Fred de Sam Lazaro is director of the Under-Told Stories Project at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota, a program that combines international journalism and teaching. He has served with the PBS NewsHour since 1985 and is a regular contributor and substitute anchor for PBS' Religion and Ethics Newsweekly.
He also has directed films from India and the Democratic Republic of Congo for the documentary series Wide Angle. Fred has reported from more than 60 countries: from Haiti to sub-Saharan Africa to south Asia. He has focused on stories that are under-reported in the mainstream U.S. media. In addition to regularly covering AIDS, public health concerns, development issues and social entrepreneurship, he led the first American crew to report on the crisis in Sudan's Darfur region.
Fred is the recipient of two honorary doctorates, numerous journalism awards and media fellowships from the Kaiser Family Foundation and the University of Michigan. He serves on the board of Minnpost and was a trustee at the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, Minnesota, his alma mater. He also has served on the boards of the Asian American Journalists Association and the Children's Law Center of Minnesota.
Fred’s Recent Stories
Science Jun 20How off-the-grid Navajo residents are getting running water
Lack of access to running water is an issue in many developing countries, but it is also a problem in the United States. Nearly 40 percent of the homes in the Navajo Nation lack running water or sanitation, and many…
World Jun 07Getting books from the U.S. feeds these students’ love of reading
Books For Africa has sent more than 41 million books over the last 30 years to 53 different countries, where students say the variety of titles have made them enthusiastic readers. Special correspondent Fred de Sam Lazaro reports.
Arts May 29This school in India proves music can change lives
In a remote Himalayan community in India, admission to a school set up by a Canadian Jesuit priest meant more than a meal ticket for the children on the lowest rung of the traditional social hierarchy; each student was also…
World Apr 23India’s struggling farmers find seeds of hope in heritage crops
About two-thirds of India's 1.3 billion people live on small subsistence farms, struggling to eke out a living. Many farmers have felt left behind as crops have failed or diminished due to disease, degraded soil and drought. Not thousands are…
World Apr 19In India, this group helps turn wasteland into greener pastures
Most rural Indian parents dream of an education and job in the city for their children, rather than a life spent farming. But with a growing migration to cities, there is concern India might not be able to produce enough…
World Mar 05The factory that combines school and work to give El Salvador a brighter future
At a garment factory that makes T-shirts bearing the logos of American universities, about a fifth of the workers at high-school dropouts. But if they want to keep their jobs, they'll need to do something about it. Special correspondent Fred…
World Mar 02The race to develop coffee that can survive climate change
What has driven tens of thousands of Salvadorans to leave home, many for the U.S.? El Salvador's coffee beans suffered a devastating disease five years ago, and now face an even greater existential threat: climate change. Special correspondent Fred de…
World Feb 28The ‘silent massacre’ killing El Salvador’s sugarcane workers
A mysterious, chronic kidney disease is wreaking havoc on farm workers in Central America, particularly those who harvest sugar. Despite the risks, Salvadoran cane cutters continue the grueling work, pushed by economic troubles. Special correspondent Fred de Sam Lazaro reports…
World Jan 04Analysis: The devastating stigma of fistula and the surgery that can help
Fistula, once a common occurrence in the United States, continues to be an unfortunate reality for many of the world’s poorest women around the world.
World Dec 27Erasing the pain and taboo of this female injury
Roughly one million women in the developing world suffer from obstetric fistula, an injury that results from inadequate medical care and causes incontinence. But beyond the physical effects, the condition can subject them to shame and isolation from their families.