in the time of pandemic. (Reporte Hispano)
More about the fellows and their projects:
Adonis Tagala, reporter, ABS-CBN News (in English/Tagalog)
Project: To chronicle the lives of Filipino nurses , doctors and other allied medical work in New Jersey. Reports say that 75 Filipinos have tested positive and succumbed to Covid 19 — and 28 of them were front-line health care workers who died after serving as nurses, doctors, and other allied medical workers
Kevin McNeir, editor, NJ Urban News (in English)
Project: To explore the disparities — increased exposure to the virus, underlying susceptibility and limited access to health care and testing — and what, if anything, is being done or should be done to reduce these inequities among Black New Jersey residents.
About the Center for Cooperative Media: The Center is a grant-funded program of the School of Communication and Media at Montclair State University. Its mission is to grow and strengthen local journalism, and in doing so serve New Jersey residents. The Center is supported with funding from Montclair State University, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, Democracy Fund, the New Jersey Local News Lab (a partnership of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, Democracy Fund, and Community Foundation of New Jersey), and the Abrams Foundation. For more information, visit CenterforCooperativeMedia.org.