Northattan.com covers Manhattan’s northern neighborhoods from Inwood to the Upper West Side and everything in between. Multimedia reporters from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism are on the ground scouring for stories from the top of the city. Meet the reporters:
Milos Balac covers East Harlem. He grew up in Bronxville, N.Y., and recently graduated from Cornell University with a bachelor’s degree in American Studies. Milos has worked as a photo intern at the Washington Post and served as vice president of Slope Media Group, a student-run news organization at Cornell. Known to his friends as “Losh,” Milos enjoys photography, skiing and making music videos. He is pursuing a master’s degree in broadcast journalism and hopes to go into filmmaking after graduation.
Frederick Bernas reports on Spanish Harlem for Northattan.com, and is working toward an M.S. degree in broadcast journalism at Columbia University. During 2008-2010 he was based in Moscow, covering everything from news and politics to capoeira, CouchSurfing and cosmonauts; his work appeared in publications such as The Guardian, the Global Post and supplements of the Daily Telegraph and the Washington Post. He also reported on-air for France 24, CBS and RT, among others. Before moving to Russia, Frederick wrote extensively about jazz and played tenor saxophone in a funk/hip-hop fusion band that toured across England. His website is
Xian Bu, from Harbin, China, is an M.S. broadcast candidate at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, covering South Harlem for Northattan. She holds a bachelor’s degree in communication from Boston College, where she was actively involved in and served the Chinese community. As the director of public relations for the Chinese Students and Scholars Association at BC for two years, she organized and promoted Chinese cultural events. To introduce and promote Chinese popular music and Chinese community events taking place in the greater Boston area, she began and hosted a weekly Chinese culture radio show on BC’s radio station.
Khadijah Carter covers South Harlem. She is a native New Yorker, who has a diverse background in project management, public relations and nonprofit management. She has overcome many challenges including being diagnosed with breast cancer at a young age. Because of this experience, she has served as a spokesperson for various organizations by speaking at national and international conferences and by being featured in media outlets including: CBS, BET, Self Magazine and People Magazine. Khadijah wants to use her personal experience of dealing with adversity to help her tell powerful and compelling human interest stories about others who are dealing with life-changing situations.
Erinn Cawthon covers Manhattan Valley, Morningside Heights, and Manhattanville. She is from Los Angeles. Erinn graduated from Cornell University with a B.S. in communication, and double minors in law & society and Africana studies. Erinn was editor-in-chief for Cornell’s Slope Magazine and co-hosted a radio show. She was a production assistant for CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360” in Washington, D.C., and for “The Dr. Phil Show” in L.A. She studies broadcast journalism at Columbia University, and is vice president of the Columbia University Association of Black Journalists. Erinn would like to pursue media law.
Mayeta Clark covers Spanish Harlem. She graduated from the University of Sydney with a Bachelor of Arts in Sanskrit, Comparative Religion and Anthropology (Indigenous Studies). While at university she enjoyed traveling throughout India and Australia, and after graduation, she worked and travelled extensively in Africa and Europe. By a strange twist of fate, she ended up on the trading floor of a prestigious investment bank in London, analyzing the risk profiles of exotic interest rate derivatives. As a respite from the numbers she began writing with Esther Freud at a small community hall in Highgate and conceiving ideas for documentaries. Joining the legion of road-to-Damascus types, she has left banking and is completing a master’s in broadcast journalism with a specialization in documentary film.
Russ Finkelstein covers Washington Heights for Northattan.com. He is a filmmaker and journalist from California. After graduating from UC Santa Barbara, Russ opened and ran a backpacker’s hostel in Valparaiso, Chile. A few years later, he moved to Buenos Aires, Argentina where he began his career in film and television production. He has since worked as an independent producer based in South America for Al Jazeera, Current TV and VPro and has directed several TV commercials, short films and music videos. He is currently a graduate student at Columbia’s Journalism School in New York.
Allison Gaito is happy to be back in New York City. A Rhode Island native, she spent nearly three years reporting and anchoring for ABC News Radio affiliate WPRO-Providence, covering everything from corruption and bankrupt cities to a no-talk governor. Prior to her professional experience, Allison worked a politics beat following Mayor Michael Bloomberg and covering the 2008 presidential election during her time with NPR member station WFUV and its student-staffed newsroom at Fordham University. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in broadcast journalism at Columbia University. Allison covers Hamilton Heights for Northattan.com.
