Announcing our News Editors Cohort for Brazil Institute on Early Childhood

The Dart Center announced the cohort for its first News Editors Institute on Early Childhood in Brazil to be held August 23-25, 2024.

The Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma announced the cohort for its first Editors Institute on Early Childhood to be held August 23-25, 2024 in Rio de Janeiro. The seminar will bring together 23 editors from some of Brazil's main news organizations, hailing from 12 Federation Units, from all Brazilian macro-regions.

The selected group will convene for three days of expert briefings, panels, workshops and peer-to-peer conversations around news coverage of issues affecting the youngest children.

“Early childhood development is receiving more and more attention in the news. With this institute geared towards high level editors leading newsrooms across Brazil, we seek to expand and enhance coverage of a topic that is all the more crucial this year with municipal elections across Brazil and public policies affecting children ages 0-6 on the ballot”, said Bruce Shapiro, Executive Director of the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma at Columbia Journalism School.

Mariana Luz, CEO of Fundação Maria Cecilia Souto Vidigal, sees this an opportunity to amplify the debate around early childhood. “After decades of raising awareness about the early years, it's time to take the debate to the next level. Embracing a systemic approach across sectors and federations is the more effective path to implementing and sustaining public policy for early childhood development. A significant gathering of senior journalists is an opportunity to engage us all in taking steps forward,” she said.

The institute is part of the Dart Center's Early Childhood Journalism Initiative, launched in 2017 to encourage science-focused, child-centered reporting that also examines caregivers' mental health and well-being. Supported by the Van Leer Foundation (Netherlands), Maria Cecília Souto Vidigal Foundation (Brazil) and The Two Lilies Fund (United States), the initiative has already trained and supported more than 300 journalists from over 50 countries.

Below are brief biographies of the 23 selected journalists, along with the profiles of the seminar leaders.

Vitor Hugo Brandalise is a journalist who graduated from UFSC. He was a digital editor at piauí magazine, reporter, and editor at O Estado de S.Paulo newspaper. He is currently a senior producer at the podcast production company Rádio Novelo. He is the author of two non-fiction books and has won reporting awards such as the Petrobras Journalism Award and the Vladimir Herzog Award.

Ana Paula Brasil is a Social Responsibility Manager at Globo. She is a journalist by training and worked for 20 years in the main news programs of the network. Graduated from UFRJ, she has a postgraduate degree in Social Responsibility and the Third Sector from the same university.


Kátia Brasil is the Co-founder and executive editor of Agência Amazônia Real. She graduated in Journalism from Faculdade Hélio Alonso (RJ) and has over 30 years of experience in the Amazon with topics on the environment, politics, economy, human rights, defense of women, children, and adolescents. She has worked for TV Educativa and Cultura; A Gazeta de Roraima newspaper; O Globo; Estado de S. Paulo; and Folha de S. Paulo. Among the awards won: Esso Regional Norte 1991; Women Journo Heroes, from the International
Erica Chaves is a journalist and graduate of USP, a screenwriter and documentarian with 19 years of experience. She has been working at TV Globo for 11 years. At Globo, she has worked on programs such as Fantástico, Bem Estar, Mais Você, É de Casa, and Encontro. Erica has traveled to 25 countries and lived in Spain for 5 years, where she was an international correspondent, earned a master's degree in transmedia documentary from the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, and became a mother. Six years into this maternal journey, she also studies childhood and integral formation.
Mariama Correia is a journalist from Pernambuco who works as an editor and investigative reporter at Agência Pública. She is also the creator and co-founder of Cajueira, a curation of content from independent media in the Northeastern states, a researcher for the News Atlas focusing on the Northeast, and an editorial advisor for O Joio e O Trigo.
Victoria Damasceno is a journalist who graduated from ECA-USP and serves as editor of Health and the initiative Todas at Folha de S.Paulo, where she has been working since March 2021. She writes about topics related to human rights, with a focus on racial and gender issues. She was a reporter for Cotidiano and a special envoy to Qatar for coverage of the 2022 World Cup. She worked as a researcher in the Political Science department at Howard University (USA).
Fernanda da Escóssia is the executive editor of Aos Fatos, a journalistic organization that investigates misinformation. She is also a professor at Uerj, where she coordinates the Scientific News Agency and integrates the Journalism and Technology research group. Her book "Invisible: an ethnography about Brazilians without documents", the result of her doctoral thesis in History at CPDOC/FGV, was used as the topic for the Enem essay in 2021. The research also received the Anthropology and Human Rights Award granted by the Brazilian Association of Anthropology. She was a reporter for Folha de S.Paulo, Politics editor of O Globo, and editor at Piauí magazine. Her journalistic work focuses on Brazilian social inequality, from childhood to gender issues, covering topics such as hunger, urban violence, racism, and documentary exclusion.
Jane Fernandes is a journalist and graduate of the Faculty of Communication at the Federal University of Bahia (Facom-UFBA) and postgraduate in Marketing from UNIFACS. Jane Fernandes has been working with written reports and press releases for over 20 years. In print media, she worked as a reporter, chief editor, and editor, dividing her career between Correio and A Tarde. She is currently an assistant editor at Revista AzMina, building a new path in digital and independent journalism.
Inácio França is the content director of Marco Zero. He was an assistant officer and Communication consultant for UNICEF in the Amazon and Semi-arid regions. As a reporter, he worked at O Globo, Diário Popular (SP), and Diário de Pernambuco, where he received a Vladimir Herzog Journalism and Human Rights Award, Journalist Friend of the Child (Abrinq/UNICEF Foundation), and also two honorable mentions from the Ayrton Senna Journalism Award for Children's Rights.
Amanda Frota is a journalist with experience in writing and editing journalistic texts for newspapers, magazines, and digital platforms. She has been working for over ten years at O POVO, where she has served as a digital reporter, focusing on local coverage, business reporter, deputy editor in the branded content unit, deputy editor of Cities, and executive editor of the Ceará Yearbook for the 2023-2024 and 2024-2025 editions. She is passionate about topics such as education, early childhood, human rights, career, and entrepreneurship. She graduated from the Federal University of Ceará (UFC), with a specialization in Communication Management from Estácio.

