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Images & Voices of Hope | December 2, 2020

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Associated Press-NORC Center names fellow to report on resilience of people, communities

Associated Press-NORC Center names fellow to report on resilience of people, communities

Stock image of a New York City home that was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. 



By Genevieve Belmaker

Genevieve is a reporter for The Epoch Times in New York City and an Images & Voices of Hope freelancer. She can be found on Twitter at @Genevieve_Long.


The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research announced a new journalism fellow Tuesday. Emily Dooley, an award-winning Newsday reporter from Long Island, N.Y., will spend nine months researching the issue of resilience, largely in 12 New York and New Jersey neighborhoods that were impacted by Hurricane Sandy. Dooley, who specializes in environmental reporting, is known for her expansive coverage of Hurricane Sandy and its aftermath.

The Center named a fellow to study why some communities recover faster than others from natural and manmade disasters such as Hurricane Katrina, the Gulf Oil Spill, mass shootings and Hurricane Sandy.

Trevor Tompson, principal research scientist and director at the AP-NORC Center, said the economic impact of disasters has been on the public’s radar to an extent, but the social impacts are just beginning to emerge as important. The Center, he said, has found that as coverage fades out in the aftermath of disasters, other deeply important issues arise and are often unreported.

Resilience — an important part of disaster recovery — is a key area of interest at the Center.

“[Resilience] is going to be one of the significant issues of the next 10 years,” Tompson said by phone. “The concept of resilience is very much about how communities recover from shock…There’s a long period of aftermath.”

Emily Dooley was selected from a pool of more than 100 candidates.

Emily Dooley was selected from a pool of more than 100 candidates.

As part of the fellowship, Dooley will get special training and spend a significant amount of time doing in-depth research and journalism work on issues related to economic, psychological, and social resilience.

Dooley will examine answers to tough questions, such as whether it’s possible to design a policy program to help communities prepare for disaster recovery. Though she will produce some content related to her research and work, she’ll be able to mold the position as she goes along, without worrying about having to produce a minimum amount of work.

The work that Dooley produces will be made available exclusively through AP, with a note about the fellowship.

The Rockefeller Foundation, with its mission to build resilience among communities worldwide, is funding the $75,000 mid-career position. It is AP-NORC’s second resilience fellowship funded by the Foundation.

Last year, AP reporter Matt Sedensky awarded the inaugural fellowship to work on issues related to aging. He started in March 2013 and will be wrapping up in April, just as the new fellow begins.

“There’s no typical day,” Sedensky said via email. “Some days I have classes, some days I’m on the road doing reporting for a story, some days I’m in the office poring over data we’ve gathered.”

He added that the scientific research portion of the fellowship has also kept it interesting and varied.

“I’ve spent time doing everything from shaping survey questions to learning statistical analysis software to talking to retirees and employers.”

Dooley, who is just beginning, will use a similar approach in her work.

She’ll spend about 40 percent of her time on formal and informal training in urban studies, sociology, disaster response, and research methods. Part of that work will be done with support from NORC, which is located at the University of Chicago. The majority of the rest of her time will be spent on in-depth reporting projects. That work will be produced alongside AP journalists and an AP editor.

One of the advantages of the resiliency fellowship is that Dooley can bring the valuable lessons she learns back into the newsroom after her fellowship ends.

“It really allows a journalist to get out of the daily grind of the newsroom,” Tompson said. “It’s meant to allow time to think and learn.”


Related: The Guardian’s “Cities” website offers critical exploration of urban centers, resilience (

Know of other media practitioners who are doing interesting work around resilience? If so, email ivoh managing director Mallary Tenore, or reach out to us on Twitter (@ivohMedia).