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I’ve reported from more than 50 countries. My writing and photos have appeared in The Washington Post, Daily Beast, USA Today, Inter Press Service, Foreign Policy, Religion News Service, Huffington Post, International Living, and dozens of other publications.

If you’d like me to write for you, get in touch.


Between 2013 and 2015 I wrote RNS’s On Freedom column, which included a weekly Religious Freedom Recap. Those pieces, along with more recent news and feature stories for RNS (2013-18), are available here.


Is the EU heading in the right direction on digital freedom?
6,500-word policy paper
Index on Censorship, June 2013

Hope on the horizon? Global politics in the fight to protect an open internet.
Index on Censorship Magazine, June 2013 (paywall, in print)

Post-Prism leaks, where does the EU stand on digital freedom?
Index on Censorship and LSE Media Policy Project, 27 June 2013

WTF is family-friendly Wi-Fi?
Index on Censorship, 19 June 2013

Caught in the web: how free are we online?
Index on Censorship, 11 June 2013

National security does not justify mass surveillance
Index on Censorship, 10 June 2013

NSA, Prism, Verizon and La Rue on surveillance
Index on Censorship, 7 June 2013

Digital freedom, internet governance on agenda at two key meetings
Index on Censorship, 13 May 2013

Journalists’ safety key focus for World Press Freedom Day in Costa Rica
Index on Censorship, 3 May 2013

Google asks DC to explore free speech in digital age
Index on Censorship, 29 April 2013

World Intellectual Property Day: Copyright and creativity in a digital world
Index on Censorship, 26 April 2013

Google Transparency Report shows Brazil tops takedown table
Index on Censorship, 26 April 2013

Quality often overlooked in rush to spread digital access
Index on Censorship, 23 April 2013

Debating digital rights at ORGCon North
Index on Censorship, 15 April 2013

The long road ahead: Brazil’s Internet Bill of Rights
Index on Censorship, 27 March 2013

How private companies censor our speech online
openDemocracy and Index on Censorship, 13 March 2013

Freedom to Connect conference: Aaron Swartz remembered
Index on Censorship, 6 March 2013

New policy locking Americans into locked phones violates free speech
Index on Censorship, 26 January 2013

Brian Pellot | Reporting
Brian Pellot | Reporting


Nothing Holy About Hatred? Not quite…
Free Speech Debate, 29 October 2012

The freedom to deface free speech?
Free Speech Debate, 10 October 2012

Has Innocence of Muslims ended YouTube’s innocence?
Free Speech Debate, 26 September 2012

How far can you get with machine translation?
Free Speech Debate, 20 September 2012

Even malicious Tweets need protection
Free Speech Debate, 1 August 2012

UN agency threatens Internet’s future
Free Speech Debate, 31 July 2012

The greatest Olympic free speech moments
Free Speech Debate, 16 July 2012

Daily blog from World Press Freedom Day 2012 in Tunis
Free Speech Debate, 7 May 2012

(Not) reporting homosexuality in the Middle East
Free Speech Debate, 28 February 2012

A Saudi blogger’s “blasphemous” tweets
Free Speech Debate, 27 February 2012

Does money have the right to speak?
Free Speech Debate, 10 February 2012

The Stop Online Piracy Act
Free Speech Debate, 10 February 2012


Environmental Progress in Middle East May Hinge on Financial Gains
Huffington Post, August 2008, Egypt and Qatar

UN Says Ailing Environment a Key “Stress Factor” in Sudan
Inter Press Service, July 2007, United Nations

“Wildways” Would Bridge a Fractured Continent
Inter Press Service, July 2007, United Nations

Live Earth: Pop Stars Belt Out Global Wake-Up Call
Inter Press Service, July 2007, United Nations

Investors Warm to Greener Pastures
Inter Press Service, June 2007, United Nations

Brian Pellot | Reporting
Brian Pellot | Reporting


Family History Counts for Women in Race to Parliament
Inter Press Service, June 2009, Lebanon

Lebanon’s Hanging Chads
Foreign Policy, June 2009, Lebanon

Legal Flaws Could Twist Election Results
Inter Press Service, June 2009, Lebanon

Israel-Lebanon: Groups Call for Action on “War Crimes”
Inter Press Service, July 2007, United Nations

Death Penalty: Vote on UN Moratorium Slated for Success
Inter Press Service, June 2007, United Nations


The Rules of Smartphone Etiquette
NBC and Discovery News, September 2010, Missouri

A Trip Down I-70: Porn Shops and Churches Intersect
VOX Magazine, May 2010, Missouri

Social Networking Site Transforms the Dating Scene
Columbia Missourian, February 2008, Missouri

Soliya: It All Begins With a Webcam and a Smile
Inter Press Service, August 2007, United Nations

Brian Pellot | Reporting
Brian Pellot | Reporting



On Free Speech #1: Deletion and Denialism

Our first monthly podcast features interviews with Viktor Mayer-Schönberger (pictured), author of Delete: The Virtue of Forgetting in the Digital Age, and FSD team member Casey Selwyn on Aids denialism in South Africa. We also hear from Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales on SOPA and PIPA, the World Policy Institute’s Susan Benesch on dangerous speech, professor Yan Xuetong on universal values and former Formula One head Max Mosley on privacy.

Deletion and Denialism
00:00 / 23:53

On Free Speech #2: China, India & the Art of “Zuckering”

Our second episode looks at free speech in India, internet censorship in China and Facebook’s attitude towards privacy. We chat with Professor Faisal Devji about author Salman Rushdie’s decision to pull out of the Jaipur Literature Festival following threats of violence and FSD team member Amy Qin about information blackouts in China. We also hear from Facebook’s head of public policy in Europe Lord Richard Allan, author of The Master Switch Tim Wu, and former director-general of the BBC Mark Thompson.

