Katie Jane Fernelius

I graduated in 2016 with a B.A. in Global Cultural Studies and a certificate in Documentary Studies. While at Duke, I ran the literary magazine, wrote for the student newspaper, and worked on documentary projects in 10 different countries. 

After graduating, I moved to Lagos, Nigeria on a Fulbright scholarship where I conducted oral history interviews with women, wrote journalistic essays, and went out dancing weekly at Fela Kuti’s Shrine. 

After that, I moved back to Durham where I worked as the research and program director of an oral history interview collection at the Dewitt Wallace Center for Media and Democracy in the Sanford School. I also freelanced for Indy Week, the local alt-weekly for the Triangle. The most meaningful story for me to report was an investigative look at the culture of sexual harassment at a comedy theater in New York City where I got to talk to over 20 women comedians about their experiences. I also reported the #YoungDolphgate story where Vice President Larry Moneta had Joe Van Gogh baristas fired for playing a lewd song. And I got to travel back to Lagos to work on a radio documentary for the BBC World Service and Sundance about a privatized city being built by billionaires. Robert Redford introduced the program and even said my name, which made my mom swoon. 

After two years, I moved away from Durham to pursue radio and reporting full-time. I am currently living a fairly itinerant lifestyle going between West Africa and a (new) home base in New Orleans, Louisiana, with many pit stops in between! I love to eat, cook, read and go on very long walks. 

Please reach out to me if you have any questions about journalism, radio, cooking, writing, managing your finances as a freelancer, traveling by yourself as a woman, or moving somewhere new on your own. Happy to swap stories and offer what little advice I can. 

photo of Katie Jane Fernelius