Woman standing in outdoor classroom in front of screen, gesticulating

How to hire me

A short note today: I’m excited to announce that I’ve joined Duco Experts!

One thing I’ve always loved about my career are the chances that I’ve had to help colleagues in many industries — from media to academia to private companies — navigate our complex media ecosystem and tell their stories. (This photo is me over a decade ago participating in an awesome unconference for bloggers in Phnom Penh — I learned way more than I taught.) I’m also really happy to be called upon to help organizations understand immigration issues as well as inclusion. It’s an honor to be included in Duco Experts’ roster of really smart people. So if your company looking for a few moments or a few hours of my time, please do consider reaching out on this simple-to-use platform.

For larger projects, consultations or editorial work, you can reach me at angshah AT cal.berkeley.edu.

Thank you as well to so many of you who have recommended fellowships, job opportunities and independent work. I really appreciate it and am continuing to seek out my next big career move. (Let’s connect on LinkedIn?) Keep the ideas coming!

Are you a colleague who wants to catch up? I’ve been messaging many of you one-by-one to schedule times to chat, but I’m also using Calendly to help make it easier. Here’s where we can find a time to talk!

Text reads: NiemanLab, Predictions for Journalism, 2019. Headline reads: "The year news orgs say "yes" to real leaders"

It’s 2019 — time for leaders to step up in news

Like many people in the news industry who write predictions at the end of the year for NiemanLab, I wrote a prediction that is more of a hope. But it’s one based on experience.

I’m seeing talented colleagues step up to lead change in their newsrooms. And they’re doing it at a deeper level than when I first started in this profession. They are changing the budgets, structures and decision-making of their organizations. They’re building spaces in existing companies or starting their own companies to do the work.

So when NiemanLab asked me to make a prediction, mine was one in support of those leaders. The ones who see the deep, structural issues that prevent our news media from the diversity, quality and great coverage it should be providing the public.

Here’s how I explained it in NiemanLab.

There are a many other predictions in the bunch that inspire me, and have similar hopes for the news industry in 2019:

In this year’s predictions, I’m also really interested in how some smart people are thinking about news media’s relationship to Facebook. In my first job at PRI, I designed editorial social strategy for the organization, and even then, six years ago, I was dismayed by the way public media was putting their supporter’s dollars into the private company. Here are some good articulations about what happened and what might happen going forward:



What’s Angilee up to? Get emails once in a while.

“And I thought, ‘If they could only treat us and think of us the same way they do their animals … ‘ Instead, they treat us like terrorists and they think of us as bad people.”

Two brothers who spent 14 years apart sit at a kitchen table in a mobile home outside of Minneapolis. The elder one, David, looks around at the freshly painted blue walls with pride. He’s adding new window frames, flooring and appliances bit by bit to make a home for his family.

David left El Salvador on Sept. 1, 2005. He was 20 and the journey to Minnesota, where his father was living, took 22 days.

“You remember the whole trip, counting each day to get here,” he says. “We didn’t come on the plane.”

His younger brother, Josue, did take a flight. A special refugee program run by the US State Department gave him a chance to arrive legally in Minnesota. The program, which began in 2014, was intended to keep families like theirs, desperate to reunite and escape violence, from sending children on dangerous overland routes to the US border. The Central American Minors program was discontinued by the Trump administration in 2017.

Read more at PRI.org.

Can’t say it enough: Crossing the border to seek asylum is not illegal

After Vice President Mike Pence made remarks in meeting with leaders of Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, I tried to clarify something on Twitter about what he said. It seems to have struck a chord — or a nerve — with many people.

There are many migrants who are not explicitly crossing the southern border without presenting themselves at checkpoints because they are fleeing violence. There are people who are trying to escape poverty to reunite with family in the US. But if Pence is talking about a “migration crisis” — a term that deserves analysis in its own right — it’s important to note that many of these migrants take the dangerous journey because they feel their lives are in danger. They are looking for safety and, often, requesting asylum.

The US is a signatory of he Refugee Convention in 1967 and asylum-seekers are protected under US law. It’s not that the US has to (or does) allow anyone who says they are afraid to stay in the country. But there is a process by which their claim is heard.

Here’s more about that process — the links in this this story can take you even deeper into the subject.

