Jessica Hatcher (2001, Modern Languages) is a British journalist and writer. Between 2011 and 2015, Jessica lived in Nairobi, Kenya, where she worked primarily in East Africa: in Kenya, DR Congo, Somalia, Burundi and South Sudan.
Jessica was shortlisted for the One World Media Award in 2013 and 2015 for her reporting on so-called ‘failed states’ in sub-Saharan Africa, and in 2014 was awarded a Pulitzer grant for her reporting on oil exploration in Turkana, Northern Kenya, where anthropologists believe that our species first evolved. In 2014, she was a reporting fellow of the International Women’s Media Foundation, where she spent a month reporting on, amongst other stories, the first female rangers to work at Virunga National Park in Eastern Congo.
She has written for TIME, Newsweek, The Guardian, Telegraph Magazine, New Statesman, Marie Claire (France), ELLE (U.S.), and National Geographic, and has published an e-book with Newsweek Insights via Amazon.
Her work covers a variety of subjects, but it mostly concerns human rights violations, post-conflict state building, the environment, and the experiences of women in war. She champions on-the-ground reporting and is always on the look-out for quirky angles that add new dimensions to well-told stories.
“Studying linguistics and German left me with an appreciation of language that has since crept into almost everything I do. I can barely write a text message without deliberating or asking my partner to edit it. My tutor, Chris Wells, adored words. Usually, the more outrageous they were, the better. I remember him roaring with such full-body laughter at a bawdy medieval short story that played on the words duck and *uck that he very nearly fell off his chair. I will treasure the love of language that I developed at the Hall for life.”