The Columbia Journalism School Announces 2020 Lipman Fellows: Ann Marie Cunningham and Clair MacDougall | Columbia Journalism School

The Columbia Journalism School Announces 2020 Lipman Fellows: Ann Marie Cunningham and Clair MacDougall

The Ira A. Lipman Center for Journalism and Civil and Human Rights at the Columbia Journalism School announced the 2020 Lipman Fellows today, Ann Marie Cunningham and Clair MacDougall. The fellows are selected from a diverse group of candidates who exemplify the center’s mission of informing and shaping the way we cover race, gender and civil and human rights.

"The Lipman Center is excited to welcome two standout journalists, Clair MacDougall and Ann Marie Cunningham, to the ranks of our fellows. Even amid the unprecedented challenges of a global pandemic the work of shedding light upon the infractions of civil and human rights goes on, and we’re looking forward to working with them in the coming months to further that cause," said Prof. Jelani Cobb, who led the selection committee together with Prof. Dolores Barclay.

Cunningham will use her fellowship to travel to Mississippi and work with award-winning investigative reporter Jerry Mitchell at the nonprofit Mississippi Center for Investigative Reporting (MCIR). She will assist MCIR in its continuing coverage of domestic violence against women of color and will use their resources and her own reporting to develop her Lipman story. MacDougall will use the fellowship to report on U.S. human rights violations of repatriated former Guantanamo detainees. She will dive into the stories of two former detainees who were sent to live outside of their homelands and explore the ways in which the United States government continues to assert legal authority and control over their bodies and destinies in ways that contravene both U.S. and international human rights law.

Cunningham and MacDougall will each receive $10,000 and will work remotely with a faculty member throughout the duration of their fellowships. They will be invited to New York at the completion of their fellowship to conduct a public presentation of their work and engage students at the Columbia Journalism School.

The 2020 Fellows:

Ann Marie Cunningham

Ann Marie Cunningham is a veteran journalist/producer for newspapers, magazines, books, broadcasting and the Web. Her work has appeared in many publications, including The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Technology Review, The Nation and The New Republic. Most recently, she has reported on domestic violence and the trafficking of young Native American women. She was an investigator for President Jimmy Carter’s Commission on the Accident at Three Mile Island, the only presidential commission with a task force of journalists. She is co-author with the late Ryan White of The New York Times best-seller list’s “Ryan White: My Own Story,” the autobiography of the boy infected with AIDS who sued for the right to go back to school in Indiana and won. She was awarded a fellowship from Columbia Teachers College’s Hechinger Institute for Education and the Media and she has been a writer in residence at the Banff Centre for the Arts, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and elsewhere.

Clair MacDougall headshot

Clair MacDougall is a journalist and writer who reports throughout Africa. Her recent work has focused on Liberia’s post-war reconstruction and imperfect attempts to reconcile with its brutal past. She is currently exploring the consequences of U.S. foreign policy in the Sahel, a region gripped by a security and humanitarian crisis that is being fueled by a jihadist insurgency. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Vogue, Smithsonian, Newsweek, Time, Businessweek, Foreign Policy, Quartz and others.

Clair reported on the Ebola outbreak and its aftermath, contributing to The New York Times’ Pulitzer Prize winning coverage and earning her the Kurt Schork Memorial Fund Award. She was a recent Logan Nonfiction Fellow at the Carey Institute for Global Good and has been an Art of Journalism fellow at the MacDowell Colony. She is an alumna of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

The Ira A. Lipman Center for Journalism and Civil and Human Rights was created in 2017 with a gift from the late Ira A. Lipman to inform and shape the ways we research and report race, diversity, and civil and human rights in the United States and globally. 

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About Columbia Journalism School

For more than a century, the Columbia Journalism School has been preparing journalists in programs that stress academic rigor, ethics, journalistic inquiry and professional practice. Founded with a gift from Joseph Pulitzer, the school opened in 1912 and offers Master of Science, Master of Arts, Master of Science in Data Journalism, a joint Master of Science degree in Computer Science and Journalism, The Knight-Bagehot Fellowship in Economics and Business Journalism and a Doctor of Philosophy in Communications. It houses the Columbia Journalism Review, the Brown Institute for Media Innovation, The Tow Center for Digital Journalism, The Ira A. Lipman Center for Journalism and Civil and Human Rights and the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma. The school also administers many of the leading journalism awards, including the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards, the Maria Moors Cabot Prizes, the John Chancellor Award, the John B. Oakes Award for Distinguished Environmental Journalism, Dart Awards for Excellence in Coverage of Trauma, Paul Tobenkin Memorial Award, the Mike Berger Awards and the WERT Prize for Women Business Journalists.