NPR logo Emma Jacobs Named NPR Above The Fray Fellow

Emma Jacobs Named NPR Above The Fray Fellow


October 14, 2014; Washington, D.C. – NPR and the John Alexander Project are honored to announce the newest recipient of their joint international reporting program, the Above the Fray Fellowship. Emma Jacobs, who has previously worked with NPR Member Station WHYY, was selected from a competitive pool of applicants to become the fellowship's fifth recipient.

Each year, the Above the Fray Fellowship sends a promising journalist abroad for three months to report on important, yet largely unseen, stories. Jacobs will spend her fellowship in Réunion, an island just east of Madagascar, where she'll explore the often tense intersection of globalization and conservation. Jacobs will examine issues surrounding a local conservation policy that has closed a marine reserve to fishing, which citizens of Réunion blame on a string of shark attacks and have been protesting the closure on the grounds that threatens their livelihoods. She will speak with fishermen who are culling sharks, dig deeply into the work of environmental scientists and connect with those who have lost loved ones in the process. Beginning in early 2015, Jacobs will file reports on the often fragile balance between physical safety and ecological and economical security on-air and online for NPR.

Jacobs most recently worked for NPR member station WHYY, in Philadelphia, where she reported on regional issues surrounding government, the economy and immigration. She previously worked for, where she developed a site focused on Haiti's post-earthquake recovery efforts, and interned for StoryCorps and for WNYC's Radiolab. Jacobs earned a B.A. in History and Francophone studies from Columbia University, in 2009.

The Above the Fray Fellowship began in 2010 in memory of John Alexander, a young journalist who once worked for NPR and passed away of sudden heart failure while on assignment for the Koppel On Discovery series in Chongqing, China. Previous recipients have reported from Kiribati, China, Uganda and Cameroon. Details about the Above the Fray Fellowship may be found at To learn more about John Alexander, visit

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