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Social justice and investigative journalist Fernando Diaz joins Medill

The position will aid Medill’s Knight Lab in pushing journalism into new spaces

March 10, 2021
Fernando Diaz headshot.
Fernando Diaz will join Medill as a lecturer in Fall 2021.

Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications will welcome Fernando Diaz as a lecturer this fall. Diaz is the former editor and publisher of The Chicago Reporter, a nonprofit investigative news organization that focuses on exposing systemic racial and socioeconomic injustice through data-driven journalism.

 “Fernando is a talented journalist and editor who blends deep reporting expertise with a commitment to solving difficult problems with innovative solutions,” said Jeremy Gilbert, Knight Professor in Digital Media Strategy at Medill. “Throughout his career, Fernando has explored new methods and technologies. He can help the Knight Lab better connect with local publishers and underserved communities bringing his knowledge and understanding of investigative reporting and structured data.”

Before joining The Chicago Reporter, Diaz spent time in the Bay area where he served as a senior editor at Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting overseeing coverage of labor and privacy before moving on to become the managing editor of digital for The San Francisco Chronicle.

"I've had the pleasure of working with Medill students and professors throughout my career,” said Diaz. “It's an honor to be joining friends and heroes on the faculty at Northwestern to share what I've learned.”

Diaz began his time in Chicago as a bilingual investigative reporter at The Chicago Reporter, producing exclusive, computer-assisted reports on social justice issues before moving on to work as a community manager for ChicagoNow.com’s news and opinion section. There, he contributed to the site’s success by recruiting a diverse base of bloggers. Prior to moving to California, he led Hoy Chicago, a Spanish-language daily newspaper, which won an Investigative Reporters & Editors award during his tenure.

Currently Diaz serves as a member of Investigative Reporters & Editors as well as a lifetime member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ). He also currently serves on the boards of the Center for Collaborative Investigative Journalism and the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting and previously served on the boards of the Chicago Headline Club and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.

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