Class of 2017
Jassim Ahmad is the head of multimedia innovation at Reuters in London, working across disciplines to advance digital journalism. He has produced editorial products in a variety of forms from apps to interactives, including The Wider Image, a platform for visual journalism that interweaves media and information. His multimedia documentaries include Emmy-nominated narratives about the war in Iraq, the global financial crisis and the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. Ahmad previously established Reuters’ program of books and installations, chronicling world events and contemporary issues.
At Harvard, Ahmad will examine how fully journalism organizations are exploiting technology, focusing on storytelling formats, user orientation, open platforms and organizational culture.
Michelle Boorstein for the past decade has covered religion for The Washington Post, where she writes for and edits its religion vertical Acts of Faith. She defines her beat broadly to include everything from theology and spirituality to ethics. She previously served as a roving feature writer for the Post, covering outside-the-beltway Virginia. Boorstein also worked as a correspondent for The Associated Press in New England, Arizona, New York City and East Africa, and as a foreign editor. The Religion Newswriters Association twice awarded her its Religion Reporter of the Year prize, in 2011 and 2013.
Boorstein will study the renegotiation of religion’s place in American public life. Her examination will include legal issues, sociological changes and the history of secularism.
Lolly Bowean is a general assignment reporter and writer at the Chicago Tribune, where she focuses on the city’s unique African-American community, youth culture, urban affairs, cultural trends and other topics. She has written about the destruction of public housing, the death of Nelson Mandela and the work of civil rights icons as well as the election of President Barack Obama and violence in troubled neighborhoods. Before joining the Tribune, Bowean covered suburban communities for The Times-Picayune in New Orleans. She additionally has written for The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal and The Boston Globe.
Bowean will study the cultural differences between the African-American descendants of American slavery and the children of black immigrants. She also will research the evolution of the black family in America.
Georg Diez is a Berlin-based reporter and columnist covering politics and culture for the German newsmagazine Der Spiegel. He began his career in 1998 as a theater critic for Munich’s Süddeutsche Zeitung and later joined the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung as a culture editor. He also has written about literature for Die Zeit in Hamburg and reported and wrote essays for the Süddeutsche Zeitung Magazin. He is a co-founder of the experimental journalism platform 60pages, an international network of writers, artists, thinkers and scientists that publishes e-books, long-form journalism, reportage and fiction. Diez is the 2016 Carroll Binder Nieman Fellow. The Binder Fund honors 1916 Harvard graduate Carroll Binder, who expanded the Chicago Daily News Foreign Service, and his son, Carroll “Ted” Binder, a 1943 Harvard graduate.
He will study how a new Web-based journalistic platform could enable worldwide conversations around specific topics — a digital salon offering an alternative to how knowledge is traditionally shared by legacy media.
Tyler Dukes is an investigative reporter on the state politics team at WRAL News in Raleigh, N.C., where he specializes in data and public records. Prior to joining WRAL, he worked as managing editor for Duke University’s Reporters’ Lab, a project to reduce the costs of investigative journalism. He has taught at UNC-Chapel Hill’s journalism school, trained reporters as a college newspaper adviser and freelanced for several newspapers. At WRAL, his writing on a mentally ill inmate’s death earned him awards from the Radio Television Digital News Association of the Carolinas and the National Alliance on Mental Illness North Carolina. Dukes is a Murrey Marder Nieman Fellow in Watchdog Journalism. The fellowship honors the memory of Murrey Marder, a 1950 Nieman Fellow who helped found the Nieman Watchdog Project.
He will study best practices for college journalism programs and newsrooms looking to democratize data-driven reporting for underserved communities.
Christian Feld is a Brussels-based correspondent for the German public TV network ARD. For the last five years, he has contributed to Germany’s leading news program “Tagesschau,” covering various crises facing the European Union. In his documentary “The Miracle of Brussels,” he followed the negotiations on Europe’s new data protection laws. With a background in political and computer science, he is interested in the intersection of tech and policy. Prior to his posting in Brussels, he worked for ARD in Cologne, New York, Paris and Warsaw. In 2010, he received an RIAS Fellowship. Feld is the Robert Waldo Ruhl Nieman Fellow. Ruhl, a 1903 Harvard graduate, was editor and publisher of the Medford Mail-Tribune in Oregon from 1911-1967.
He will design a training program to provide European journalists with a solid knowledge of computer science and cyberspace policies and increase their digital literacy.
Felicia Fonseca is the northern Arizona correspondent for The Associated Press, covering American Indian tribes, mining, the Grand Canyon, tourism and major crimes. Before joining the AP in 2005, she worked as an intern for The Albuquerque Tribune, the Santa Fe New Mexican and for the Spanish-language newspaper La Voz del Norte. In 2010, she received The Associated Press-Robert Eunson Distinguished Lecturer Award from Northern Arizona University for her stories about wild fires, flooding in a tribal village, a deadly sweat lodge ceremony and 8-year-old boy charged in a double homicide.
Fonseca will study the plight of American Indian tribes and their efforts to build sustainable economies that don’t rely heavily on the federal system.
Katherine Goldstein is a New York City-based digital journalist who most recently was the editor of vanityfair.com. Previously, she served as the director of traffic and social media strategy at Slate, and as the green editor at The Huffington Post, where she established HuffPost Green as the leading internet news source for eco-minded readers. In addition to her editorial, strategy and managerial roles, she has covered topics ranging from the Copenhagen climate talks to the first gay wedding on a military base. Her research interests include gender disparities in digital newsrooms and the ways female leadership affects news coverage. Goldstein is the Louis Stark Nieman Fellow. The fellowship honors the memory of the New York Times reporter who was a pioneer in the field of labor reporting.
She will examine digital journalism strategies for hiring and retaining a diverse workforce and the particular challenges facing working mothers in the industry.
Nkem Ifejika is a presenter on the BBC World Service Newsday program, which reaches millions of listeners each week. He joined the BBC in London in 2006, and has worked across several desks including global news and current affairs and business. He has covered stories such as the early days of the #BringBackOurGirls campaign in Nigeria and President Obama’s visit to Kenya. Before joining the BBC, he worked as a freelance journalist for publications including The Guardian and the New Statesman. Ifejika began his career as an undercover television reporter for Channel 4 and the BBC. He is the 2017 William Montalbano Nieman Fellow. Montalbano was a 1970 Nieman Fellow and a prize-winning Los Angeles Times reporter who reported from 100 countries during his 38-year career.
Ifejika will explore media ownership and organizational structures in Nigeria, and how these might be overhauled to improve standards and trust between journalists and the public.
Roland Kelts is an author, journalist and lecturer. For the past 16 years, he has written from Japan and the United States for The New Yorker, Time, The New York Times, The Christian Science Monitor, Newsweek Japan, The Yomiuri and The Japan Times. He covers culture, media and East-West issues. Kelts has interviewed and written about Japanese writers, lm directors and artists as well as the aftermath of Japan’s natural and nuclear disasters. He also has spoken at the World Economic Forum and TED Talks and is the author of “Japanamerica: How Japanese Pop Culture Has Invaded the U.S.”
Kelts will study the proliferation of streaming media content and the spread of Asian popular culture in the West, driven by digital natives worldwide.
Kim Kyoungtae is an editor of a prime-time news program at the Seoul-based Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation (MBC), one of two nationwide television networks in South Korea. He previously served as editor of MBC’s international news department and online news division. He also worked as a reporter for 18 years, mainly covering politics and diplomacy. He has visited North Korea seven times and worked as an MBC correspondent in Beijing for three years. Kim was honored with the Korea Journalist Award for his investigative reporting on a corruption scandal involving a state-operated railway company. Kim’s fellowship is supported by The Asia Foundation.
Kim will study the proper role of media in peacefully solving international conflicts, focusing specifically on northeastern Asia. He will also explore developments in providing interactive news content to mobile devices.
Brady McCollough is the projects reporter for sports and news at the Pittsburgh Post- Gazette, specializing in narrative nonfiction and human-interest reporting. In the past two years, his stories have taken him to Russia, Cuba and the Dominican Republic. McCollough previously covered the University of Kansas athletic department for The Kansas City Star. His work has been recognized as a “top 10” winner 11 times in the Associated Press Sports Editors annual writing contest. He has been honored by the National Headliner Awards and has received notable mention three times in the “Best American Sports Writing” series.
McCollough will examine the future of football in America, focusing on medical research and the role journalism plays in light of growing knowledge about the game’s health impact on players.
Maciek Nabrdalik is a Warsaw-based documentary photographer and member of the VII Photo Agency who focuses on sociological changes in Eastern Europe. His work has been published in Smithsonian, L’Espresso, Stern, Newsweek and The New York Times and has been exhibited internationally. His two books are “The Irreversible,” about his coverage of German Nazi camp survivors worldwide, and “Homesick,” which summarizes his long-term project chronicling the consequences of the Chernobyl disaster. His awards include honors from World Press Photo, NPPA and Pictures of the Year International. Nabrdalik is the 2017 Anja Niedringhaus Nieman Fellow for Visual Journalism. The fellowship honors the memory of 2007 Nieman Fellow and AP photographer Anja Niedringhaus, who was shot and killed while on assignment in Afghanistan in the spring of 2014.
Nabrdalik will study the social transformations caused by migration, particularly the relation between mobility and religious practices.
Chisomo Ngulube is a chief editor for television news at the Malawi Broadcasting Corporation, where she has overseen the production of news programs for the past six years. She focuses on business and development stories, particularly as they affect women. Before joining MBC, she worked for Malawi’s Nation Newspapers as a reporter, senior reporter and copy editor. She was awarded a scholarship to study media management at Rhodes University in South Africa and graduated in 2014. She also has participated in the Women’s Edition program for leading women journalists interested in health and development issues. Ngulube is the 2016 Barry Bingham Jr. Nieman Fellow. Bingham, a 1956 Harvard graduate, was the editor and publisher of the Courier-Journal and Louisville Times.
She will examine how to maintain journalistic standards during an era of media convergence. She will also prepare for growing Internet adoption in her country.
Jeneé Osterheldt is a lifestyle and culture columnist at The Kansas City Star. She joined the paper in 2001 as an intern covering music before moving on to intern for The Contra Costa Times in California and The Pioneer Press in Minnesota. She returned to the Star in 2002 as a music critic and nightlife columnist. In 2008, she transitioned to lifestyle column writing. Entertainment is still a part of her beat, but on most days she is a culture critic, covering everything from Rachel Dolezal to #OscarsSoWhite. The NAACP of Olathe honored her as a diversity advocate on MLK Day 2016.
Osterheldt will study theories of discrimination and their application to storytelling on diverse subjects. Her research will include black and women’s studies, as well as the history of feminism.
Karin Pettersson is the political editor-in-chief at Aftonbladet, Scandinavia’s biggest daily newspaper. She is also the co-founder and former editor-in-chief of Fokus, Sweden’s leading newsmagazine. During her time at Fokus, the publication won one of Sweden’s most prestigious awards for reinventing political journalism. At Aftonbladet, she has quadrupled the readership of the editorial page and started a new digital brand for editorial journalism online. Pettersson won the European Newspaper Award for a series about Roma people in Stockholm. She is the 2017 Nieman-Berkman Fellow in Journalism Innovation. The fellowship is a collaboration between the Nieman Foundation and the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard and is designed to generate new ideas to advance quality journalism in the digital age. Pettersson is also a Ruth Cowan Nash Nieman Fellow. Nash was best known for her work as an Associated Press war correspondent during World War II.
Pettersson will study how extreme right-wing and racist movements use digital platforms to reach audiences and how this affects the work of traditional media.
Jason Rezaian is a staff writer for The Washington Post and one of the few Western journalists to have been based in Tehran in recent years. From 2009 until 2014, he covered a wide range of stories that often sought to explain Iran to a general American audience, first as a freelancer and later as the Post’s Tehran bureau chief. His subjects included Iran’s nuclear negotiations with global powers, sanctions and environmental issues, In July 2014 Rezaian and his wife were detained in their home and he went on to spend 546 days unjustly imprisoned in Tehran’s Evin Prison before being released in January 2016.
Rezaian will study what the new arc of U.S.-Iran relations means for American foreign policy in the Middle East. Drawing on his unique experiences in Iran, he will examine the possibilities and the challenges of this diplomatic opening.
Mary Louise Schumacher
Mary Louise Schumacher is the art and architecture critic for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in Wisconsin. A decade ago, she developed Art City, a multiplatform program for the coverage of art, architecture and urban design. As experiments in social journalism go, it has stood the test of time more than most. It features a regular newspaper column, a community of contributing writers, short films, podcasts, other multimedia and live events. Schumacher has one of the largest social media followings of any arts journalist in the nation and is working on a documentary film about the lives of art critics. She is the 2017 Arts and Culture Nieman Fellow.
Schumacher will study emerging strategies within the fields of architecture and urban design for addressing issues of racial and economic inequity.
Subina Shrestha is a Kathmandu-based filmmaker and correspondent who focuses on human rights, social issues and political changes in her native Nepal. From covering Nepal’s 2015 earthquake and its aftermath to reporting undercover in Myanmar during Cyclone Nargis and investigating child slavery, she has told award-winning stories about the effects of natural and human-made disasters. Her films have been broadcast by Al Jazeera, the BBC, ITN and Arte and at festivals around the world. For her Nepal earthquake coverage, she received a special commendation from the Association of International Broadcasters and other honors. Shrestha is the 2017 Atsuko Chiba Nieman Fellow. The fellowship honors the memory of Atsuko Chiba, a 1968 Nieman Fellow from Japan.
Shrestha will study international human rights issues, including human trafficking and labor migration, as a lens into how Nepali women and minorities may achieve social and political rights.
Robert Socha is a deputy executive producer for two television programs at TVN, the leading broadcaster in Poland. He has worked as an investigative reporter and created and produced dozens of TV documentaries on topics ranging from judicial corruption and pharmaceutical lobbying to a bribery scandal involving an official who awarded sensitive government IT contracts worth millions of dollars to three U.S. tech companies. He wrote a book on media law and also authored a nonfiction book on the mysterious abduction of a young businessman. He earned a law degree from Jagiellonian University in Kraków in 2002. Socha is a Murrey Marder Nieman Fellow in Watchdog Journalism. The fellowship honors the memory of Murrey Marder, a 1950 Nieman Fellow who helped found the Nieman Watchdog Project.
Socha will study the transition of linear TV broadcasters to the digital world. He will compare European and U.S. developments in video on demand, virtual reality and video storytelling.
Alisa Sopova is a producer and reporter for international media in Ukraine, working closely with The New York Times. As a part of a NYT Magazine team, she participated in the creation of the virtual reality project “The Displaced,” which examines the plight of millions of people forced to leave their homes due to war and persecution. She began covering war in 2014, when military conflict disrupted her country. From 2006-2014, she worked as a journalist and news editor for Donbass, the largest newspaper and news website in the Donetsk region of Ukraine. Sopova is Harvard’s first Ukrainian Nieman Fellow. She is also Ruth Cowan Nash Nieman Fellow. Nash was best known for her work as an Associated Press war correspondent during World War II.
Sopova will study different writing techniques in English, with a focus on American journalistic tradition, style and tools. Sopova is Harvard’s first Ukrainian Nieman Fellow.
Marcela Turati is a Mexican investigative journalist specializing in coverage of the drug war. In 2007, she co-founded Periodistas de a Pie, a grassroots network that supports and trains reporters covering armed conflict and defends freedom of speech. Her book “Crossfire” examines the human cost of the extreme violence. Her awards include the Louis M. Lyons for Conscience and Integrity in Journalism and the Gabriel García Márquez Award for Journalistic Excellence. She has spoken at the United Nations and in many countries about the challenges facing the Mexican press. She additionally runs an investigative website on migrant massacres. Turati is the 2016 Knight Latin American Nieman Fellow. The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation has funded more than 50 Nieman Fellowships for journalists from Latin America since 1981.
Turati will study historic and current examples of systemic violence and its impact on individuals, communities and institutions, with a focus on resilience and the role of the press.
Heidi Vogt is the Nairobi-based East Africa correspondent for The Wall Street Journal. She has covered South Sudan’s descent into civil war, the rise of radical Islam on the continent, the illegal wildlife trade and corruption that has bedeviled the region’s efforts to rise out of poverty. She joined the Journal in 2013 after 10 years with The Associated Press, where she first covered financial news in New York before working as a foreign correspondent in West Africa and Afghanistan. Her reporting interests include topics ranging from extremism, conflict and migration to globalization, tech frontiers and natural resources.
Vogt will study world religions, particularly the way Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism and Buddhism adapt to societies with an increasing diversity of faiths.