Covering immigration: What reporters get wrong and how to get it right

I’ve spent the last three years, in my position as a senior editor for Global Nation, PRI’s The World’s immigration desk, developing training material for our contributors (and amazing group of dedicated reporters — check out their work) and for reporters around the country to be able to better cover the United States’ large and complex immigration system.

As more media outlets devote time and resources to this important topic, I’m trying to help connect reporters and share what we’ve learned at Global Nation. For my part, over six years of editing the ambitious work of many journalists, I’ve found it to be a beat that is incredibly rewarding and, often, very difficult.

One resource I’ve created, which I began to formalize when Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) began asking me to host workshops, is a list of data resources. On the immigration beat, context and numbers isn’t always easy to get or understand. So this is a growing, public resource for reporters who are trying to understand the agencies involved in the US immigration system, the scope of their work, as well as demographics, trends and other issues that can help their reporting. There are now 75 places to find data listed in the spreadsheet.

Chloe Reichel at the Journalist’s Resource website asked me about the training material, as well as for some tips on immigration reporting. To do good reporting on immigration, developing a diverse staff or contributor base and being sure not to parachute into communities that are in crisis are two really important starting points. Here are some other tips I offered.

My hope is that these resources help those of you who are just getting started and those who have been on the beat longer than I have. Feel free to reach out if you have questions or ideas to improve them.

Lives on the Line: Caring for Displaced People

I was honored to help craft and lead this conversations with health care providers and a journalist about what matters most to people fleeing conflicts. I learned from the panelists, and hope you can too.

The event was hosted by Doctors Without Borders at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, and was streamed online to about 9,500 people.

Among the takeaways for me? Power. Empowering people in their own lives is very important, even — especially — in situations of conflict and war.

In Texas, the conflicts between immigration enforcement and public safety concerns is on display

What’s happening in Texas is part of a larger national debate about how local and state law enforcement policies can affect public safety. SB4 is the first state law seeking to penalize sanctuary cities, but many other similar pieces of legislation are moving through states around the country.

On the other hand, the governor of Illinois signed the Trust Act Monday. The law prevents state and local police from detaining people on the basis of their immigration status and from complying with immigration officers’ requests to detain people. Some people say the Illinois law creates a “sanctuary state,” though many supporters reject that label. The law would ensure good communication with the federal government on immigration, not keep law enforcement agencies apart, Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner says.

“Illinois has been welcoming of immigrants for a long time, and this bill will continue that tradition,” Rauner said during the signing ceremony. “It also makes clear that stopping violent crime will be law enforcement’s mission rather than working on federal prerogatives that a federal court has found illegal.”

Read on at PRI.org.

“I wish my body could tell the difference…”

I worked with reporter Tiziana Rinaldi on a story that took great courage on the part of the people who spoke with us.

Laura López, a 29-year-old DACA recipient in Provo, Utah, told me about what it’s like to panic. The physicality of it is striking.

Woman outside, with young boy piggy backing“I wish my body could tell the difference between border crossing danger and the feeling of the unknown, even if I’m just sitting at my desk,” she said.

If you’ve ever had an anxiety attack or a panic attack, you’ll understand this story very well. The consequences of long-term stress, in this case caused by long-term immigration status uncertainty, is real. Our immigration system puts a lot of people in this kind of limbo. And mental health experts say, it’s really hard to provide the kind of care these immigrants need.

Read on at PRI.org.

An immigration data workshop at Investigative Reporters and Editors

There are some 320 million people in the US. 43 million of them were born abroad. About 11 million people are undocumented and over 5.1 million children have one or more undocumented parent. 860,000 people have applied for temporary legal status because they were brought to the US without proper documentation as children. Over 500,000 people are waiting for their cases to be heard in immigration courts. Some 270,000 people in the US came as refugees. On any given day, about 40,000 people are in immigration detention.

The numbers surrounding immigration can often be daunting and, sometimes, hard to track down. In this session, we’ll go through some of the most useful data sets available — and talk about some of the data that’s a bit tougher to find. We’ll talk about how to use that data to get leads on local and national stories — and what to do when the government is not providing data about its immigration actions.

IRE logoI’ll be at this year’s IRE conference in Phoenix for a June 24 workshop. Come work through the numbers — each is a person, after all — and find stories with me.