Tomos Lewis covers north and central Harlem. Born and raised in Wales, Tom is a first-language Welsh-speaker, and graduated from the University of St. Andrews with a degree in art history and English literature. At university, he was director of a nightly student counseling service, a part-time picture framer and an occasional bell-ringer at the university chapel. Before Columbia, Tom was a broadcast assistant at the BBC, working on daily television and radio news programs, as well as on political strands, in both English and Welsh. Tom has freelanced at Big Issue Cymru, a news and arts magazine that supports homeless people in the U.K., and interned at the New Statesman magazine, based in London. Tom worked as a volunteer English teacher to Tibetan and Palestinian refugees, in northern India and southern Lebanon respectively, and later worked as a book editor in Beirut, where he also freelanced for several Lebanese news publications. Tom is a recipient of the Fulbright Alistair Cooke Award in Journalism.
Dalal Mawad covers Hamilton Heights. She was born and raised in Lebanon. Dalal is currently a graduate journalism student at Columbia University specializing in broadcast journalism. Dalal is also the co-president of the Arab and Middle East Journalists Association at Columbia. She holds a B.A. in economics from the American University of Beirut and an M.S. in international political economy from the London School of Economics. Prior to coming to Columbia University, Dalal worked with the United Nations Development Program in Beirut, contributing to the creation of “ The Common Space Initiative,” an independent and inclusive dialogue space for Lebanon. Dalal has also worked as a freelance writer, publishing several of her articles in Lebanese papers and online websites. She hopes to go back to Lebanon next year to report on the Middle East.
Nadine Natour covers Inwood for Northattan.com. She grew up in Appomattox, Va. Now a graduate student in broadcast journalism at Columbia University, she earned a bachelor’s degree in government and Middle Eastern studies from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. Nadine left the country for the city after university and worked in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn as a new immigrant counselor at the Arab Amrican Association of New York. She most recently worked at International Media Support in Copenhagen, Denmark, and covered media development in countries of conflict. She enjoys dancing, biking, and frying chicken.
Céleste Owen-Jones covers Fort George and Hudson Heights for Northattan. She was born and raised in Paris, where her family still lives today. She graduated last June from Oxford with a B.A. in History and Italian and is now studying broadcast journalism at Columbia. Céleste has had internships at CNN International in London, the BBC in Rome and Le Figaro in Paris. Céleste’s real passion is travel, and she hopes to combine it with her job by becoming an international correspondent for TV or radio. She is also seriously considering war reporting.
Morgan Radford covers Central Harlem. Originally from North Carolina, Morgan graduated from Harvard University in 2009 with a degree in social studies. Upon graduating, she became an intern for CNN’s “The Morning Express with Robin Meade,” and later covered the 2010 World Cup as a production assistant with ESPN. In 2010, Morgan received a Fulbright Scholarship to teach in Durban, South Africa. Currently, she is a master’s student in Columbia University’s journalism program, and expects to graduate in May 2012. She speaks Spanish and French.
Tania Rashid covers Washington Heights. She was born in Saudi Arabia, raised for some time in Bangladesh, and then settled in the United States in the later years of her childhood. Tania received a B.A. in History from UCLA, and a minor in global studies with a regional focus on South Asia and Africa. At UCLA, Tania was the campaign coordinator for Amnesty International (UCLA chapter), where she launched the first-ever petition for the acid victims of Bangladesh. After graduation Tania worked for Al Gore’s global TV network, Current TV, for three years. She produced short documentary films for the viewer-created department her first year. Tania spent her final year working for Current TV’s long form documentary journalism series “Vanguard.” She is pursuing a master’s degree in broadcast journalism.
Will Sloan covers Manhattanville, Morningside Heights and Manhattan Valley. He was born and raised in Toronto and received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Toronto. He was Arts and Entertainment Editor at The Varsity, Canada’s oldest and highest-circulated student newspaper, and has worked as a film critic for numerous Toronto publications. He once made Korean pop star Rain laugh, although it may have been a fake laugh. You can keep track of his shenanigans at twitter.com/WillSloanEsq and gentlemanwillsloan.tumblr.com.
Isha Soni covers Inwood, the northernmost neighborhood of Manhattan. Originally from India,she interned at Star News Mumbai and reported and produced 31 stories in one month. She completed her undergraduate studies in mass media with a specialization in journalism from Wilson College in the University of Mumbai and has diplomas in Yoga and BhagwatGeeta. Being passionate about broadcast production, Isha is trying to learn how to write for TV and become a powerful storyteller. Currently, she is pursuing her M.S. in Broadcast Journalism from Columbia University.
Ben Teitelbaum covers East Harlem. He is back for his second go-around at Columbia University. Ben graduated in 2008 with a degree in English, and he is now pursuing a master’s in broadcast journalism. As an undergrad, he worked in the sports department of the student radio station WKCR, eventually becoming one of the “voices of the Lions.” After college, Ben decided to go exploring, teaching English in Barcelona, interning in Tel Aviv, and road tripping 10,000 miles around the United States. He doesn’t really want to settle down, and that’s why journalism is the perfect path for Ben.
Northattan.com is edited by Ann Cooper, Lisa Cohen, Merrill Perlman and Diantha Parker.
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