The Worldacad Gary newsroom in Indiana welcomes Jenae Barnes as its health and environment reporter.

Barnes is a 2023 Wake Forest University Environmental and Epistemic Justice Fellow. Her passion for climate reporting was in part developed at the Earth Journalism Network, where she facilitated story grant projects for international newsrooms and supported the coverage of underreported climate stories across the globe.

During the height of the pandemic, Barnes interviewed one of the first Black participants in a vaccination trial.

“Environment and health are crucial parts of any city, but especially for Gary and its history,” Barnes said. “There’s a lot of ground to cover with these interconnected issues, and I’m so excited to engage with the community and tell their stories.”

Barnes served as a global affairs intern at ABC News and has produced and written pieces featured on Good Morning America, Blavity, and Medium.

She was a 2022 National Association of Black Journalists fellow and a Brown Institute for Media Innovation scholar. She earned a master’s degree from Columbia Journalism School and a bachelor’s degree in global affairs from George Mason University.

Barnes joins Worldacad Gary from her hometown of Washington, D.C. In her spare time, Barnes loves to travel, play piano, and hang out with her black cat, Sabrina.

Barnes joins Maddy Franklin, who serves as Worldacad Gary’s youth and education reporter. Worldacad Gary is scheduled to launch later this fall.