Class of 2018
The Nieman Foundation has selected 24 journalists as members of the Nieman class of 2018. The group includes reporters, writers, correspondents, editors, radio and television producers, a photographer, a director of audience engagement and news executives who work around the world. The new Nieman Fellows will begin an academic year of study at Harvard University this fall.
Tristan Ahtone is a New Mexico-based journalist who most recently served as a feature reporter for Al Jazeera America covering indigenous affairs. He has reported for “PBS NewsHour,” “Frontline,” National Native News, Vice, Wyoming Public Radio, the Fronteras Desk and NPR. Ahtone’s stories have won multiple honors, including investigative awards from Public Radio News Directors Incorporated and the Gannett Foundation. He additionally was part of the Al Jazeera team that received a Delta Chi Award in 2015. A member of the Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma, he is vice president of the Native American Journalists Association and is a contributing editor at High Country News.
At Harvard, Ahtone is studying how to improve coverage of indigenous communities with a particular focus on creating ethical guidelines, protocols and codes of conduct.
Maryclaire Dale is a legal affairs reporter for The Associated Press. Her career has taken her from labor strikes in the West Virginia coalfields to a Caribbean murder trial to the sexual assault trials of Catholic priests and actor Bill Cosby. Her work unsealing Cosby’s decade-old testimony in a confidential legal settlement led to his arrest and felony trial. Dale has also covered the $1 billion settlement of NFL concussion claims from the filing of the first lawsuits through the U.S. Supreme Court appeal. She has appeared on NPR, BBC News, “PBS NewsHour,” “The Rachel Maddow Show” and other news programs.
Dale is studying how journalists can improve the coverage of sexual violence as more victims come forward and confront policymakers in government, law, religion and higher education.
Emily Dreyfuss is a senior writer at Wired, where she explores the ways technology shapes society. At Wired, she has taken on many roles, from news editor to opinion editor to cyber security editor. In 2016, she edited Wired’s national affairs coverage of the U.S. presidential election. Dreyfuss previously worked as a senior editor at CNET, where she wrote commentary, ran social media and co-hosted CNET TV’s “Rumor Has It” podcast. She is a frequent commentator on broadcast news programs and her writing has been featured in The Week and on Atlantic.com.
As the 2018 Nieman-Berkman Klein Fellow in Journalism Innovation, she is examining how the internet and social media change the way history is written and the role journalism should play in verifying and creating that record.
Dustin Dwyer is a reporter for Michigan Radio, where he has covered economics and labor issues for more than a decade. He reported on the auto industry in the years leading up to the bankruptcies at GM and Chrysler, and his work has frequently aired on NPR and “Marketplace.” For the past five years, Dwyer has worked on the State of Opportunity project, which uses longform narrative reporting to tell the stories of disadvantaged families and children in Michigan. Dwyer has won Clarion Awards, a Salute to Excellence Award from the National Association of Black Journalists and many regional awards.
Dwyer is studying the connection between work and personal identity and examining the personal, psychological and social upheavals that come with changes in the nature of work.
Sebastián Escalón is a reporter at Plaza Pública, an online magazine in Guatemala, where he reports on environmental issues, resource extraction and human rights. In 2013, he was part of the team that covered the trial of Efrain Ríos Montt, Guatemala’s ex-dictator accused of genocide. The coverage won the Interamerican Press Association Award and was a finalist for the Gabriel García Márquez Prize. Before joining Plaza Pública, he was a science writer at Le Journal du CNRS in France. A citizen of both France and El Salvador, Escalón is the first Salvadoran to receive a Nieman Fellowship.
Escalón is studying the Alliance for Prosperity Plan, a new policy trying to address the migration crisis in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. As the 2018 Knight Latin American Nieman Fellow, his fellowship is supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
Glenda M. Gloria is the managing editor and co-founder of Rappler, the leading social news network in the Philippines. She has run newspaper, magazine, cable news and online newsrooms. Earlier in her career, she rose from the ranks as a reporter for local and foreign publications, covering politics, conflicts, rebel movements and the military, for which she has won various investigative reporting awards. Gloria was the recipient of a MacArthur grant for “Under the Crescent Moon: Rebellion in Mindanao,’” which she co-authored with 1987 Nieman Fellow Marites Dañguilan Vitug. She also won the 2008 Marshall McLuhan Prize for investigative reporting.
