Jacqueline Charles, The Miami Herald’s award-winning foreign correspondent covering Haiti, headlined the UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media’s Women in Media Leadership Series Sept. 11, 2014. She is a 1994 graduate of UNC’s journalism school, where she co-founded the Carolina Association of Black Journalists.
Charles, named the 2011 Journalist of the Year by the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ), was among the first foreign journalists to arrive in Haiti after the devastating Jan. 12, 2010 earthquake. She was the first to report that Haitian President René Préval had survived the earthquake, and she spent the next 15 months in Haiti covering the tragedy.
She co-produced a documentary on Haiti, titled “Nou Bouke,” that won a 2011 Regional Emmy Award.
Charles was born in the English-speaking Turks and Caicos Islands and partly raised in Miami’s Overtown neighborhood by her Haitian mother and Cuban-American stepfather. She began her journalism career at The Miami Herald as a 14-year-old high school intern. After graduating from UNC, her first overseas assignment was to cover the return of Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide from exile.
Her work has taken her throughout the Caribbean and as far away as Liberia, Africa, as one of a handful of NABJ journalism fellows – and recently to Kenya as an International Center for Journalists reporting fellow.
She has also covered Miami’s impoverished communities, Broward County schools and government, social services and the Florida Legislature.