Madeleine Bair

Madeleine Bair is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker, and an expert on human rights video advocacy, verification of online footage, and citizen video.

Bair is also the founder of El Tímpano, a local Spanish-language reporting initiative prototype, which she plans to continue developing during her RJI Fellowship. The goal of El Tímpano is to apply innovations in community engaged journalism to engage and inform a working-class Latino immigrant community, bridge silos between mainstream and ethnic media outlets, and serve as a model for innovative ethnic media.

At the international human rights organization, Witness, Bair led a pioneering program dedicated to advancing the use of eyewitness video as a tool for human rights. She oversaw the Webby Award-nominated Human Rights Channel and was lead author of the Ethical Guidelines for Using Eyewitness Video for Human Rights resource guide.

Before joining Witness, Bair served as an I.F. Stone Fellow with Human Rights Watch’s multimedia team, where she created videos and podcasts to accompany advocacy reports, and assisted researchers in capturing multimedia in the field. In 2010, she documented extrajudicial killings in Jamaica for the country’s leading human rights organization, producing a video series that was presented to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

Bair has presented on citizen video and human rights at SXSW, the U.S. State Department, an Online News Association event, the Kennedy School of Government, Barnard College, Aperture, and the National Conference for Media Reform. Her stories have appeared in The Washington Post, the San Francisco Chronicle, Colorlines, MediaShift, and Orion, and broadcast on public radio programs including “The World” by Public Radio International. Her documentary film on a first-generation high school graduate aired on the public television program, POV, as part of its Latino Graduates series.

She earned a dual Master of Arts in Journalism and International Studies from University of California, Berkeley, and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Chicago. She is a native of Oakland, California, and a lover of cumbia, mangos, and mixtapes.