Matt Sandy is a foreign correspondent whose recent writing has focused on the human consequences of corruption and rights abuses in Brazil. He has reported on the battle of the indigenous Munduruku tribe to preserve their Amazon homeland from a hydroelectric dam project; traced the journey of modern slaves on the road to exploitation in their own country; investigated a $16 million corruption scandal at the Serra Pelada gold mine; probed the case of a journalist beheaded in the interior of Brazil; written about the battle for justice for abuses perpetrated by the country’s military dictatorship; and investigated the murders of more than 50 homeless people in the city of Goiânia.
He has most frequently been published in Time Magazine and Al Jazeera America. Before the World Cup in 2014, he focused on the lesser reported realities of the host nation. “Many journalists tried to show a different side to the country, but none were as successful as Matt Sandy,” the One World Media Awards judges said. “His brilliantly reported stories about crime, politics and football displayed an understanding of Brazil and its people that few other reporters managed to achieve.”
Back in the UK, he spent three years as a national news reporter with The Mail on Sunday in London and was named Young Journalist of the Year in The Press Awards in 2011, the highest honor for young print journalists in the UK. He travelled to 18 countries and his stories included a report on a Conservative MP who was sacked for organizing a Nazi-themed stag party in France; on-the-ground reporting from the scene of the Utøya massacre in Norway and an investigation into a death in police custody in Dubai. A graduate of the University of Warwick, he first worked as a journalist on the Leicester Mercury newspaper in 2008.