Gloria is studying the evolution of journalism and democracy at this time of rapid technological change, and the changing relationships between journalists, citizens and democratic institutions. Gloria is the 2018 Sandra Burton Nieman Fellow, whose time at Harvard is sponsored by the Sandra Burton Scholarship Fund for Filipino Journalists.
Lenka Kabrhelova is a U.S. correspondent for Czech Radio, the public radio broadcasting network in the Czech Republic. She previously worked as a Czech Radio correspondent in Russia, where she reported on political, social, economic and cultural stories, including the 2008 Russian-Georgian war, political trials and street protests in Moscow, and developments in other post-Soviet nations. Kabrhelova has filed radio news stories, features, interviews and longer programs from nearly 20 different countries. She additionally worked as a presenter and reporter in the Czech section of the BBC World Service in Prague and in London.
Kabrhelova is studying the polarization of the media environment and ways to engage diverse audiences in an environment of eroding trust in the traditional media.
Matthew Karolian is director of audience engagement at The Boston Globe, where he oversees the development and execution of strategies to bring the newsroom’s journalism closer to readers. He has expanded the Globe’s social audiences to more than 2 million followers and achieved a market penetration percentage greater than that of any metro daily. Karolian got his start in journalism as a stringer for C-SPAN during the 2008 presidential primaries in New Hampshire, where he documented everything from house parties to victory speeches.
Karolian is studying the impending impact of artificial intelligence on how news is reported and consumed.
Sipho Kings is the Mail & Guardian’s environment reporter. He focuses on the ways human and industrial expansion affect vulnerable people and the environment and has covered topics ranging from the impact of climate change on droughts and coastal flooding to new safeguards for fragile ecosystems. He has won numerous awards for his work, including national awards for investigating the impact of air pollution on human health, and for reporting that helps to uphold the South African constitution. Now based in South Africa, he was born in Swaziland and is the first Nieman Fellow to come from that nation.
Kings is studying how Africa’s carbon emitters plan to lower their emissions and help populations adapt to the changing climate. The research will compare plans to national capabilities and the feasibility of each, making alternate recommendations where possible.
Lisa Lerer is a national political writer at The Associated Press, where she was a lead reporter covering the 2016 U.S. presidential race and its aftermath. She has reported in Washington for ten years, covering the White House, elections, Congress and lobbying for the AP, Politico, BusinessWeek and Bloomberg News. Her work has also been published in The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Slate, Fortune and The American Lawyer, where she covered business and legal issues. She appears regularly on PBS’s “Washington Week,” CNN’s “Inside Politics,” Fox News’ “Fox News Sunday,” NPR and other programs. She has reported from 45 of the 50 U.S. states.
Lerer is studying how distrust of major societal institutions is reshaping American politics and posing new challenges to effective governance.
Jamieson Lesko is a London-based producer at NBC News. She has reported from 25 countries across network, cable and digital platforms on terrorism, geopolitics and war, including serving as NBC’s Kabul bureau chief. Previously, she was an executive producer at MSNBC, where she led primetime shows through periods of record ratings growth. She earned an Edward R. Murrow Award for coverage of the 2015 Paris attacks, Emmy recognition for her role in CNN’s broadcast control room on 9/11 and nominations for breaking news, continuing coverage of Europe’s migration crisis and Libya’s Arab Spring uprising.
Lesko is studying the current intersection between truth, political persuasion, perception and trust in mainstream media.
- A rare glimpse inside the world of an ex-jihadist Afghan warlord
- Afghanistan’s Fearsome “Bulldozer”: Al Qaeda Will Return If U.S. Troops Go
- A single girl’s guide to finding love in Kabul
- Refugee mom at Idomeni Camp: Syria is ‘Better Than This Place’
- ‘I Miss My Mom’: War-Weary Parents Send Thousands of Kids Alone to Sweden
- Clipper Round the World Yacht Race Pits ‘Human Will Against Nature’
Diana Marcum is a senior writer for the Los Angeles Times, where she has worked since 2011. Her narrative portraits of farmers, fieldworkers and other Californians in the drought-stricken towns of the state’s Central Valley won a 2015 Pulitzer Prize for feature writing. Marcum’s book “The Tenth Island,” about the diaspora of Azoreans who return to the Portugese archipelago each summer, will be published in May 2018. Marcum started her journalism career as an editorial assistant and later a reporter at the San Bernardo Sun. She also worked a reporter and columnist at The Fresno Bee.