Jean James de Albuquerque Gomes graduated in Journalism and licensed in Portuguese Literature, residing in the outskirts of Maceió (AL) and postgraduate in investigative journalism by IDP. With experience in revision, editing, reporting, early childhood, and independent journalism. He has works published in UOL (TAB, VivaBem, ECOA, and UOL News), Agência Pública, Ponte Jornalismo, Estadão, and Yahoo.

Tiago Mali is the former editor at Revista Época as well as editor-in-chief at Revista Galileu. Tiago has edited the websites of the UN and UNDP in Brazil. He was a director at Abraji (Brazilian Association of Investigative Journalism) from 2021 to 2022. In a previous period with the association (2015-2018), he taught data journalism and coordinated transparency projects. For one of these projects, he received the Data Journalism Awards in 2017. He also received an honorable mention at the Vladimir Herzog Award 2014. He served as editor-in-chief at Poder360 from 2019 to 2021. Since August 2021, he has held the position of senior editor at the digital newspaper.

Júlia Marques has been an assistant editor in the Audience Betting team at UOL since 2022. Before that, she worked for nine years at Estadão as a reporter, covering health, education, science, and the environment. Graduated in Social Communication with a qualification in Journalism from UFMG (Federal University of Minas Gerais) and the National University of Córdoba.

Thays Martins is a journalist who graduated from the University of Brasília (UnB) and postgraduate in Human Rights. Currently, a sub-editor on the Correio Braziliense website, where she has been working since 2017, with experience as an intern and reporter. At Correio, she received the first edition of the Conif journalism award in 2018 and the Cláudio Weber Abramo award for data journalism in 2020. She also collaborated with the Comprova Project.

Valéria Oliveira is a journalist at g1, Globo's news portal in Roraima. She covers and coordinates reports on environmental issues in the Amazon such as mining in indigenous lands, the Yanomami Territory, politics, elections, collaborates with investigative journalism at Rede Amazônica, and TV productions.


Ana Paula Pontes has 26 years of experience at Grupo Globo. Ana is a journalist and an experienced professional in digital platforms, with 16 years dedicated to producing and optimizing content for SEO, both in hard news and evergreen for CRESCER. An expert in topics related to motherhood and fatherhood, childhood, behavior, and child health, pregnancy, and well-being, she currently holds the position of editor-in-chief of Crescer. In this role, she coordinates the monthly digital publication, the website, social networks, as well as events and customized projects. In 2014, she was recognized with the Autistic Pride Award for a report on the topic. She has extensive experience in presenting and moderating health and lifestyle events, scriptwriting, and public relations. Her skills include leadership, team management, teamwork, critical thinking, and problem-solving.

Rosângela Monteiro Rozek​ is the “Comportamento” editor at Zero Hora. The desk is responsible for covering the areas of Education, Health, Behavior, Technology, and Environment for Zero Hora and the GZH website. She graduated from the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul (PUCRS) with an MBA in Transmedia Communication from the Superior School of Advertising and Marketing (ESPM).

Luisa Sá is a lawyer and journalist. Her professional trajectory as a journalist was almost entirely carried out at TV Globo. She has also worked at Globo News and local newspapers in Rio. Currently, she is the editor of Bom Dia Brasil, where she has directed series dedicated to education.


Nalu Saad is the Network Coordinator at Record Minas. With 36 years in journalism, she has worked for newspapers in Minas Gerais and nationally, as well as radios and portals in various editorial departments and children's supplements. She is a Child Friendly Journalist by Andi. As a children's writer, with five books, she explores issues related to physical and mental health for children in a playful, affectionate, and empathetic way. In 2023, she spoke at TEDX about depression and suicide in childhood.

Camila Salmazio is the director of audio programs at Brasil de Fato. Creator and host of Radinho BdF, the only children's journalism podcast in Brazil. She is also one of the founders of COLO - Collective of Children and Youth Journalism. In 2021, she received the Child Health awards, in the audio category, from the José Luis Egydio Setubal Foundation; Silver Microphone - entertainment, from the CNBB Communication Award, and honorable mention from the Vladimir Herzog Award, radio category. She is one of the selected journalists for the education journalism grant from Jeduca in 2021.

