• Journalism

Jody Santos

Associate Teaching Professor

Jody Santos is the founding executive director and editor-in-chief at the award-winning Disability Justice Project (DJP), which trains persons with disabilities in the Global South in documentary storytelling. A human rights filmmaker, she 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 other countries. Her documentaries have appeared on public television and cable networks like Discovery Channel, and she has produced stories for New England Public Radio and advocacy journals like Mad in America.

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. More recently, the DJP won two gold Anthem Awards honoring mission driven journalism in 2023 and was nominated for a Webby Award as one of the five best websites in the world promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion. The DJP also was a finalist in the On The Rise: 0-4 Years in Business category in Fast Company’s World Changing Ideas Awards.

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 & Lialefield’s Lexington Books division in 2009.


  • Northeastern University, MA in Journalism
  • Boston University, BA in English


  • Telly Award 2018
  • Telly Award 2015
  • James Ragsdale Memorial Award 2006
  • Gracie Allen Award 2005
  • Telly Award 2004
  • Emmy 2001
  • National Conference for Community and Justice 1999
  • Rhode Island Press Association 1997/1995
  • New England Press Association 1995

Courses Taught

  • TV Journalism
  • Introduction to Communications

Research/Publications Highlights


Rowman & Littlefield, New York, NY| 2009

Featuring interviews with journalists who have covered some of the worst tragedies in our nation’s history, the book explores what happens when the news media dare to feel. No longer detached observers, they are free to see violence in all of its emotional complexity, often telling stories that have a profound impact on how we view issues like gun violence and sexual assault.


International Documentary

Visits to over 30 countries across five continents to produce public television documentaries for national and international audiences.


Media for Social Change

News editor for the Pulitzer Prize-winning Boston Phoenix, the nation’s largest chain of alternative newsweeklies. Producer/director for The Visionaries, a public television series focusing on philanthropy and social justice. Creator of #LetThemOut Internet series to free Americans with disabilities who are being held against their will in for-profit facilities.


Investigative Journalism

National and international reports airing on New England Public Radio, Discovery, PBS, and NBC and published in newspapers from The Boston Globe to The Providence Journal

Research Interests

  • emotionally engaged reporting
  • Media for social change
  • participatory filmmaking