The Elon junior will participate in a 10-week investigative reporting assignment at Arizona State University this summer, examining how the federal government has responded to natural disasters ranging from hurricanes to wildfires.
Anton Delgado, an Elon University junior and managing editor of Elon News Network’s newspaper, The Pendulum, has been named a 2019 Carnegie-Knight News21 Fellow.
Delgado joins top journalism students from 18 universities across the United States, as well as Canada and Ireland, who will investigate how the federal government has handled natural disasters, ranging from hurricanes to wildfires, over the past several decades. Their collective findings will be published as part of News21’s annual national multimedia reporting initiative in August.
Headquartered at Arizona State University’s Cronkite School, News21 is one of the most prestigious student journalism internships in the country. It was established by the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to provide a platform for college students to produce in-depth multimedia projects on a national scale.
As part of the paid summer fellowship, the journalism and international & global studies double major will travel to Phoenix for a 10-week investigative reporting assignment at the Cronkite School’s digital media complex. Delgado is one of approximately 35 students selected to participate in the annual program, which regularly attracts the nation's leading student journalists. Among the universities with student representatives are Arizona State University, Louisiana State University, Syracuse University, the University of Iowa, the University of Minnesota, the University of Oklahoma and the University of Texas at Austin.
Past News21 investigations have focused on water pollution, food safety, marijuana use and U.S. gun legislation. Emmanuel Morgan ’19 participated in the 2018 project and examined hate crimes, hate groups and their targets and victims in the United States.
While the summer program is still a few months off, the 2019 project begins in January with a spring seminar to help the News21 participants get up to speed on their subject. Led by News21 Executive Editor Jacquee Petchel, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, the student journalists will meet remotely each Thursday for three hours through the end of April.
Already an experienced multimedia reporter, with extensive coverage of Hurricane Michael’s impact on Elon’s campus and the recent effort to unionize some Elon faculty, Delgado looks forward to delving into coverage of natural disasters and federal disaster relief. (Delgado’s coverage on Hurricane Michael was awarded first place in the Associated Collegiate Press’ Best of Show contest this fall, taking the top spot in the Multimedia Package category.)
“The investigate component of News21 has always appealed to me,” Delgado said. “I’m constantly looking for opportunities to conduct investigative journalism because that’s what I want to do in the future. I have a passion for reporting the truth, digging into complex issues, and keeping those in power on their toes.”
Delgado admits he’s coveted the chance to participate in News21 since his freshman year, following conversations with past Elon participants like Michael Bodley ’16 and Morgan.
“I’ve heard so many positive things about the program, and the wonderful opportunities it provides, so this has been a dream of mine,” he said. To make himself an attractive News21 candidate, Delgado said he sought out an ambitious internship last summer with Save the Children Jordan. During his time abroad, he reported from a Zaatari refugee camp, home to almost 80,000 Syrians.
Originally from the Philippines but stateside since 2014 for school, Delgado expects his international background will benefit the News21 newsroom.
“Having minorities and international students in the room really does help shape conversations to make sure all sides are considered,” Delgado said. “We bring a different perspective that can really positively influence the reporting of a story and how that story is told.”