Knight Visiting Nieman Fellows
Since 2012, the Nieman Foundation has invited journalists and other working professionals to Harvard to work on short-term projects to advance journalism. In 2015, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation provided a grant to support these visiting fellowships, now known as the Knight Visiting Nieman Fellowships.
Soutik Biswas, NF '18
Soutik Biswas, India correspondent and features and analysis editor for BBC News, will examine digital and non-digital methods and tools to counteract fake news in India.
Erik Borenstein, NF '18
Erik Borenstein, director of strategy and development at The New York Times, will explore the relationships between media companies and “stars” of the profession to identify approaches to growing audiences, deepening engagement, and meeting business objectives. His goal is to develop best practices for news organizations and their employees.
Azad Essa, NF '18
Azad Essa, a journalist with Al Jazeera and co-founder of the South African news portal The Daily Vox, will investigate innovative and cost-effective ways in which online news sites can reach rural audiences in South Africa.
Mark Frankel, NF '18
Mark Frankel, social media editor for BBC News in London, will research how journalists can best uncover and report on stories sourced from audiences on “dark social” apps, message boards and other private, invitation-only platforms.
Cynthia Hua, NF '18
Cynthia Hua, a San Francisco-based freelance journalist who previously worked at Facebook and BuzzFeed, will explore new approaches to measuring success for online video news, including using nuanced metrics that focus on intentional and repeated consumption patterns.
Jonathan Jackson, NF '18
Jonathan Jackson, most recently a co-founder and head of corporate brand for Blavity, will build a framework for a comprehensive study of black media, focused on digital properties, social influence and the impact of a burgeoning black creative class domestically and abroad.
Shaheen Pasha, NF '18
Shaheen Pasha, assistant professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, will research prison education programs across the country. Her goal is to create an immersive teaching and reporting model for university journalism programs to partner with prisons in creating journalism curriculum for inmates.
Alexandra Smith, NF '18
Alexandra Smith, growth editor for WhereBy.Us, a platform that helps people connect and engage in their cities, will survey if and how events—used as a local news organization strategy—are successful as a tool for audience growth, brand engagement and increased revenue. Her goal is to develop a guide for newsrooms to help inform their efforts around events.
Ashley Catherine Woods, NF '18
Ashley Catherine Woods, founder and CEO of Detour, a Detroit-based local news startup, will examine financial models for local journalism based on the psychology and practices of influencer and relationship marketing.
Trushar Barot, NF '17
Trushar Barot, London-based mobile editor for the BBC World Service, researched the rise of audio AI assistants and their role in helping news audiences—especially those new to the internet—find quality, relevant and timely content. He worked on producing a guide for news organizations to help them with AI assistant optimization of content.
Sandra Barrón Ramírez, NF '17
Sandra Barrón Ramírez, product designer at Borde Político and Transparencia Mexicana, created a central data index for disappeared and missing people in Mexico. The platform is designed to be a tool for journalists, NGOs and families to verify cases and access information.
Malin Dahlberg, NF '17
Malin Dahlberg, digital editor for SVT, Sweden’s largest TV network and public service company, developed a strategy for fact-checking services to better connect with their intended audiences. Her goal is to test the strategy during the Swedish national parliamentary election in 2018.
Lewis W. Diuguid, NF '17
Lewis W. Diuguid, most recently a columnist and editorial board member at The Kansas City Star, examined diversity and equity in journalism. He’ll also explored ways to encourage children to become lifelong news readers, thereby helping them to engage more deeply with their communities. Fellows in the Nieman class of 2017 selected Diuguid as winner of the Louis M. Lyons Award for Conscience and Integrity in Journalism.
Jane Elizabeth, NF '17
Jane Elizabeth, a senior manager at the American Press Institute, studied the characteristics of newsroom social media teams. She examined how they might evolve to become an integral part of accountability journalism by focusing their efforts on battling misinformation on social platforms and helping newsrooms to become a more valued source of reliable information.
Nikki Finke, NF '17-18
Nikki Finke, consultant/senior editorial contributor for Penske Business Media, will explore best practices in the reporting of breaking news and analysis in a 24/7 media environment, a field she influenced as founder and editor-in-chief of Deadline.com. Selected in 2017, Finke will complete her visiting fellowship in 2018.
Raheel Khursheed, NF '17
Raheel Khursheed, head of news partnerships for India and Southeast Asia at Twitter, examined the feasibility and scalability of a micropayments news product/platform for premium and mass content.
Nina Lassam, NF '17
Nina Lassam, director of ad product at The New York Times, surveyed how news organizations can foster equal participation in comments and distributed news content, specifically looking for ways to encourage greater female engagement.
Nicholas Quah, NF '17
Nicholas Quah, founder of Hot Pod, a newsletter about podcasts that appears on Nieman Lab and a consultant to the Democracy Fund, explored how podcasts can help strengthen the position of public radio stations in their local communities. He developed a guide to create audience-focused and financially sustainable local podcast strategies.
Stephanie Reuter, NF '17
Stephanie Reuter, managing director of the Rudolf Augstein Foundation in Germany, researched how foundations can support quality journalism most effectively. She created a blueprint that helps foundations reform their funding practices to facilitate maximum impact.
Carlin Romano, NF '17
Carlin Romano, critic-at-large for The Chronicle of Higher Education, worked to organize clinics for citizens who want to bring stories to the media’s attention. The project’s goal is to create a pro bono model, similar to that of the legal profession, that can be emulated in other communities.