China, India & the art of “Zuckering”
00:00 / 29:07

On Free Speech #3: The Fine Art of Activism

Our third episode features interviews with filmmaker Nick Sturdee on the Russian art collective Voina and stand-up comedian Tom Greeves on the UK’s parody laws. We also bring you discussions with Irshad Manji, the author of Allah, Liberty and Love, and Rebecca MacKinnon, the author of Consent of the Networked. We finish off with an exploration of whether hunger strikes are a legitimate form of free expression.

The Fine Art of Activism
00:00 / 24:28

On Free Speech #4: The Power of the Web

The fourth episode looks at the ethics of hacktivism, crowdsourcing in war zones and the right of Christians in the UK to wear the cross at work. I speak with Lauren Wolfe about her new project Women Under Siege and  Jillian York, director of international freedom of expression at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. We also feature clips from former head of Al Jazeera Wadah Khanfar on how the Arab Spring transformed journalism and highlights from our ACTA event in London. 

The Power of the Web
00:00 / 25:30

On Free Speech #5: Sports Special

In the final episode of On Free Speech, we interview World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee on what happens when government and business get cozy online, The Facebook Effect author David Kirkpatrick on whether the company will make it into China, sports historian Martin Polley on branding the Olympics, and Danny Lynch from Kick it Out, a campaign against racism and homophobia in football.

Sports Special
00:00 / 24:56


I produced and hosted one dozen Credit Market Podcasts during a summer internship at S&P’s New York offices in 2008. Here's a clip. 

00:00 / 11:41


The following audio selections aired on NPR affiliate KBIA and Discovery News Tech.

Moving across the country for a new job often involves finding a home, setting up shop and getting acclimated to an unfamiliar community. But for a new local imam, the trip from Daytona Beach to Central Missouri involved much more. KBIA: March 2008 (4mins 41secs)

00:00 / 04:41

In this final installment of a four-part series on shoplifting, I take you inside the minds of several former and still active shoplifters to learn what fuels their desire to steal. KBIA: May 2008 (6mins 46secs)

00:00 / 06:46

Rock Bridge Memorial State Park in Columbia, Missouri is home to one of the Cave State’s crown jewels: the Devil’s Icebox. Around 200 brave souls climb into canoes, dodge bats, crawl through tight passages, and wade in frigid chest-deep water each year to experience the cave’s natural beauty. Here I follow tour guide Kathy Christensen on a 10-hour voyage into the heart of Devil’s Icebox. KBIA: October 2009 (4mins 30secs)

00:00 / 04:30

Barack Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize as President of the United States, but several Republican representatives in Missouri still questioned whether he was even eligible to become president in the first place. KBIA: October 2009 (4mins 31secs)

00:00 / 04:32

Republican State Representative Cynthia Davis earned national coverage for her controversial remarks about Missouri’s Summer Food Service Program, a program designed to subsidize school lunches for low-income children. She’s also known for her role in a lawsuit that questioned President Obama’s citizenship. Here I speak to Davis about family, faith and politics. KBIA: October 2009 (3mins 46secs) 

00:00 / 03:47

Crowdsourcing—the act of outsourcing microtasks to anonymous Internet users—is revitalizing some of the world’s most impoverished communities. Discovery News Tech: January 2010 (5mins 39secs)

00:00 / 05:39

Tweeting in church. Facebooking in class. Texting in a public restroom. All of these activities are possible with a SmartPhone, but are they socially appropriate? What are the rules of SmartPhone etiquette? Discovery News Tech: January 2010 (6mins) 

00:00 / 06:01
Brian Pellot | Reporting
Brian Pellot | Reporting


Jillian C. York: The director of international freedom of expression at the Electronic Frontier Foundation talks about the ethics and motivations of hacktivism.

Jillian York
00:00 / 16:40
Lauren Wolfe
00:00 / 25:30
Amelia Andersdotter
00:00 / 15:38

Ahmed Mansoor: One of the United Arab Emirate’s most prominent human rights activists discusses the death threats, defamation campaigns and physical attacks he continues to face for speaking his mind.

Ahmed Mansoor
00:00 / 16:48
Kevin Bankston
00:00 / 07:34
Nick Sturdee
00:00 / 24:28

Katalin Barsony: Romedia Foundation’s executive director discusses how her organisation empowers Romani activists and challenges stereotypes through new media.

Katalin Barsony
00:00 / 17:18

Aleph Molinari: Fundación Proacceso’s founder discusses why his Mexico-based organisation promotes information and communication technologies for development (ICT4D) and why the Internet should be considered a basic right.

Aleph Molinari
00:00 / 17:32

Eli Dourado: The co-founder discusses how anonymous uploads to his website are shedding light on the upcoming World Conference on International Telecommunications.

Eli Dourado
00:00 / 22:04

Amy O’Donnell: Frontline SMS’ radio project manager explains how she’s using text messages to help African radio stations engage their listeners on important political issues.

Amy Donnell
00:00 / 05:21

Moeed Ahmad: Al Jazeera’s head of new media discusses how user-generated content uploaded to the network’s portal Sharek shaped the Arab uprising.

Moeed Ahmad
00:00 / 12:01

Nqobile Sibisi: Highway Africa’s Future Journalists Programme’s coordinator discusses some of the free speech obstacles media outlets in Africa face.

Nqobile Buthelezi Sibisi
00:00 / 07:31

Viktor Mayer-Schönberger: The author of Delete: The Virtue of Forgetting in the Digital Age discusses what dangers underly a perfect digital memory (starting at 6mins 45secs).

Viktor Mayer-Schönberger
00:00 / 23:53
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