Journalist, poet and author Dorian Merina has taught and reported throughout Southeast Asia and in New York and Los Angeles. He co-hosts the podcast, Istorya Nu Ivatan, about life in Batanes and among the Ivatan, an indigenous group in the northern Philippines.
His work has appeared in numerous outlets, including The Miami Herald Newspaper, Al Jazeera, the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism, The New York Times, The Jakarta Post, Hyphen Magazine, Latin Beat Magazine, Filipinas, Public Radio International and WNYC. He was also a Fulbright research scholar in the Philippines documenting indigenous oral poetry on the Batanes Islands.
He is the author of Di Achichuk: Poems and Images from Batanes (Ateneo University Press, 2019), two chapbooks of poetry, The Changegiver and Stone of the Fish, and a spoken word album, Heaven is a Second Language. The short film, Migrations, for which he wrote and performed the poetry, was awarded the 2008 Poetry Foundation Award at the Chicago Children’s Film Festival.
Dorian has produced and edited podcast series for nationwide audiences in the US on topics as varied as the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, the US Civil Rights Movement and the Nazi atomic research program. As a reporter, he has documented how Mexico’s crisis of missing persons affects families searching for lost loved ones. He’s mined public records to show how the nation’s busiest immigration courts continued to deport child migrants at high rates, despite an Obama administration change in policy. He’s contributed to Southern California Public Radio’s award-winning “Officer Involved” investigation on police shootings in L.A. County and Take Two’s special on the 50th Anniversary of the Watts Riots. He helped to develop the radio station’s week-long series “After Saigon” to explore the legacy of U.S. involvement in Southeast Asia.
His work has been honored with multiple awards, including Best Radio Story from the Military Reporters & Editors Association (2018) for a 2-part series on military veterans facing deportation. Dorian has also reported on a life-long passion: soccer! That includes covering the men and women’s World Cup games in 2014 and 2015 as well as L.A.’s hosting of the Copa América. He’s also explored the future of American soccer ahead of the 2022 World Cup games by looking at youth programs in the US.
As an educator, he has taught journalism to university students in Malaysia, Indonesia, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan and India through United Press International’s UPI Next program. He was also an adjunct professor of journalism at El Camino College and a speaker on media issues at the University of Indonesia, New York University and the University of the Philippines. He has taught English and ESL in the US and abroad and has worked as a drop-out prevention youth counselor in South Los Angeles.
Currently, he works toward the preservation and development of traditional farming and poetic practices among the indigenous Ivatan people of Batanes, of which he is a tribal member.