A human rights filmmaker, Jody Santos has traveled to some 30 countries across five continents, documenting everything from the trafficking of girls in Nepal to the widespread and often abusive practice of institutionalizing children with disabilities in the U.S. and abroad. Her documentaries have appeared on public television and cable networks like Discovery Channel, and her work also has been featured on New England Public Radio and in publications like Mad in America. Regardless of the medium, Santos’s goal has been to amplify all voices and to shed light on those narratives that are usually unseen or underreported.
A graduate of Boston University, Santos earned her master’s degree from Northeastern University, where she received the James Ragsdale award as a student dedicated to First Amendment rights. She is also the recipient of American Women in Radio & Television’s Gracie Allen Award, and she was nominated for an Emmy for a special report on black-market guns airing on NBC Boston. Prior to working in television, Santos was a staff writer and news editor for the Providence, RI, edition of The Boston Phoenix, where she received numerous awards from the New England and Rhode Island press associations.
Santos was an associate professor of communications at Springfield College before joining Northeastern in 2020. Her book, Daring to Feel: Violence, the News Media, and Their Emotions, was published by Rowman & Littlefield’s Lexington Books division in 2009. Challenging the journalistic mandate of objectivity, the book explores what happens when journalists allow themselves to feel. No longer detached observers, they are free to see violence in all of its emotional complexity.