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Meet the 2024 Pulitzer Fellow, Andrew Balaban

Andrew Balaban, a first-year student at Hunter College, will be the school’s 2024 Pulitzer Center Reporting Fellow.

Entering Hunter last fall, Balaban wasn’t sure what his major would be; his interest in writing led him to journalism and political science.

In high school, Balaban was encouraged to write by his teachers, which sparked his initial interest in journalism. He recalled being passionate about a piece he wrote on property and how much he enjoyed interviewing people, as well as getting to do “a lot of research.”

“I like going down various rabbit holes, so that was pretty fun,” said Balaban.

His love of writing began in the 7th grade, when he was assigned to write about an issue with a social significance at summer camp. 

This budding interest in writing combined with an announcement about the Pulitzer fellowship by his professor for News Literacy in a Digital Age, Sissel McCarthy, led Balaban to put together a proposal.

With McCarthy’s advice, Balaban looked into climate topics, and landed on blue-green infrastructure (BGI). 

Balaban homed in on stormwater management and began his search for a prime location that implemented BGI. He ultimately found that Portland, Oregon, would be the perfect city, as it has one of the nation’s longest-standing and most accomplished green infrastructure programs. 

Additionally, the city’s BGI relies heavily on its volunteers through the Green Street Stewards Program. The city provides additional environmental and community-based engagement through its teaching workshops. 

Balaban plans to report on how blue-green Infrastructure can help cities adjust to climate change by developing and maintaining more blue and green spaces that can absorb falling stormwater, such as gardens, forests, green roofs, creeks and ponds. He will go to Portland to do his reporting this summer. In the meantime, Balaban continues to study and do karate, which, like writing, he began in 7th grade. He is now a black belt. 

Balaban is generous with advice for next year’s winner, whoever it might be–including first-year students and those new to journalism. “If I can do it, you can do it,” he said. 

Our Journalism Concentration & Minor

The Hunter College journalism program is offered as a concentration or a minor within the Department of Film & Media Studies. Its curriculum is built around production courses in journalism and analytical courses in media studies. Learn more about our course requirements.

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