Audrey Thibert publishes articles on Tunisian migration

Undergraduate student Audrey Thibert, who was selected as the 2023 University of Wisconsin Pulitzer Center Campus Consortium Reporting Fellow, has recently published several impressive articles completed using her own reporting work performed in Tunisia last summer.

To receive the Pulitzer grant she was awarded in March, Thibert first had to create a detailed pitch and budget plan that would guide her reporting on migration in Tunisia.

“I got the idea for my initial pitch, which focused on the community of sub-Saharan African women migrants in Tunisia, from my UW Arabic TA, Cyrine Jdidi,” Audrey said. “She is from Tunisia and told me about the (at the time underreported) immigration crisis unfolding there.”

When Thibert found out in March that she had received the grant, she said she spent the whole summer connecting with sources and contacts in Tunisia, speaking with her advisor, Jacob Kushner (also a UW Journalism professor) at the Pulitzer Center and arranging travel plans.

“Once I arrived in Tunisia and did my reporting, my angle shifted a bit to encompass the different people affected by migration,” Thibert said. “I talked with Tunisians who tried to migrate to Italy but failed, immigration officers, sub-Saharan people who are living in migrant camps in Tunis, former national guard members, Libyan smugglers, and more.”

After returning from her trip, Thibert said she was extremely excited about the articles she would write using her new insight.

“The trip was life changing and an amazing preview into life as a foreign correspondent — something I have wanted to be for years,” Thibert said. “I met lifelong friends, learned some Tunisian Arabic, navigated the ins and outs of traveling alone, saw beautiful scenery and was welcomed by the most kindness I have ever felt.”