Marcum is studying the impact of true stories on people and cultures as well as the divide between urban and rural sectors and whether shared stories can bridge that gap.
Christine Mungai is the Nairobi-based editor of Africapedia, a web publication that features data on key trends and major issues in the news in Africa. Her journalism career began at The East African newspaper, where she reported on politics, security, business, culture and the arts. In 2014, she joined the Mail & Guardian Africa, where her focus was broadened to a pan-African perspective, with a heavy focus on data-driven reporting. In 2015, she was named as the first runner-up for the David Astor Journalism Award, a professional development prize for East African print journalists.
Mungai is studying the relationship between torture, silence, repression and how that affects a country’s political imagination and media reporting.
- The Logic of Buying Votes In Africa: What Works, What Doesn’t, And What It All Means
- An African Paradox: Why Poor Women Earn More Than Their Husbands, And The Power And Politics Behind It
- Why funerals attract more money than medical appeals in Kenya
- The ‘hippo trench’ across Africa: US military quietly builds giant security belt in middle of continent
- Xenophobia: What the annoying boda boda and okada riders in rest of Africa can teach South Africa
Nneka Nwosu Faison
Nneka Nwosu Faison is a Boston-based television news reporter and producer for WCVB-TV’s “Chronicle” program, the nation’s longest running local news magazine. Her shows focus on issues affecting minorities and millennials, from life expectancy disparities among racial groups in Boston to the student debt crisis. Nwosu also teaches digital journalism at Emerson College. She previously worked a multimedia journalist at WTNH-TV in New Haven, Conn., and as an anchor/reporter at WPRI-TV and WNAC-TV in Rhode Island, where she shot, edited, and produced her own stories in addition to doing live reports.
Nwosu is studying how broadcast news stations can utilize social media video as a storytelling and revenue tool and how journalists can best use social media to engage diverse audiences.
Frederik Obermaier is a Munich-based investigative reporter at the Süddeutsche Zeitung, Germany’s largest broadsheet. He is one of the two reporters initially contacted by the anonymous source of the Panama Papers, the leaked documents that prompted a global investigation by hundreds of journalists that won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for explanatory reporting. Obermaier is member of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and has been involved in other large investigations such as Offshore Leaks, Bahamas Leaks, Luxembourg Leaks and Swiss Leaks. His awards include the CNN Journalist Award, the George Polk Award and the German Wächterpreis. Obermaier is the author of several books including the “Panama Papers.”
Obermaier is studying how to probe the global implications of tax havens, with a focus on the role of banks, lawyers, wealth managers and consulting firms.
Michael Petrou is a Canadian journalist and foreign correspondent who writes for OpenCanada, the National Post, iPolitics, CBC, The Walrus and other publications. He has reported from across Europe, the Middle East and Central Asia and has won three National Magazine Awards, including honors for his coverage of Ukraine and Haiti. Petrou is the author of two books: “Renegades: Canadians in the Spanish Civil War” and “Is This Your First War?: Travels Through the Post-9/11 Islamic World,” a memoir that won the 2012 Ottawa Book Award for nonfiction. He has a doctorate in modern history from the University of Oxford.
Petrou is studying the media environment in the contested political spaces of Eastern Europe, the Middle East and elsewhere. He also is researching how Russia and Western nations try to shape accepted narratives and the democratizing opportunities presented by new technologies and media platforms. He is the 2018 Martin Wise Goodman Canadian Nieman Fellow, sponsored by the Martin Wise Goodman Trust.
João Pina is a Portuguese photographer who has worked primarily in Latin America but also has covered human-rights stories and conflicts in Afghanistan, Libya, Egypt, Ivory Coast and Mozambique. He is a regular contributor to The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Le Monde, El País and Stern. In 2007, with Rui Daniel Galiza, he completed his first book, “Por teu livre pensamento,” featuring the stories of 25 former Portuguese political prisoners. In 2014, he published “Condor,” about a military operation designed to destroy political opposition to the military dictatorships in South America during the 1970s.
Pina is studying the importance and impact of archival photography and the way its juxtaposition with current images can increase storytelling impact and outreach.
María Ramírez is a Spanish reporter and entrepreneur who works in New York and Madrid. She writes about U.S. politics for Univision and co-founded Politibot, a chatbot that delivers messages about political developments in Spain, Europe and the United States. She previously worked as a correspondent for the Spanish daily El Mundo, reporting primarily from New York and Brussels. She later was part of the founding team of the start-up “El Español” that broke the world record for crowdfunding in journalism in 2015. Ramírez is the co-author of two books about U.S. politics, “La Carrera” and “Marco Rubio y la hora de los hispanos.”
