News: Quick Takes

CJ’s Kari Travis awarded Robert Novak Journalism Fellowship

N.C. Chief Justice Mark Martin speaks with CJ Associate Editor Kari Travis in July 2017 at his Raleigh office. (CJ photo by Don Carrington)
N.C. Chief Justice Mark Martin speaks with CJ Associate Editor Kari Travis in July 2017 at his Raleigh office. (CJ photo by Don Carrington)

RALEIGH — Carolina Journal Associate Editor Kari Travis has been named a recipient of the prestigious Robert Novak Journalism Fellowship.   

The program, which is affiliated with The Fund for American Studies, awards grants to fund a major, year-long investigative journalism project. Travis will divide time reporting for CJ and working on her Novak Fellowship project.

Travis’s investigation, Not for Sale: Liberty, Responsibility, and the Role of Conservatism in the Fight Against Human Trafficking, will focus on the problem of domestic sex trafficking, seeking data-based policy recommendations lawmakers could implement to combat this modern form of slavery.

The six-part series will span several key questions: How can we measure the severity and impact of human trafficking better when data is so hard to collect? What is the role of government, and how do inefficiencies and policy shortcomings perpetuate trafficking? How have community-based and private solutions been effective, and what should be done to expand and support them?

Travis joined CJ in April 2015. She began reporting on human trafficking last year, and garnered a North Carolina Press Association award for portions of her work.

She will develop information collected during her fellowship into several long-form articles, and expand them into a book.

Travis was one of several dozen applicants, and joins a handful of other journalists chosen by the fellowship’s selection committee.

“We are thrilled Kari won this honor. The recognition speaks volumes about her ability to confront difficult, often emotional subjects without losing clarity and perspective,” said CJ Editor-in-Chief Rick Henderson. “All of us look forward to the ways she will advance awareness of trafficking beyond CJ’s core audience. Her research, reporting, and storytelling can aid the search for sensible and compassionate ways to help these victims.”

The Robert Novak Journalism Fellowship, named after the late American journalist broadly known for his tenacious reporting, was founded in 1994. The program has welcomed 141 fellows since its inception.

Previous participants include Tim Carney, senior political columnist for the Washington Examiner and contributor to The Wall Street Journal; Katherine Mangu-Ward, editor-in-chief of Reason; and Stephen Hayes, a New York Times bestselling author, former CNN commentator, and current editor in chief of The Weekly Standard.