Student media editorial adviser selected as reporting fellow by John Jay College of Criminal Justice


photo: student media adviser Brian Charles

Student media editorial adviser Brian Charles has been selected as one of 27 reporting fellows for the Center on Media, Crime and Justice at John Jay College of Criminal Justice’s year-long project aimed at strengthening reporting on solutions to the problem of violence in America.

The fellowship launched September 21 in New York City with a symposium at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City, entitled Reducing and Preventing Violence: Strengthening Reporting About What Works.

Charles has always kept his eye out for the fellowship and has always been interested in applying. “I’ve always wanted a John Jay College reporting fellowship,” said Charles.”

“John Jay College actually contacted me because I was recommended by someone to apply for the fellowship, as a result I ended up coming up with a pitch, but then I thought I wasn’t going to be able to do the fellowship.”

Although Charles had concerns initially about participating in the fellowship due to early concerns about where he would place his story, John Jay College reached out to him a second time for him to apply. “John Jay College reached out to me again during faculty orientation and said my application hadn’t been received yet and stressed to me that I needed to fill out the application now.” “I ended up applying and getting the fellowship, then I went to the symposium for three days in New York,” he said.

After returning from the symposium, Charles came back with the idea of writing about children that survive in high crime neighborhoods. “I want to look at their exposure to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and how the health and school systems are dealing with that.”

Charles plans to focus on two particular issues for the fellowship. “First I want to do an overview of PTSD rates in high crime areas in New Orleans, La., Baltimore, Ma., and possibly Chicago, Ill. or Detroit, Mich.,” he said. “The second thing I’m going to do is look at the kids that get shot because we usually treat the physical wounds, but what are the long term social and emotional implications for those kids and who’s providing the services for them and are they working.”

Charles hopes to get his work for the fellowship published in a national publication, then John Jay College will reproduce his work in their monthly crime report.

“Hopefully this will lead to me doing other criminal justice reporting because there is a part of me that still likes the idea of writing about the criminal justice system and I hope to get back to that.”