GPIA alum Yael Even Or had some journalism experience in her native country of Israel prior to attending the The New School, but had never produced an audio story—or any type of story in the English language—until she took a class at Milano in the Spring of 2013. It turned out that this class would lead to her big break.
The Media and Culture class “Feet in 2 Worlds” is named after the organization of the same name, which dedicates itself to highlighting immigrant issues and is a project of the Center for New York City Affairs.
One of Yael’s first stories for Feet in 2 Worlds was titled “Separated by War, Immigrant Mother Weighs Returning to Her Husband in Syria or Keeping Her Baby Safe in the U.S.” It was first published on the Feet in 2 Worlds website, and both WNYC and Public Radio International (PRI) The World subsequently asked that Yael create radio versions of the story for them. Reflecting back on the experience, Yael says, “Creating radio stories is obviously very different from writing stories for the web or print. As a journalist in the U.S. who’s not a native English speaker, it was kind of like discovering a new, universal language. It was great.”
Yael’s latest piece on The World, “Fresh from Burundi – this man is watching war breakout from afar”, explores a Burundian immigrant’s arrival to the U.S. and what it is like to watch from afar as conflict unfolds in his home country. The story was published on July 21, 2015 as Burundi was experiencing another wave of conflict amid presidential elections.
Yael intends to keep reporting about immigration issues, focusing on events in the Middle East and Africa, and has recently been awarded the South African Taco Kuiper Grant to pursue an investigative project in the region.