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ISOJ Founder and Chair, Professor at the School of Journalism, UT Austin
Founder and director, Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas
Rosental Alves began his academic career in the United States in March 1996, after 27 years as a professional journalist, including seven years as a journalism professor in Brazil. He moved to Austin from Rio de Janeiro, where he was the managing editor and member of the board of directors of Jornal do Brasil, one of the most important Brazilian newspapers at the time. Rosental worked for that paper for 23 years. He was chosen in 1995 from approximately 200 candidates to be the first holder of the Knight Chair in International Journalism, created by a $1.5 million endowment from the James L. and John S. Knight Foundation. Later, he was also awarded with the UNESCO Chair in Communication and became the president of Orbicom, the global network of UNESCO Chairs in Communication, from 2008 – 2012.
In 2002, Rosental received a $2 million grant from the Knight Foundation to create the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas, a four-year project to work in training programs with journalists from Latin America and the Caribbean. The Knight Center is based at the School of Journalism in Austin, but reaches thousands of journalists throughout the hemisphere. In 2012, Alves created the Center’s pioneering journalism MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) program, which has since reached more than 235,000 people in 200 countries and territories around the world.
In 2016, Alves received the prestigious Maria Moors Cabot Prize from the Columbia Journalism School for excellence in journalism and contributions to Inter-American understanding.
For more than a decade, Alves was a foreign correspondent based in Spain, Argentina, Mexico and the United States, working for Jornal do Brasil. In 1991, he created the first online, real-time finance news service, the first of its kind in Brazil. And in 1994, Rosental managed the launching of Jornal do Brasil’s online edition, making it the first Brazilian newspaper available on the Internet.
At the University of Texas at Austin, Rosental has three basic areas for teaching and research: international reporting (emphasizing the work of foreign correspondents), journalism in Latin America (especially the struggle for a free press in the hemisphere), and internet journalism (the creation of a new genre of journalism for the digital medium). He created the first class on online journalism at UT in the 1997-98 academic year. Rosental has been a frequent speaker in conferences and has conducted numerous workshops in several countries to train journalists and journalism professors on the use of the new medium.
Rosental is a member of boards or advisory councils of several journalism-related organizations, such as the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University, Maria Moors Cabot Prizes at Columbia University (chair of the board since 2020), International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, Texas Tribune, Center for investigative Journalism (Chile), Por Causa Foundation (Spain), Agencia Pública (Brazil), Nexo Jornal (Brazil) and Gabo (Gabriel Garcia Marquez) Foundation (Colombia).
A working journalist since he was 16, Rosental received a B.A. in journalism from the Rio de Janeiro Federal University. He was the first Brazilian awarded a Nieman Fellowship to spend an academic year (1987-88) at Harvard University. He taught journalism at Fluminense Federal University and at Gama Filho University, in Rio de Janeiro, beginning as a lecturer when he was 21.