Kat Lonsdorf Receives International Reporting Fellowship With NPR NPR and The John Alexander Project Select Kat Lonsdorf as 2019-2020 Above the Fray Fellow

Kat Lonsdorf Receives International Reporting Fellowship With NPR

Ahead of the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Lonsdorf will report from Japan on a nation still recovering from the second largest nuclear incident in history. Wanyu Zhang hide caption

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Wanyu Zhang

Ahead of the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Lonsdorf will report from Japan on a nation still recovering from the second largest nuclear incident in history.

Wanyu Zhang

NPR and The John Alexander Project Select Kat Lonsdorf as 2019-2020 Above the Fray Fellow

Wednesday, October 23, 2019; Washington, D.C. — NPR and the John Alexander Project are pleased to announce Kat Lonsdorf as the tenth recipient of their joint international reporting program, the Above the Fray Fellowship. Selected from a competitive pool of applicants, Lonsdorf will spend six months reporting on the aftermath of the 2011 Daiichi nuclear meltdown in Fukushima, Japan. More than eight years after the earthquake and tsunami that caused a nuclear disaster, the Japanese government intends to lift the final evacuation orders in the coming year. Lonsdorf will tell the story of a government trying to convince former residents to return home.

Each year, the Above the Fray Fellowship sends a promising journalist abroad to cover important, yet largely untold, stories. Ahead of the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Lonsdorf will report from Japan on a nation still recovering from the second largest nuclear incident in history.

Prime Minister Abe has committed to lifting all evacuation orders in Fukushima before the Olympic games, which have been dubbed "the recovery games" by organizers. The Olympic torch will begin in Fukushima, and several events will be held about 50 miles from the Daiichi plant. After having been unused for the better part of a decade, the last cities in the exclusion zone will reopen to thousands of residents this spring. Lonsdorf will tell the stories of devastated communities facing the challenges of resettling, once again.

Lonsdorf currently works as an assistant producer for All Things Considered, where she worked closely with host Ari Shapiro on pieces out of Zimbabwe in the lead-up to a historic presidential election and out of California in the aftermath of the Woolsey Fire. She contributed to the series "Stories From the Water Front" and "Let's Talk About Sex." Her segment about sexual harassment in Hollywood earned a Gracie award. Prior to her time at NPR, Lonsdorf reported from Hamburg, Germany, and Lahore, Pakistan. Originally from Wisconsin, she graduated from Occidental College and earned a graduate degree from Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism.

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, Réunion, Greenland, Georgia, Papua New Guinea, and Mongolia. 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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