Columbia Journalism School


Investigative Journalist and Novelist Daniel Alarcón Named Assistant Professor of Broadcast Journalism

June 25, 2014

Media Contacts:
Elizabeth Fishman: or (212) 854-8619
Sabina Lee: or (212) 854-5579

Daniel Alarcón                    Photo: Adrian Kinloch                               Photo/Adrian Kinloch

New York, NY — Columbia Journalism School today announced that Daniel Alarcón, an accomplished investigative journalist and novelist, has been named Assistant Professor of Broadcast Journalism.

“We are thrilled that Daniel will join our broadcast faculty,” said Academic Dean Bill Grueskin. “During this time of such great change in our profession, it is fitting that we bring someone with Daniel’s creativity and innovative vision to our program.”

Alarcón began working as a journalist in 2004, first in print for Latin American outlets such as Etiqueta Negra, and later for American and European publications including Harper’s, The New York Times Magazine, El País, and Granta, where he was named a Contributing Editor in 2010. In 2012, he co-founded Radio Ambulante, a groundbreaking Spanish-language podcast, the first of its kind covering Latin America with long-form narrative radio journalism. Under his leadership, Radio Ambulante has reported stories from all over the region, and partnered with outlets like Public Radio International and BBC Mundo to reach audiences across the U.S. and worldwide.

“It’s an honor,” said Alarcón. “I am excited to work with Columbia Journalism students and help them approach their stories in creative ways. This, as I see it, is the essential work of a teacher. Journalism  — whether in print or in sound — is about telling a story in the fairest, truest, and most compelling manner possible.”

Alarcón’s long-form journalism has included deeply reported pieces focusing mainly on Peru, the country where he was born, with topics ranging from the rise of the new nationalist left, the book piracy industry, and the emerging democracy inside Lima’s most notorious prison, Lurigancho. This last piece, “All Politics is Local”, was published in Harper’s in 2012, and was a finalist for a National Magazine Award that year.

Alarcón began his career as a fiction writer. His first short story, “City of Clowns,” appeared in The New Yorker in 2003, and HarperCollins published his first collection, War by Candlelight, two years later. His first novel, Lost City Radio, was published in 2007, named a Best Book of the Year by critics across the country, and eventually translated into more than a dozen languages. At Night We Walk in Circles, his most recent novel, was a finalist for the 2014 PEN/Faulkner Foundation Award.

Alarcón graduated from Columbia University in 1999 with a BA in Anthropology; he earned an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Iowa in 2004. In 2012-13, Alarcón joined the University of California Berkeley’s Graduate Journalism School as an Investigative Reporting Fellow.

About the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism

For over a century, the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism has been preparing journalists with instruction and training that stresses academic rigor, ethics, journalistic inquiry, and professional practice. Founded with a gift from Joseph Pulitzer, the School opened its doors in 1912 and offers master of science, master of arts, and doctor of philosophy degrees. Learn more at

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