Priya Jandu dreams of being a political reporter in Washington one day, so she’s excited about covering the Arizona Legislature in the spring as the school’s 2020 Don Bolles Fellowship winner.
Jandu, a reporter on the investigation desk of the Arizona Daily Wildcat, will report from Phoenix for the school’s Arizona Sonora News media service. The senior, who is double-majoring in journalism and political science, will work with Professor Susan Knight on story ideas and editing.
“I want to get a better understanding of how enacted legislation affects various populations throughout the state,” Jandu said. “Additionally, I know how the state Legislature theoretically functions, but it’ll be interesting to see how efficient it is in practice.”
Jandu also covered government for the Wildcat, including an Associated Students of the University of Arizona cultural forum during election season. “It was really interesting to see students actually show up, participate in the forum and hold their future executive officers accountable,” she said.
She also has worked on a podcast about the herbal supplement kratom, which has been tied to overdose deaths in the U.S.
“Priya is a great fit for the Bolles Fellowship,” said Carol Schwalbe, director of the School of Journalism. “I look forward to reading her work in the spring.”
Jandu graduated from Chandler High School and is glad she chose journalism as her major.
“I realized current events always held my interest, and I thought it would be interesting to find out how news is made,” Jandu said. “I stuck with it — and now journalism is the only thing I can really see myself doing long-term.”
The fellowship is named after Don Bolles, an investigative reporter for The Arizona Republic who was killed in a car bombing in 1976. The award has been handed out by the UA School of Journalism since 1977
“Don Bolles was a man who cared deeply about getting to the very bottom of the issues he covered, from land deals to bribery,” said Eric Kolsrud, the school's 2018 Bolles Fellow. “His dying words served to convict the man who killed him and opened up investigations that changed law in Arizona. He's an inspiration."
The fellowship is funded through an annual donation by the Armin and Esther Hirsch Foundation. Joni Hirsch Blackman, a 1982 UA journalism graduate, is an author in Chicago.
Listen to the Arizona Republic's new podcast, "Rediscovering: Don Bolles, murdered Arizona journalist.” The series includes cassette tapes of Bolles’ interviews.