Bio

gerson_daniela_mxIn June, 2018 I joined The Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at City University of New York (CUNY) as West Coast Director of the Center for Community and Ethnic Media (CCEM). I’m also an assistant professor of journalism at California State University, Northridge (CUNY), in a new faculty position with a focus on community, ethnic and participatory media. And, yes, I do have lots of titles with “c” acronyms.

The same week the first travel ban went into effect, January 2017, I created Migratory Notes, a pop-up immigration newsletter with another experienced immigration reporter, Elizabeth Aguilera.

I was previously a Senior Fellow and Consultant at the Democracy Fund, where I advised the Public Square Program on its work to strengthen journalism innovation and engagement with multiethnic communities.

In 2015-2016, I worked with the Los Angeles Times as a community engagement editor.  Our projects on student immigration walkoutsclosure of LAUSDPorter Ranch gas leak, and  San Bernardino victim memories (which was part of the Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage for breaking news), implemented new strategies to integrate readers into the reporting process. Our bilingual education forum and other meetings with students, teachers and parents cultivated in-person community connections. And HS Insider, our youth journalism platform, grew to more than 175 schools, connecting young people of diverse backgrounds to the newspaper.

Before joining the L.A. Times, I directed the Civic Engagement and Journalism Initiative at University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. As part of that role, I was the founding editor of Alhambra Source, an award-winning multilingual community site and research project into how local news can foster civic engagement and cross linguistic and ethnic barriers. I also developed Reporter Corps, a program to train young adults to report on their own communities, and advised Intersections South LA on community outreach and site development. I served as a consultant with the Institute for Nonprofit News developing online training programs.

In addition to the L.A. Times, I have reported for the Financial Times Magazine, The New York Times, PRI’s The World, Weekend America, Der Spiegel, WNYC: New York Public Radio, among other outlets. My first newspaper job was as a staff immigration reporter for the New York Sun, where my beat included Chinese-Italian tensions in Brooklyn and Irish undocumented immigrants in the Bronx, the national immigration debate in Washington and Dominican criminal deportees in Santo Domingo.

I spent more than a year reporting from Berlin as an Alexander von Humboldt Foundation German Chancellor Scholar and Arthur F. Burns Fellow. Officially, I was researching contemporary guest worker programs in Europe. But I also danced in a frevo troupe and created a German-language radio documentary for Deutschlandradio Kultur.

I graduated from Brown University with a BA in International Relations and History, and USC Annenberg with an MA in Specialized Journalism, focusing on demographics, immigration and digital media. I speak Spanish and Portuguese (with a Carioca accent), and can get by in German and Hebrew.