Hello, and thanks for visiting my site.
I’m an independent journalist, audio producer, and a senior fellow with the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism. I write and make radio.
My work focuses on power, powerlessness, culture and identity, with an emphasis on revealing injustices and challenging assumptions. I’m especially attracted to human-centered stories that link local and global consequences. From 2009 to 2011, I was based in Shizuoka, Japan, where I taught English on the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program (JET), and founded and produced a podcast on racism, immigration and education in Japan. From 2013 to 2015, I was based in Lucknow, India, where I reported on the world’s largest election, politics and social issues in India’s most populous state, Uttar Pradesh, (which could be the world’s fifth biggest nation). In 2016, as a fellow with the International Women’s Media Foundation, I reported in Uganda ahead of its general election. I’m currently (mostly) based in Oakland, California, where I was born.
My reporting for print and radio has aired and published in numerous outlets, including NPR, PRI, WBUR’s Here & Now, WIRED, News York Times, Harper’s, The Atlantic, Foreign Policy, Foreign Affairs, and the podcasts 70 Million and The World in Words. I have also appeared on public radio programs like PRI’s The World, Marketplace and The Takeaway to talk about my work and serve as an on-air correspondent. In 2017, I launched a mini podcast, Loitering, named after the “Why Loiter” movement fighting for women’s right to safe space. Every episode discusses the influence of space — whether it is physical, virtual or emotional (past episodes cover homelessness in the library and coping with hate on Twitter, for example).
My stories — on the immolation of a “Facebook journalist,” how India’s “sand mafia” operates, and a fight over the truth of history in middle school textbooks, for example — are used as educational materials in journalism, criminal justice and religious studies courses, and have been recognized by the Religion News Association and South Asian Journalists Association. My work is also cited in books and research papers that discuss digital media in an international context, politics and economic growth, gendered violence and sexualized minorities. I am also known for my expertise on covering the South Asian diaspora, which has brought me to work on special projects like this feature for National Geographic (including this video I reported and narrated!).
Some of my favorite pieces and ones most meaningful to me are on language politics, accents and voice technology, a woman’s gun, SantaCon, Hindu nationalism, migrant teachers, underground queer communities, sports betting, vote polarization, bodybuilding, bail reform, politicking with Uganda’s top female politician, a day in the life of a lookalike of India’s prime minister, an Asian beauty pageant, and my friend Kim Wall.
My reporting has been generously supported by the Suruga International Institute in Shizuoka, Japan, the International Women’s Media Foundation, the South Asian Journalists Association, and the Fund for Investigative Journalism and Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University.
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