Alex Ip

Entry type: Portfolio

Country/area: United States

Publishing organisation: The Xylom

Organisation size: Small

Cover letter:

Born and raised in Hong Kong, I founded The Xylom in 2018 when I was 18, with the belief that everyone has a science story to tell. Now, our student-run nonprofit covers the communties influencing and being shaped by science.

As the sole editor, I balance my commitment as a full-time Environmental Engineering college student at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, United States, with creating science stories with real-life impact. All the skills I use for our data journalism are self-taught. Yet, we consistently produce in-depth, collaborative projects that other more established, more robust newsrooms cannot.

We are proud of being a platform for marginalized and unconventional voices in science writing, and that starts from the top. 75% of the writers I work with are women/ non-binary, 40.6% are people of color, and a whopping 50% are of Gen-Z. In addition, drawing from my own trilingual upbringing, we publish our work in six languages, most notably Nepali and Chinese. I am committed to making a difference through my reporting work as I contemplate journalism school as my next step.

Description of portfolio:

I provided edits and visuals from all of the following projects:

1. Cross-pollinating for the Collective — Carolyn Bernhardt reports on how Indigenous knowledge in stewarding native bees in Southern Mexico can provide a model for animal and cultural conservation.
2. Heat Waves, Wildfires, and Downpours: San Diego is Changing and Climate Change is One Culprit — Hanna Webster looks at how global warming, extreme weather, and Santa Ana Winds combine to create a dangeous future in San Diego, one of the most productive agricultural regions in the US.
3. Are Our Sierra Nevada Towns Destined to Go Down in Flames? — Published in collaboration with the Sierra Nevada Ally, Richard Bednarski goes back to Quincy, CA, a small alpine town he grew up in with a population of 5,000, to understand the impacts the past years of devastating wildfires have had on rural Califonians.
4. “Official Negligence”: Floods in Nigeria Threaten Millions, Quarter of Country’s GDP — Reported by Samuel Ajala, for the first time, The Xylom is able to quantify the scale of damages brought to Nigeria by flooding.
5. Perspective: China’s Zero-COVID Policy Is Destructive But Reopening Without A Plan Is Even Worse: This is an explainer piece by Cherry Cheung, a Ph.D. student from Hong Kong at the Indiana University School of Medicine on the various negative impacts Zero-COVID has brought to China, and the uncertain path forward as China does a 180-degree turn with its policies. A Chinese version is in the works.
6. In Chicago, Health Advocates Flood the Streets With Opioid Antidotes: I created a database of all the locations where Illinois residents can obtain the opioid antidote Narcan for Jennifer Clare Ball’s piece.
7. A Pyramid Frozen In Ice: We got the scoop on what the world’s higher laboratory in Nepal looked like after COVID and budget crunches, a month ahead of Scientific American. The sory is published in English and Nepal
8. To See Caibou with Two Eyes: A piece by Jack Rabe about knowledge co-production by Indigenous ecological researchers in predominantly white institutions

Project links: