Nieman Fellows & Contributors in the Field

  • Heart of Darkness
    Right about the time that my late husband was diagnosed with terminal stomach cancer, I started obsessing on vampire novels. There I was, sitting by my husband’s bedside, pondering mortality, and reading these novels—270 by the end. A couple of months into this, I started asking larger questions: Why have vampires had such traction in our culture? Why had Hollywood spent $7 billion over a couple of years on vampire films and television shows? My exploration resulted in my book: “Vampires Are Us: Understanding Our Love Affair with the Immortal Dark Side,” published by Weiser in February.
  • From Chile, with Thanks
    My Nieman year gave me a strong sense of the truly globalized conversation in which we can all take part. When I returned to Chile, as the host of a radio program in Santiago and a correspondent for the BBC, I wanted to bridge divides, to turn radio stories into online narratives, and to turn local news into stories of universal interest. In The Herald in Glasgow, Scotland, I found a tale that connected Santiago to East Kilbride.
  • Covering the Home Front
     started working in the media with the hope of bringing change. My main hope was to help my people understand their rights and obligations as citizens, to monitor the government’s performance, and hold accountable the wrongdoers. I’ve been trained in a newsroom with brilliant New York Times foreign correspondents, and I’ve had the Times’s support. Despite these privileges, I’ve often received serious threats from the Taliban, and a few times I have been subjected to interrogation and intimidation.

Nieman Watchdog Project

  • Inside ProPublica’s Healthcare Investigation
    ProPublica’s investigation “The Prescribers: Inside the Government’s Drug Data” has provoked a swift response from the federal government. Winner of the 2013 Philip Meyer Award, it exposed the Medicare system’s failure to provide oversight for thousands of physicians who have written prescriptions that in some cases put patients at risk, in others cost the federal government far more than necessary, and sometimes were simply fraudulent. Charles Ornstein, who has specialized in healthcare investigations for years now, was joined on the project by ProPublica’s Tracy Weber, Jennifer LaFleur, Jeff Larson, and Lena Groeger. Nieman Reports spoke by phone with Ornstein as he prepared to travel to Baltimore to accept the award.

Spring 2014: Rewriting J-School

The Spring 2014 issue of Nieman Reports features new models for narrative journalism—from comic books to epic poems—the origins of a citizen-sustained news organization in Turkey, and the cover story on new initiatives and innovations in journalism education. It is available online, and to download as a PDF.