Raquel Vieira is a journalist, with a background in social communication and specialization in process management and digital marketing. Experienced in product and people management, with skills in multi-platform content and digital result strategy through relevant journalistic content. She has been working for 15 years at NSC Comunicação in Santa Catarina. She is responsible for curating digital content for NSC Total and CBNs Floripa and Joinville, as well as supervising the weekly print at NSC.

Victor Vieira​ has been the editor of the Metropolis section of O Estado de S. Paulo newspaper since 2021, with reporting and editing experience in the areas of education, health, and science. Graduated in Social Communication from the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG) and from the University of Seville (Spain). He was also responsible for developing guides for Jeduca (Association of Education Journalists), aimed at journalism professionals, on the coverage of early childhood education, elementary education, and financing of basic education.

Jéssica Welma is a journalist and graduate of the Federal University of Ceará (UFC). Undergraduate student in Political Science. Specialist in Semiotics Applied to Literature and Literary Writing. She has been covering politics in Ceará for over 10 years. She is currently the Politics editor at Diário do Nordeste and host of the PontoPoder program (Diário do Nordeste/Verdinha). Co-author of the book-report "Na Marca do Pênalti - O Sonho de Ser Jogador de Futebol". She is among the 50 most awarded journalists in the Northeast, in the 2024 ranking of the Journalists Portal. Winner of awards such as the Banco do Nordeste Award, AMAERJ Patricia Acioli Human Rights Award, INEP Award, Fortaleza City Hall Award, and Estácio Award.

Seminar leaders

Fábio Takahashi is the director of the Brazil Early Childhood Reporting Fellowship. He is a former editor at the Folha de S. Paulo newspaper, where he ran the data journalism desk. Takahashi previously worked as an education reporter at Folha from 2003 to 2016, and helped create Folha’s University Ranking, Brazil’s most comprehensive evaluation of college-level institutions. Takahashi was a Spencer fellow at Columbia University 2016-2017. He is also the founder and current director of Jeduca (the first association for education reporters in Brazil, the Education Reporters Association), which was launched in 2016. In 2013, he was the first journalist to attend the Executive Leadership Program in Early Childhood Development, a short course at Harvard University. Currently he works as a PR content manager at Loft.


Irene Caselli leads the Dart Center’s Early Childhood Journalism Initiative, as well as its Latin American Early Childhood Reporting Fellowship. She has also served as a story coach for the Global, Brazil and Latin American ECJI fellowships. Caselli is a multimedia reporter and writer, with two decades of experience in radio, TV and print, now focusing on early childhood, reproductive rights, and caregivers. For a decade, Caselli was a foreign correspondent in Latin America, reporting for the BBC, The Washington Post, The Guardian, The New York Times and others. In 2019, she started covering early childhood for The Correspondent. In January 2021, she launched her own newsletter, The First 1,000 Days, where she continues her writing about the first 1,000 days, the foundational period of our lives that is too often overlooked, partly influenced by her experience as the mother of Lorenzo and León. She published a chapter in “Unbias the News,” a book about how to make journalism more diverse. She produced a documentary on women’s football and gender inequality, and one of her short films on the same subject received a prize for collaborative journalism. Caselli has been awarded fellowships by the International Women’s Media Foundation, the European Journalism Centre and the Solutions Journalism Network. She speaks six languages (English, Italian, Spanish, German, French, Portuguese), and is now learning Greek.

Daniela Tófoli served as a story mentor for the Dart Center/Columbia University's Early Childhood Reporting Fellowship, Brazilian branch. Tófoli is an editorial director at Editora Globo, where she oversees the work of Marie Claire, Quem, Crescer, Galileu, TechTudo, Casa e Jardim, and Monet magazines, as well as the Digital Content department. She is a member of the National Association of Magazine Editors. Her work has focused on maternity, family, health, and education. She has been a guest speaker on maternity topics for parents, mothers, and companies. She is the author of the blog "Mãe de Tween," about pre-teens, and the book "Pre-Adolescent: A Guide to Understanding Your Child." Tófoli holds a degree in communication from Faculdade Casper Libero, in São Paulo, and completed a magazine publishing course at Yale University. She is also the mother of 15-year-old Helena.


Mariana Kotscho served as a story mentor for the Dart Center/Columbia University's Early Childhood Reporting Fellowship, Brazilian branch. Kotscho is a journalist with 30 years experience as a reporter and television host, and has worked for several major TV Stations in Brazil, including TV Cultura and TV Globo. She is the winner of the Vladimir Herzog Award for coverage of human rights issues for Globonews and a volunteer consultant at the Instituto Maria da Penha. Kotscho created the program "Papo de Mãe," which covered topics related to education, behavior and child health for 12 years on TV (TV Brasil and TV Cultura). Her website, marianakotscho, is now UOL's partner. On TV Globo (Bem Estar), Mariana Kotscho  is a commentator on family relations and violence against women. She is the mother of three teenagers: Laura, Isabel and André.