Professor of Practice, Arizona State University
Fernanda Santos is a Southwest Borderlands Initiative professor of practice at Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. She teaches short-form and long-form narrative journalism. She joined Cronkite after 12 years at The New York Times, including five as its Phoenix Bureau chief. Her first book, “The Fire Line: The Story of the Granite Mountain Hotshots,” received the Western Writers of America 2017 Spur Award for Best First Nonfiction Book.
Santos got her start in journalism in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, her home country. She speaks four languages – English, Portuguese, Spanish and French – and has reported in three of them, in Latin America and the United States. Her coverage of demographic changes in New England’s first majority-minority city won a Sigma Delta Chi Award in Public Service by the Society of Professional Journalists.
Her story about a young man’s first year of freedom after a wrongful conviction was nominated for a Livingston Award. Her work has been recognized by the Society of Silurians and the Associated Press Media Editors. Jill Abramson, a former executive editor of The Times, once called her “the bard of the Southwest.”
Santos is a recipient of the Kiplinger, International Reporting Project and Casey Children and Family fellowships, and a co-author of “Latinos in the United States,” a reference guide by the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, published In 2002. She is a board member of the Arizona Latino Media Association and a volunteer at the News Literacy Project, a nonpartisan national education nonprofit that teaches middle- and high-school students how to sort fact from fiction in the digital age.