A cross-platform journalist who reports on the film industry, Islam, the Middle East and all matters pertaining to Southern California and still finds time to co-chair SPJ’s International Community is SPJ’s Member of the Month for April — Elle Toussi. Congratulations, Elle!
She trained with award-winning journalists at CNN, NBC Los Angeles, KTLA, Screen International and USA Today. She has also freelanced for National Geographic Channels. Toussi is an Iranian-American born and raised in Southern California. Her passions including reporting on the Middle East, women, technology and how these worlds come together.
She is working on a project about the role of immigrants in the U.S. Inspired by her time in Jordan interviewing Syrian refugee women and children, she will launch a non-profit, In One Minute. It will use mobile technology and philanthropy to meet specific needs of women around the world. She has written for SPJ’s Freelance Community blog. She also is a co-leader of Los Angeles events for the Freelancers Union. And she has helped judge SPJ’s Mark of Excellence Awards that honor student journalism. You can learn much more about Elle at About.me and Elletoussi.com.
Elle was nominated for Member of the Month by Alex Veneeman, community coordinator for SPJ and past MOTM winner himself. He says that since Elle became co-chair of the International Community last June, she has devised and developed ideas of engaging SPJ members (and the wider journalism community) about international affairs and coverage of world events, most notably with a recent series of conversations with Google News Labs.
In addition, she has allowed these conversations to thrive in the digital age, through social media and other means, and to reinforce the importance of covering and discussing world affairs, in an age where investment in foreign coverage by a lot of U.S.-based media outlets has declined.
“Elle, I believe, is a true ambassador and champion of world affairs, as well as the global village, helping the world understand each other, irrespective of borders,” Alex said. “I am fortunate to know that she is at the helm of this very important work as well as upholding the essential and fundamental principles that support SPJ’s work, not just in the US, but internationally.”
Do you know an outstanding SPJ volunteer? Nominate that person for Volunteer of the Month by contacting Susan Stevens, Membership Committee member, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please tell us briefly why you are nominating the person and why your nominee is worthy of recognition. Nominations are due the 5th of each month and announced by the 15th.