NPR And The John Alexander Project Select Rebecca Hersher As 2015-16 Above The Fray Fellow
October 14, 2015; Washington, D.C. – NPR and the John Alexander Project are honored to announce Rebecca Hersher as the next recipient of their joint international reporting program, the Above the Fray Fellowship. Selected from a competitive pool of applicants to become the fellowship's sixth recipient, Hersher will spend three months in Russia, in one of the world's harshest climates, telling the story of how it went from the center of a suicide epidemic to a center for suicide prevention.
Each year, the Above the Fray Fellowship sends a promising journalist abroad to report on important, yet largely unseen, stories, and during her fellowship Hersher will report from a region of the world unknown to most: Chukotka, Russia. The region, which is partially located above the Arctic Circle, has seen the world's highest incidence of suicide so far this year. Historically, this was an epidemic that enveloped men and boys in the remote eastern region of Russia, but that is changing. Over the coming months, Hersher will explore how suicide is now afflicting the region's women. She will tell the stories of those who work to save lives and those whose lives could not be saved.
Hersher begins her fellowship later this year. She will file reports on-air and online for NPR.
Currently on the weekend staff of NPR's All Things Considered, Hersher has produced and reported the ongoing health series Inside Alzheimer's, which tells the story of one man's experience with the disease in his own words. She was one of the producers of NPR's Peabody-winning coverage of the 2014 Liberia Ebola epidemic, work that won her the Edward R. Murrow award for use of sound. During her time at NPR, she also embedded with U.S. troops in Afghanistan on an assignment with NPR Pentagon correspondent Tom Bowman.
Hersher came to NPR from Nature Medicine, where she wrote about biomedicine and pharmaceuticals, and started her career in science, with a B.A. in Neurobiology from Harvard University in 2011. This will be her first foray into international reporting independently.
About The Above The Fray Fellowship
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, Cameroon and the island of Réunion. Details about the Above the Fray Fellowship can be found at NPR.org. To learn more about John Alexander, visit www.thejohnalexanderproject.org
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NPR Media Relations: Caitlin Sanders
Email: mediarelations (at) npr (dot) org