The McGraw Fellows
Six veteran journalists won grants of up to $15,000 as the 2015 recipients of the McGraw Fellowships for Business Journalism. The winning projects covered a wide range of issues, from the growing turmoil in emerging markets and the ever-larger influence of Silicon Valley startup culture elsewhere in American life, to the economic challenges ahead for Cuba as relations with the U.S. are restored and the increasing risk of cyber-attacks on the global financial system.
The McGraw Fellowships, an initiative of the Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Center for Business Journalism at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, were created in 2014 to support ambitious coverage of critical issues related to the U.S. economy and business. The Fellowships, awarded twice a year, enable accomplished journalists to do the deep reporting needed to produce a distinguished investigative or enterprise business story. Altogether, 16 Fellowships have been awarded to date.
Some 130 journalists working in nearly a dozen countries applied for the 2015 Fellowships. The winners were chosen following interviews and a thorough review of detailed proposals, work samples and references.
The new McGraw Fellows for 2015 were:
A freelance journalist based in Denver, William M. Adler’s work has appeared in Esquire, Rolling Stone, Mother Jones, and the Texas Observer. He also has written three books of narrative nonfiction: Land of Opportunity, an intimate look at the rise and fall of a crack cocaine empire; Mollie’s Job, which follows the flight of a single factory job from the US to Mexico over the course of fifty years; and The Man Who Never Died, a biography of the labor martyr Joe Hill. He is a past recipient of the Ted Scripps Fellowship in Environmental Journalism and the Alicia Patterson Foundation Fellowship. Most recently he co-founded and served as news director for a community radio station in rural Costa Rica.
Adler’s Fellowship project examines the economic, environmental and geopolitical ramifications of the planned Nicaraguan Interoceanic Canal, a Chinese-built 178-mile waterway across the Central American isthmus that would be the world’s biggest construction project. His story will run in Pacific Standard in spring 2017.
A freelance journalist based in Columbus, Ohio, Frazier’s work explores the intersection of business, technology and religion. Her stories have appeared in Harper’s, NewYorker.com, Slate, The New Republic, Columbus Monthly, The Atlantic and Aeon. She is a former staff writer for The Cleveland Plain Dealer, Advertising Age and American City Business Journals.
Frazier‘s Fellowship project looks at the increasing influence of Silicon Valley startup culture on religious and business life in the U.S., and the implications of this convergence on the rise in income inequality. Her story is currently being edited for publication by Bloomberg Businessweek.
An Austin, Texas-based freelance journalist and senior writer at TheStreet.com, Keoun covered financial markets for many years at Bloomberg News. He was a lead reporter for its investigation into the Federal Reserve’s secret emergency loans during the financial crisis as well as its coverage of the “London Whale” trading scandal in 2012. Both stories were finalists for a Loeb Award, the top prize in business journalism. He is a past recipient of the Investigative Reporters and Editors Freedom of Information Award and the Society of Professional Journalists Award for Public Service in Online Journalism. Prior to Bloomberg, Keoun was a reporter for the Chicago Tribune and the Gainesville (Fla.) Sun.
During the Fellowship, Keoun has examined the global risks stemming from the rapidly declining value of emerging market assets. His story is currently being edited for publication.
Robert Lenzner is a veteran financial reporter who has covered Wall Street for nearly 40 years, A longtime National Editor for Forbes Magazine whose work has appeared in the Economist, Vanity Fair, the Boston Globe and elsewhere, he is the author of the best-selling biography “The Great Getty.” In 2014 he was a Fellow at the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard University’s Kennedy School, where he wrote on the media’s failure to foresee problems that led to the 2008 financial crisis — and how it can avoid similar mistakes in the future.
Lenzner has used the Fellowship to examine the vulnerability of giant banks in the U.S. and Europe to the growing threat of cyber attacks. His story is currently being edited for publication.
An independent journalist who divides her time between Washington D.C. and Europe, McCluskey has written extensively on global economic issues and their impact on individuals, institutions and nations. Her work has appeared in Al Jazeera English, US News & World Report, Middle East Eye, The Washington Post and National Geographic, among others. Previously, she was an investigative reporter for The Motley Fool, where she was a co-author of the award-winning series, The Astonishing Collapse of MF Global. A 2014 recipient of an International Women’s Media Foundation reporting fellowship, McCluskey is a member of the Board of Governors of the National Press Club.
McCluskey has used the Fellowship to investigate the growing impact of corporate donations on academic research, with a focus on where current transparency laws fall short and whether the public good is being compromised. Her story is currently being edited for publication by TheAtlantic.com.
Maria Perez is a staff reporter for the Naples Daily News, where she reports on Southwest Florida’s multi-ethnic communities. A native of Spain, she covers immigration policy, housing, labor conditions and other issues affecting the working class. Perez, who previously reported for El Nuevo Herald in Miami and El Mundo in Madrid, received a Sigma Delta Chi award for public service journalism in 2013 from the Society of Professional Journalists.
Perez produced a 12-part bilingual multimedia series for the paper in August, 2015 on the economic changes underway in Cuba as local entrepreneurs and U.S. multinationals alike seek opportunities to tap into a market in dire need of investment and development.