Arijit (Ari) Douglas Sen is a multimedia investigative reporter, currently studying at the University of California at Berkeley’s Graduate School Journalism. He is a recent graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Hussman School of Journalism and Media and has written for Our Chatham, Lead Stories the Asheville Citizen-Times and, most recently, NBC News’ D.C. investigative unit.
At NBC, Sen co-authored a series of investigative stories about a senior State Department official who embellished her resume, which was followed by nearly every national news outlet, generated millions of web page views and ultimately led her to resign. He also pitched and reported a single byline story about UNC spying on student activists with surveillance technology and co-authored an investigative piece as part of NBC’s impeachment coverage.
Sen got his start in journalism as a freshman in West Henderson High School’s nationally-renowned scholastic journalism program. In his time at West, Sen served on both the yearbook and newsmagazine staff and rose to the rank of web editor-in-chief. While web editor-in-chief, the website he redesigned, wingspanonline.net, received widespead acclaim, winning three Tar Heel awards for best scholastic news website in the state and a Pacemaker finalist award, designating it as one of the best scholastic news websites in the country. Sen also received numerous personal awards including the Rachel-Rivers Coffey North Carolina High School Journalist of the Year award in 2016.
After graduating as one of the top students in his class, Sen chose to attend UNC-Chapel Hill to further his study of journalism. In his first semester, he wrote for The Daily Tar Heel’s State and National Desk covering the 2016 election.
In the summer of 2017, Sen interned at the Asheville Citizen-Times, one of North Carolina’s largest newspapers. While at the Citizen-Times, Sen was given a full reporting role and was tasked with reporting new stories each and every day. In the ten weeks he spent at the Citizen-Times, Ari reported almost 70 stories, including coverage of local politics, crime and a long-term investigation into a high-profile manhunt and murder. In the same period, his stories were featured on the front page 16 times and garnered tens of thousands of web page views.
More recently Sen has reported on local government for Our Chatham, an audience-driven email newsletter for a part of rural North Carolina, and served as a staff-writer for Lead Stories, Facebook’s top fact-checker.
In addition to writing, Sen is also a competent visual storyteller. His photographs and videos have been appeared online in the New York Times, Asheville Citizen-Times and the Raleigh News and Observer and have been recognized in the J-School’s 37th Frame competition. In May, as part of the Horizon Interactive Award-winning 2019 Carolina Photojournalism Workshop, he shot and edited a short documentary on an opioid recovery organization in five days. In September, he published another short documentary about sugar dating on UNC’s campus for a start-up news organization, Tar Heel News Beat.
Sen hopes to pursue a career in journalism at a major national news outlet as a multi-platform investigative reporter, focusing on the intersection of politics, technology, national security and privacy. When not reporting stories, he enjoys watching Tar Heel basketball and listening to podcasts or audiobooks on short, slow runs.
UNC-Chapel Hill Hussman School of Journalism and Media, B.A. Journalism
NBC News, D.C. Investigative Intern
Lead Stories, Staff Writer and Fact-Checker
Asheville Citizen-Times, Intern
Our Chatham, Reporter
UNC FactCheck, Reporter
The Daily Tar Heel, Staff Writer and Web Desk Assistant
AWARDS & HONORS
2016 N.C. High School Journalist of the Year
3rd Place News Photo, 2019 37th Frame Competition
PUBLICATIONS & OTHER WORK
NBC News. August 2020 - December 2020. Co-authored a series of investigative stories about a senior State Department official who embellished her resume, who ultimately resigned after our reporting. Pitched and reported a single byline story about UNC spying on student activists with surveillance technology. Co-authored a piece as part of NBC's impeachment coverage.
Lead Stories. Staff writer and fact-checker. January 2020 to March 2020. Published several pieces online which dispelled rumors about Nancy Pelosi, Adam Schiff, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump and other major political figures. Helped remove tens of thousands of links to inaccurate or false news stories on Facebook. Used open-source social media info to debunk claims of and Iranian drone strike.
Our Chatham. October 2018 - March 2020. Reported a story exposing the politics behind the repeal of a developer fee and its ramifications. Mapped internet speeds across every Census block in the county for a story about broadband access. Routinely used SQL and GIS software to analyze and visualize data for stories. Shot and edited video and photo content for stories on a local Confederate statue
Asheville Citizen-Times. June 2017-August 2017. Published more than a dozen front page stories in ten-week period. Wrote more than 60 stories total. Produced photo and video content for the Citizen-Times website and print edition. Reported a series of stories about the manhunt for an alleged murderer.
MEMBERSHIPS & AFFILIATIONS
REPORTING INTERESTSCoding, Data Journalism, Documentary, Investigative reporting, National Security, Photojournalism, Politics, Privacy, Technology