Every week, Syracuse University professor Aileen Gallagher is helping Longreads highlight the best of college journalism. Here’s this week’s pick:

Recent Indiana University journalism student Mary Kenney used her study-abroad experience in India to test her abilities as a foreign correspondent. In “Light From Darkness,” Kenney profiles a sex worker named Akshaya. Akshaya was a rural girl who sought a new life in a big city. But like so many other impoverished women around the world, Akshaya’s life turned violent. Kenney relies on Akshaya’s own voice to provide the story’s tone and cadence, but without the soft-focus indulgence that can turn such narratives into overwrought Lifetime movies. Her willingness to spend time with a subject, and earn her trust, is evident in this piece.

Kenney is spending her first post-graduate summer on the sports desk at The New York Times, where she is a James Reston Reporting Fellow.

“Light from Darkness”

Mary Kenney | Inside Magazine | March 2013 | 2,932 words


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