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Columbia College Chicago
Jean Friedman-Rudovsky
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Jean Friedman-Rudovsky

Fall 2010
Institute Fellow
La Paz, Bolivia

Jean Friedman-Rudovsky

Jean Friedman-Rudovsky is an award-winning freelance journalist who was based in La Paz, Bolivia from 2006 through 2012. She is a TIME Magazine reporter, ABC News associate producer and regularly contributor to Science Magazine. Her work has appeared in various other outlets including The New York Times, The Economist, NPR (WBEZ), Sierra Club Magazine, Village Voice Media, Newsweek (Russian Edition), Christian Science Monitor América Economía, Debate Feminista, In These Times, and Earth Island Journal. She has produced  for ABC, CNBC, the BBC, Dan Rather Reports, NPR and Al Jazeera among others. She has appeared on numerous news outlets to discuss her reporting, including Democracy Now, iWitness Frontline, Sierra Club Radio, RTE Irish National Television and the Danish Broadcasting Corporation. In February 2008, she and ABC News’ Brian Ross Investigative Unit broke the story exposing US Embassy officials in Bolivia who had been asking Fulbright Scholars and Peace Corp Volunteers to provide information on Cuban and Venezuelan nationals residing in Bolivia. Her Village Voice Media  cover feature "Juarez's Children: Death, Drugs and Fear," is a recipient of a 2010 Aronson Award for Social Justice Journalism and her investigation into Walmart's bad labor and environmental practices in Bolivia and the U.S. won the Society of Professional Journalists' Green Eye-shade award for best consumer reporting of 2011.

In 2013, she is beginning to report for on her book on collective women's movements—which grew out of her Ellen Stone Belic Institute Fellowship Project (see below). This journey will take her to 10 countries throughout the Global South including Sierra Leone, Iraq, India, Rwanda, Thailand , Ecuador and Colombia.  A Philadelphia native, Jean has lived in La Paz since 2005 but is now setting up a new home in Tuy Hoa, Vietnam where she will be based for several years. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Wesleyan University in 2002 with a double major in History and African-American studies.


Friedman-Rudovsky will create a five part radio series, Ground Shifters, focusing on issues of gender, human rights, and leadership. The series begins in Bolivia with a profile of union leaders of La Paz, Bolivia's women's prison who fight to secure rights for themselves and their children who live by their side. 

Descending into the Bolivian Amazon basin, we meet the courageous women who struggle for female economic independence and empowerment, up against some of the region's most suffocating machismo. Moving north to  Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, she spends time with Nuestras Hijas de Regreso a Casa (Bring our daughters home), a group that fights to bring justice to Juarez's rampant rapes and killings of women during the 90's and 2000's-and thatstill continue today. Next is a piece on women who have lost loved ones due to drug war violence in Ciudad Juarez find hope and a new life through collective healing at an integral health center located in a poor neighborhood on the outskirts of the city. Lastly, she returns to Bolivia where the hidden world of child laborers is emerging from the shadows, as kids across the region form unions to demand respect and workers rights. Meet Ana, Noemí and Brígida, three of the courageous girls who lead this movement in Bolivia.