My name is Ben Gill, and I’m a freelance journalist based in San Francisco, CA who specializes in covering underreported social issues, especially ones related to children and conflict. I’m also a student at the University of San Francisco majoring in International Studies with a minor in Middle Eastern Studies.
Most recently, my work has focused on issues surrounding trauma and mental illness in the Bay Area. I’m about to begin an internship in May 2014 with the Langley-Porter Psychiatric Institute at UCSF producing various types of multimedia for their outreach programs. I’m also in the planning stages of producing a documentary on the collective psychological impact of gang violence in Oakland, CA. I currently write on a freelance basis for the website Medium.
Before this, I worked as a production intern for the daily talk show Forum with Michael Krasny on San Francisco NPR affiliate KQED, where I helped with various aspects of production, including creating show ideas, conducting background research, assisting with live broadcasts, and writing show descriptions and other material.
Last winter—from December 2012 to January 2013—I interned at the Los Angeles bureau of Al-Jazeera English for Senior Correspondent Rob Reynolds. During my time there I oversaw the creation of multiple news package from conception to completion. I was also tasked with creating pitches for reports, finding and booking guests, coordinating and scheduling field shoots, finding film locations, and assisting with shoots in the field.
As a freelancer, I’ve reported on international topics ranging from the impact of the Libyan revolution on the nation’s youth to the transformation of Joshua Milton Blahyi, aka General Butt Naked, from Liberian warlord to Evangelical Christian minister. I’ve interviewed notable figures such as the former UN Under-Secretary-General Radhika Coomaraswamy, the late photojournalist Tim Hetherington, former Chief Spokesperson for Libya’s NTC Jalal al-Gallal, and author and filmmaker Sebastian Junger.
I’ve also covered local issues, including high rates of domestic violence in the Southern California community of Ventura, CA, and the challenges faced by the significant number of homeless veterans who live there.
As a multimedia journalist, I’ve attended numerous live events, including the 2012 Independent Spirit Awards, Anime Expo 2011 and 2012, and Occupy Los Angeles. I also recently directed, shot, and edited a short-subject documentary detailing the psychological impact of casework on police detectives and their families.
My career goal is to become a correspondent in the Middle East and North Africa.