September 23, 2011
Emerson Brown, NPR
NINA PORZUCKI CHOSEN FOR PROPOSAL TO REPORT ON AFRICAN IMMIGRANT COMMUNITY IN CHINA
The Above the Fray Fellowship was launched in 2010 to honor the memory of John Alexander, a young journalist who died of sudden heart failure while on assignment in Chongqing, China, in 2007. At the time, Alexander was reporting for the Koppel On Discovery series; he previously worked for NPR. The three-month fellowship is designed to give a promising journalist the opportunity to cover important but under-reported stories from a location abroad.
Porzucki begins her fellowship this fall, traveling to a community of African immigrants in Guangzhou, where she will file on-air and online stories for NPR. Her reporting will focus on a marketplace in the southern city that is home to over 20,000 African immigrants, mostly traders, who buy cheap Chinese goods to ship back home and sell. Since 2003, the number of African immigrants, predominantly Nigerians, has grown exponentially. Many immigrants arrive in the Guangzhou airport with no more than a bus number and instructions to go to the market to search out their fortune. From reject designer clothing to pirated DVDs to human hair extensions, anything goes in the marketplace. It's all cash and itís hardly regulated. It's the wild, wild east and the potential for success is equal to the chance of failure. Porzucki plans to record the stories of life in this crossing of cultures.
Originally from Los Angeles, Porzucki got her first taste of international communities and their stories as a Peace Corps volunteer in Romania. Her work in public radio began as a mobile facilitator for the national oral history project, StoryCorps, where she traveled around the United States recording the stories of everyday people. She now strings for PRI's The World where she reports on stories of language and culture. Porzucki is also a founding member of The Recollective, an audio collective that most recently produced Sounds & Echoes, a radio and web project, which used music to explore the culture and characters of Buffalo, NY.
Details about the Above the Fray Fellowship may be found at www.npr.org/about/careers/fellowships To learn more about John Alexander and the Above the Fray Fellowship, visit www.thejohnalexanderproject.org