Ramírez is studying how to develop better and personalized tools to reach an audience skeptical about media in the age of populism and fake news.
Emily Rueb, a reporter for The New York Times, writes and produces New York 101, a multimedia column explaining infrastructure. At the Times, she pioneered new approaches to storytelling for the breaking news blog, City Room, where she covered Hurricane Sandy and major elections, and created a niche writing about avian life. She also edited “Metropolitan Diary.” Her New York 101 series examined the power grid, road construction, organics recycling and the water system. Winner of an Emmy and a Knight-Batten Award for Innovation in Journalism, Rueb also has contributed to The Financial Times, BBC Scotland, Time Out Paris and Cleveland Magazine.
Rueb is studying the evolution of public works in the United States to understand how infrastructure investment will impact cities and citizens.
Shalini Singh is a Delhi-based features reporter. She has worked for the Indian news-magazine The Week and and the country’s leading daily, the Hindustan Times, where her story on illegal mining in the Indian state of Goa won the Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Award for best environmental reporting. Singh was a fellow at the Delhi-based Centre for Science and Environment and has reported widely on environmental issues. Her other awards include the Prem Bhatia Memorial Award and the first Cushrow Irani Prize for environmental reporting as well as the Laadli Media and Advertising Award for Gender Sensitivity for a team feature. She is a founding member of the CounterMedia Trust and a regular contributor to the People’s Archive of Rural India.
Singh is working to expand this multimedia digital repository of information about the lives, languages and cultures of the 833 million people in India’s countryside who are largely ignored by the mainstream media.
Mat Skene is the executive producer of Al Jazeera’s award-winning current affairs program, “Fault Lines.” Under his management, the show has covered a range of topics, including Haiti’s cholera epidemic, human trafficking on U.S. military bases and the fallout of President Trump’s proposed travel ban. Skene has received an Emmy Award for investigative journalism, two George Foster Peabody Awards, the duPont- Columbia Award, and the Robert F Kennedy Award for Journalism. A U.K. citizen, he has been based in Washington D.C., since 2008. Before that, he worked in Malaysia for Al Jazeera’s current affairs program, “101 East.”
Skene is studying how the conventions of Western television media have led to a dominant form of storytelling in journalism and will explore new alternatives.
Bonny Symons-Brown is a journalist with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation who reports for radio and TV. She previously was the supervising producer of “The Drum,” a nightly political talk show providing analysis of the biggest stories of the day from a diverse range of perspectives. Before joining the ABC in 2013, Symons-Brown was a Jakarta-based correspondent and anchored a daily news program on Indonesian television. She is the winner of the 2017 Elizabeth O’Neill Journalism Award. Her career started in the Australian parliamentary press gallery for the AAP wire service.
Symons-Brown is studying the intersection of Islam, democracy and human rights, drawing comparisons between Indonesia and the rest of the Muslim world.
Lauren N. Williams
Lauren N. Williams is the features editor for Essence. She assigns and edits articles, profiles and special reports on topics including reproductive rights, gun violence, politics, public health and social justice. She also manages Essence’s career, finance and technology content. Articles she has edited have won awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and the National Association of Black Journalists. Her work has also been nominated for a 2017 National Magazine Award. Before joining Essence, Williams worked at More and Marie Claire, where she wrote news articles and lifestyle and culture features.
Williams is studying the historic contributions of black women to American society, with a focus on how they have shaped culture and trends. She plans to develop a new journalistic digital platform that prioritizes their experiences.
Edward Wong is an international correspondent for The New York Times who served as the Beijing bureau chief and China correspondent from 2008 to 2016, covering Chinese politics, economics, the military, foreign policy, the environment and culture. He has reported across Asia, including in Afghanistan, North Korea and Myanmar. He also covered the Iraq War from 2003 to 2007 as a Baghdad-based correspondent. Wong received the Livingston Award for Young Journalists for his Iraq reporting, was part of a team that was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for international reporting and has received awards for his China reporting and for sports writing. He has taught at Princeton University as a Ferris Professor of Journalism.
Wong is studying the rise and fall of modern empires, their strategies for shaping the world and the consequences of their declines. He also plans to study visual storytelling.