Tim Steller

Arizona Daily Star columnist Tim Steller

Arizona Daily Star columnist Tim Steller was awarded the 2019 Eugene C. Pulliam Fellowship for Editorial Writing recently.

The $75,000, yearlong fellowship is awarded annually by the Society of Professional Journalists Foundation and is open to columnists as well as editorial writers.

Steller will spend the next year studying how government officials and politicians in the U.S. and in Mexico have been trying to sway the public’s opinions about the border and migration. His goal is to write a series of stories or columns that give readers insight into the topic.

“Lots of people are reporting about migration in Central America, Mexico and the borderlands these days. That’s a great thing,” Steller said in an email.

“My experience covering these issues in the Arizona-Sonora region goes back to 1997 and is what inspired me to pursue this particular angle — propaganda or disinformation — which I think has gone largely uncovered.”

Arizona Daily Star editor Jill Jorden Spitz said the fellowship will allow Steller to “dig even deeper into the rhetoric surrounding immigration, a subject in which he has a lot of interest and expertise, but hasn’t had the time or resources to fully explore.”

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Through Steller’s reporting project, the Star will bring readers a new level of depth and knowledge on a national issue that matters in Southern Arizona, she said.

“A hallmark of Tim’s columns is the deep reporting that goes into each of them, and we’re happy to see that the selection committee recognized that,” Jorden Spitz said.

Steller will continue to write columns, especially on Sundays, for the Star as he reports and conducts research for the fellowship.


Stephanie is a Tucson native and graduated from the University of Arizona in 2014. She worked for newspapers in Rapid City, South Dakota; Manhattan, Kansas; and Lake Havasu City before moving back to Tucson.