RTDNF names 2020 Oldfield Fellow

September 23, 2020 11:00

The Radio Television Digital News Foundation today named Joe Snell the 2020 Vada and Col. Barney Oldfield National Security Reporting Fellow.

Joe's reporting has taken him around the world from Iraq, France, Germany and Brussels to across the United States. During his master’s studies at Northwestern with a focus on Middle East coverage, Joe was honored with the Harrington Award, the school's top graduate honor, for interactive storytelling. He is also the founder of The Assyrian Journal, an online news site covering the global Assyrian community. Joe recently joined the reporting team at Al-Monitor covering stories from the Middle East.

To get to know Joe, we asked, What's been your best moment in journalism? He said:
I wrote a piece about Ahlan Simsim, an Arabic version of Sesame Street that was designed to help displaced children learn to understand and communicate their emotions. Some early coverage on the new program focused on the large grant money that made the show possible or highlighted long conversations with the acclaimed executive producers. But in my reporting, I believed it was crucial to talk to those the show was actually designed for: the displaced children. After a few days of relentless phone calls and emails, I was able to ask questions to children in a refugee camp in Syria that had watched the premiere. The reaction from the children was a small bit to include in my final story, in total only a few grafs, but I believe it made all of the difference in elevating this story from one focused on production and ratings to one centered on the human experience.

About the Vada and Col. Barney Oldfield National Security Reporting Fellowship
Established by the RTDNF Board of Trustees in honor of Vada and Col. Barney Oldfield. Barney and Vada served in WWII and both had illustrious military careers. Barney's long and impressive career included a stint as a Hollywood studio publicist, WWII Army and post-war Air Force public relations officer, author, and lecturer. Col. Oldfield was also a businessman and philanthropist who founded over 40 private foundations including RTDNF. This fellowship is awarded to a reporter or producer in radio or television news engaged covering national defense and security

Winners of the Oldfield Fellowship receive $1,000.

About RTDNF Scholarships and Fellowships
The 2020 scholarship and fellowship class is RTDNF’s 50th class of scholars and fellows. Since 1970, RTDNF has awarded more than $1 million in scholarships and fellowships to more than 500 young journalists as part of its mission as the educational arm of RTDNA. Recipients have gone on enjoy careers from reporter, anchor, and news director to White House speechwriter, media regulatory attorney, and journalism educator. Several have served as RTDNA board members and many are Murrow Award winners. Make a difference for the next generation of journalists today.