Hello, and thanks for visiting my site.
I’m a journalist and audio producer. I report, write and make radio. My work has aired and published in numerous outlets, including NPR, PRI, Studio 360, Marketplace, KQED’s The California Report, Here & Now, the podcasts 70 Million and The World in Words, The Atlantic, WIRED, Harper’s, The News York Times and Foreign Policy. I also appear on public radio and podcasts to talk about my work and serve as an on-air correspondent.
My motivations lie in producing immersive, thought-provoking stories that illuminate the way the world works; challenge, validate, and expand peoples’ perspectives; inform policy; hold the powerful accountable; and empower communities. I’m interested in collaborating on dynamic projects focused on achieving these results and more and am actively looking to move into a staff position, ideally to continue to do journalism, narrative non-fiction, and storytelling that bites. I have 13 years of experience reporting and producing audio and have been working as a full-time freelancer since 2013.
My latest podcast project I produce and host is Loitering: The Occasional, But Lovable, Traveling Minipod, named after the “Why Loiter” movement fighting for women’s right to safe space. Loitering’s current life form is as a podcast and Q&A newsletter delivered straight to your email inbox (subscribe here!). As a reporter, my breadth of coverage and interests are vast, but I most often report on politics, diaspora, identity and inequality, and the power structures that enable and dismantle different narratives. I’m attracted to avenues for stories that are offbeat, challenge assumptions, and link local and global consequences and am especially experienced in covering the South Asian diaspora. My family is from India and the Philippines.
From 2009 to 2011, I was based in Shizuoka, Japan, where I taught English on the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program and founded, produced and hosted Shizuoka Speaks, a grant-funded podcast on racism, immigration and education in Japan. From 2013 to 2015, I was based in Lucknow, India, where I studied Urdu in an intensive language program and reported on the world’s largest election, politics and social issues — primarily from Uttar Pradesh, an Indian state the size of Brazil.
I’ve been an African Great Lakes reporting fellow with the International Women’s Media Foundation in Uganda (in 2016), named a “rising star” and a senior fellow with the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism (in 2017), and received an honorable mention as an AIR New Voices Scholar (in 2019). I am currently reporting and producing a narrative story on the future of policing for the podcast 70 Million and a story on COVID-19’s effects on housing security (the latter thanks to a grant from the Economic Hardship Reporting Project and South Asian Journalists Association).
My stories are used as educational materials in journalism, criminal justice and religious studies courses, and cited in books and research papers that discuss digital media in an international context, politics, economic growth, gendered violence and sexualized minorities. Stories like my piece on accent bias in voice recognition technologies have broken ground for further reporting and inspired coverage at other major news outlets. “Which version of Indian history do American school students learn?,” an audio documentary I reported and produced about South Asian revisionist history and rights in American textbooks, remains a foundational reference point for those looking to cover the politics of the South Asian diaspora.
That story, and other stories, have been honored and recognized by the South Asian Journalists Association and Religion News Association. Over the years, I’ve also covered language politics, Hindu nationalism, a woman’s gun, the evolution of SantaCon, sectarian violence, Beyoncé and the Bible, queer communities, an alleged state-sponsored murder of a “Facebook journalist,” sports betting, the sand mafia, vote polarization, teachers in immigration limbo, bodybuilding, bail reform and caste. I’ve gone politicking with Uganda’s top female politician, spent a day with a lookalike of India’s prime minister, and immersed myself in the world of America’s longest-running Asian beauty pageant. I’ve also written about my friend Kim Wall.
My work and professional development have been generously supported by the Suruga International Institute in Japan, the Anne O’Hare Memorial McCormick Memorial Fund, the International Women’s Media Foundation, the South Asian Journalists Association, the Asian American Journalists Association, the Religion News Association, the Association of Independents in Radio, the Fund for Investigative Journalism, the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism, Freelance Investigative Reporters & Editors, and the Economic Hardship Reporting Project. I regularly speak at conferences and in classrooms about writing for the ear, the particularities of covering South Asian politics and the diaspora, and working as a (female) freelance journalist.
I’m currently based in Oakland, California, reporting and loitering in the places I grew up and beyond.