The GroundTruth Project announces two foundation-supported correspondent positions in Middle East and Africa


BOSTON — The GroundTruth Project is pleased to announce two new correspondent positions, one covering human rights in the Middle East and the other undertaking a series of investigative reports in Africa.

Multimedia journalist and entrepreneur Lauren Bohn will join GroundTruth as a Middle East correspondent focusing on women and minorities after the Arab Spring. Bohn’s full-time position is based in Istanbul and made possible by financial support from the Ford Foundation, which promotes social justice reporting to develop a better-informed and engaged citizenry.

Award-winning reporter Jacob Kushner will become GroundTruth’s Africa correspondent leading investigative projects in East Africa. Kushner will be based in Nairobi and the position is made possible by financial support from the Galloway Family Foundation, which seeks to encourage the advancement of human rights in the United States and around the world.

A newly independent nonprofit, The GroundTruth Project is dedicated to training and mentoring the next generation of correspondents to take on in-depth reporting that makes a difference, and to do so safely. Growing out of the international news organization GlobalPost, GroundTruth has for the last several years established itself as a leading incubator for emerging talent in an era when journalism —particularly international reporting — is increasingly under threat.

”Lauren and Jacob are part of a generation of reporters who excel at using digital platforms to tell important stories that represent the highest standards of journalism,” said GroundTruth founder and executive director Charles Sennott, a longtime Boston Globe foreign correspondent and GlobalPost co-founder. “We have sought to nurture their careers through our reporting fellowships, and now we look forward to working with them more closely than ever in the new year as they officially join us as GroundTruth correspondents.”

The GroundTruth Project, a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization, launched in June and is based at the flagship PBS station WGBH in Boston. It publishes in partnership with GlobalPost, PRI’s The World, PBS FRONTLINE, NBC News and others. GroundTruth, which works in close partnership with GlobalPost in producing Special Reports, has offered more than 20 reporting fellowships a year since 2012, including ambitious training and reporting projects in Egypt, Burma and Haiti. It enjoys the support of the Henry Luce Foundation, Kaiser Family Foundation and Bake Family Trust in addition to the Ford Foundation and Galloway Family Foundation.

Bohn, a finalist for the 2012 Livingston Award, a 2012 Overseas Press Club fellow and co-founder of Foreign Policy Interrupted, was previously a GroundTruth reporting fellow in Egypt in 2011 and a GroundTruth reporting fellow on youth unemployment in Nigeria in 2014.

“At a time when the politics of the Middle East are once again a perfect storm for mass confusion and dehumanization, I’m honored and thrilled to be working with GroundTruth to go beyond the headlines,” said Bohn, who is presently a columnist for Foreign Policy and whose work has appeared in the New York Times, CNN, TIME, NBC News and the Wall Street Journal among others.

“We will deliver stories not just on the forces enveloping the region, but the people wrapped up in those forces,” she said. “Their voices are, after all, the best indicators of where these countries – and our shared humanity – are heading.”

Kushner, a 2013 Overseas Press Club fellow who was previously based in Haiti and the Dominican Republic, published his investigative series on “China’s Congo Plan” last year with support from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. He has worked on investigative projects for GlobalPost in Haiti, Kenya and Tanzania.

“Across East Africa, people are clamoring for rights and freedoms that their governments have long promised but seldom delivered,” Kushner said. “I’m excited to work with the GroundTruth team to investigate the troubling gap between law and reality and to scrutinize the role the US plays in condoning human rights abuses in the region. I’m eager to partner with Kenyan reporter Anthony Langat and other local colleagues as we investigate abuses of power in their home countries.” 

About Lauren Bohn

Lauren is an independent journalist based in Istanbul and a columnist for Foreign Policy magazine. She’s the co-founder of Foreign Policy Interrupted, a start-up incubator and fellowship program dedicated to changing the ratio and getting more women miked and bylined. 

She was a 2010-2011 Fulbright fellow in Egypt, where she is the founding assistant editor of a new journal, the Cairo Review. A Pulitzer Center grantee, her ongoing reporting project “Egypt: The Country Outside the Square” is funded by the center. She was a 2012 Overseas Press Club fellow in Jerusalem with the Associated Press, and a 2013 UN Foundation Press fellow.

A finalist for a 2012 Livingston Award, she’s reported from Egypt, Tunisia, Bahrain, Syria, the U.A.E., Israel, Gaza, the West Bank, Lebanon, Jordan, Zambia, Malawi, and Nigeria. She graduated summa cum laude from New York University in May 2009 as a John W. Withers Memorial Award recipient and Presidential Scholar, with a degree in Media, Culture, and Communication. She received Chicago’s Association for Women Journalists 2010 award for outstanding young female journalist and received her master’s degree from Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism in June 2010. 

About Jacob Kushner

Jacob Kushner is a freelance journalist currently reporting on foreign aid, human rights, extractives in developing nations, and Chinese and other foreign investment in Africa. The latter two were the subjects of his recent multimedia eBook, China’s Congo Plan. He holds an M.A. in political journalism from Columbia University in New York. Jacob was a 2013 Overseas Press Club Fellow for the Associated Press in Nairobi.

Originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Jacob graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Madison with a B.A. in journalism and Latin American studies. He recently spent two years reporting from Haiti and the Dominican Republic, where his work focused on immigration and foreign investment including development aid. He speaks fluent Spanish, conversational Haitian Creole and basic French.

Kushner has worked on investigative projects for GlobalPost in Haiti, Kenya and Tanzania. He has also been published by Foreign Policy, Associated Press, Newsweek, The American Interest, Guernica Magazine, the Christian Science Monitor,, the Center for Public Integrity, the Nation Institute and others.