Team


Veteran professionals and high standards are the mainstay of NearMedia project teams. Our roster is led by top journalists, trainers, and media consultants.

BetzHeadshot1Michelle Betz is a senior media development consultant and lead manager in NearMedia projects.

She was a network journalist with the CBC and university lecturer in the U.S., and was the director of UPI Next in 2012-13. Her areas of expertise include media in conflict and post-conflict, military-media relations and election reporting. Betz has more than ten years of international experience, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East, and is the author of numerous book chapters. Betz has lived and worked in more than 20 countries and is currently based in Vienna, Austria. Follow her on Twitter @michellebetz and find her on LinkedIn.

B@W picMubasher Bukhari is Executive Editor for News Lens Pakistan and other NearMedia projects in Pakistan.

A senior journalist working in Pakistan for the past two decades, he is the founder and president of Media Foundation 360, a nonprofit dedicated to journalism training and support. Bukhari is a specialist in reporting and researching militancy and militant groups in Pakistan including Al- Qaeda and Taliban and co- authored the book, “Arabs in Afghan Jihad.” His work on militancy has been printed in various national and international publications. He has also led learning sessions for  journalists for accountability and ethics-based reporting. He was a founding member and joint director of Pak Institute for Peace Studies (PIPS), a think tank that provides an in-depth analysis of regional and global issues relating to peace building. He taught journalism at School of Media and Communication, Beacon House National University, Lahore for five years. Bukhari has worked with various national and international print and electronic media organizations including Reuters, UPI, Weekly Asia360 (Singapore), The Mirror (UK), SBS (Australia). He has also worked with Geo News, The Friday Times, Daily Times, The Frontier Post, The Sun and The Nation in Pakistan. Follow him on Twitter @BukhariMubasher.

bronwynBronwyn Curran is the chief journalism mentoring specialist for NearMedia.

She has reported from Afghanistan, Australia, Cambodia, East Timor, Indonesia and Pakistan in a career spanning more than two decades. She has been a news editor and correspondent for the Agence France-Presse, Australian Broadcasting Corp., Voice of America and The National newspaper. She was based in Pakistan and Indonesia for 10 years, covering Indonesia’s transition to democracy in the first post-Suharto years, Timor-Leste’s violent passage to independence, and the early post-Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks era in Pakistan and Afghanistan, reporting on terrorism, democratization, sectarian conflict, South Asian tensions and nuclear proliferation. As news editor with AFP, she led and mentored a team of 15 reporters and stringers in Pakistan and Afghanistan. She has also worked as a spokeswoman and media relations expert for U.N. agencies and the Asian Development Bank in Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and Indonesia. She has worked as a mentor for UPI’s media development division for several years. Follow her on Twitter @BronAZ and find her on LinkedIn.

harumiHarumi Gondo is NearMedia’s chief consultant on content evaluation.

She joined United Press International (UPI) in 2008 and helped establish UPI’s journalism training division, initiating partnerships with universities in Africa, the Asia Pacific region and the United States, and developed mentoring programs for journalism students to complement the theory and lectures offered in university classrooms. She co-created the UPI Next Evaluation Tool and trains editors and reporters in content evaluation. She received her master’s degree in religion from Harvard Divinity School. Harumi is also a corporate trainer and coach assisting individuals with communication and individual development. She lives in Tokyo. Follow her on Twitter @hgondo and find her on LinkedIn.

steveSteve Hirsch is the senior editor for NearMedia’s Pakistan projects.

He has reported on a variety of topics, largely international and international business news, for newspapers, magazines and online news services. He is based in Washington but has also reported from Europe and various places in Asia, from Paris to Baku to the Myanmar-China border. He has covered subjects as diverse as CIA recruiting after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, Myanmar political developments and U.S. trade policy. He is a former editor of U.N. Wire and former assistant foreign editor of The Washington Times, and has done freelance reporting for news organizations ranging from the International Herald Tribune to National Journal magazine to Radio Free Asia to the Phnom Penh Post. Find him on LinkedIn.

chrisChris Sullivan is the chief administrative, data and monitoring specialist for NearMedia.

Chris is based out of Washington D.C. and has more than five years of experience with data analysis, survey development, project management and report writing across a number of sectors including social services, education and international development, and has worked on projects in Central America and Africa. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Milligan College and a Master’s degree in Public Policy from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Follow him on Twitter @c_jamessullivan and find him on LinkedIn.

amandaAmanda Wilson offers evaluative and admin support for NearMedia projects.

She is a professional copywriter and content analyst based in Washington, DC. A former freelance journalist, her writing has appeared in publications ranging from local urban blogs to the international wire and her reporting has received support from the Fund for Investigative Journalism and The Investigative Fund of The Nation Institute. She was a core member of the team that researched and developed the UPI Journalism Evaluation Tool currently used by NearMedia, and is the voice behind the NearMedia SEO screencasts for journalists. She holds a bachelor’s in Journalism and Mass Communications from UNC-Chapel Hill and a Master’s in Sociology and Social Anthropology from Central European University. Follow her on Twitter @amandamcwilson and find her on LinkedIn.