Maya Baratz, NF '16
Maya Baratz, former head of new products at Disney/ABC Television, experimented with new formats for nonfiction storytelling via text messaging. The goal of the project was to design a product that offers an immersive experience and takes advantage of the strengths of the medium.
David Barboza, NF '16
David Barboza, a reporter for The New York Times who served as Shanghai bureau chief, built new tools for investigative reporting in China, including a business and financial database of Chinese companies.
Bill Church, NF '16
Bill Church, executive editor of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune and southeast regional editor of GateHouse Media, explored the organizational behavior of small newsrooms and examine new models for adaptability and innovation.
Fatemah Farag, NF '16
Fatemah Farag, founder and CEO of Welad El Balad Media Services in Egypt, researched the relationship between community engagement and media production. Her goal was to define models for business development and sustainability for alternative media in Egypt and the Middle East.
Walter Frick, NF '16
Walter Frick, a senior associate editor at Harvard Business Review, explored through research and prototyping how machine learning can help news organizations better organize background information and archival material in order to provide context for journalists and readers when news breaks.
Paul McNally, NF '16
Paul McNally, a radio journalist for Wits Journalism and director of The Citizen Justice Network in South Africa, worked to develop an online tool to organize citizen journalism into a network for investigative reporting. The project was designed to blend traditional and digital strategies for the development of local stories.
An Xiao Mina, NF '16
An Xiao Mina, director of product at Meedan, examined how language barriers affect global coverage. She also conducted a case study around a specific news event, with the goal of understanding and measuring the impact of translations and annotations of social media on diversifying and broadening reportage.
Tara Pixley, NF '16
Tara Pixley, a freelance photojournalist and photo editor, identified structural challenges to finding and accessing images from photojournalists outside the Western media network. She also created a platform to showcase quality global photojournalism and provide news photo editors with diverse, fresh perspectives that depict non-Western people and places.
Dean Haddock, NF '15
Dean Haddock, director of digital and technical innovation at StoryCorps, designed a system for recording, editing and accessing user-generated interviews online that extends StoryCorps’ proven interview methodology to the Internet and mobile devices. The project offers new ways to produce high-quality, well-organized audio content that journalists, communities, families and the public at large can freely use and share. Read more
Melody Joy Kramer, NF ’15
Melody Joy Kramer, most recently an editor and digital strategist at NPR, developed a new model for public media membership to include non-financial forms of contributions and use of local stations’ physical space for community building. The goal of the project is to instill a sense of ownership and identity among listeners, allowing them to feel more connected to and invested in public media’s content, work and mission. Read more
Donna Pierce, NF '15
Donna Pierce, a contributing editor at Upscale Magazine who writes about food in a syndicated column for the Chicago Defender, researched papers at the Harvard University Archives and elsewhere for a publishing project on the migration of African-American cooks and recipes from the American South to the Midwest, West and Northeast. She also worked on a companion project to teach journalistic skills to young people through interviews with senior citizens about their food traditions. Learn more
Jack Riley, NF ’15
Jack Riley, the London-based head of audience development at The Huffington Post UK, studied the future impact of smartwatches and wearable devices on journalism and content and the opportunities, risks, and challenges for publishers of news. His work included research, interviews, case studies and surveys about product potential and likely adoption, as well as monetization. Riley also worked on a prototype of a smartwatch publishing app. Read more
Freek Staps, NF '15
Freek Staps, the head of the business news start-up NRC Q in the Netherlands, researched a set of issues related to journalism’s digital transformation, including leadership skills, newsroom buy-in and how content producers can work hand-in-hand with reader-oriented departments on the business side of media companies. He has identified best practices in the United States in order to introduce them to European markets. Learn more
Amy Webb, NF ’15
Founder and CEO of Webbmedia Group and co-founder of Spark Camp, Amy Webb spent her time at Harvard developing a program to reform journalism education by researching and publishing a blueprint that can be adapted within universities. Webb has developed seven key areas for change, as well as new metrics and key performance indicators to measure outcomes. Read her Nieman ebook “How to Make J-School Matter (Again).”
Taylor Goldenstein, NF '14
Taylor Goldenstein, a graduate of the University of Illinois’s journalism program and now a data journalist at the Los Angeles Times, worked on plans for a website that will provide a forum for college journalists to converse and collaborate; offer advice from professional critics on topics ranging from reporting to app development; and showcase the front pages of participating college newspapers. Read more
Samar Padmaker Halarnkar, NF ’14
Samar Padmaker Halarnkar, a writer and former managing editor of the Hindustan Times, studied ways to build an inexpensive model for mobile phone-based public interest journalism in which journalists, non-journalistic organizations and readers can collaborate on investigations. Read more
Tina Pamintuan, NF '14
Tina Pamintuan, the director of radio projects and initiatives at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, researched a plan for a mobile app that will enable ethnic radio stations across the United States to reach more audiences and share programming. Learn more
Allissa Richardson, NF ’14
Allissa Richardson is an assistant professor of journalism at Bowie State University. At Harvard, she developED a mobile journalism MOOC project, a free online educational resource that will teach veteran journalists, citizens and journalism students how to report news using only tablets, MP3 players or smartphones. Learn more
David Smydra, NF '14
David Smydra, who works on Google’s news partnerships team, worked on developing an industry-wide method for organizing future news events into structured data that will be accessible via an open, collaborative calendar. Such a calendar will enable journalists and audiences to see beyond ephemeral daily news and better comprehend stories that have a lasting impact on their lives. Learn more
Daniel Eilemberg, NF ’13
Daniel Eilemberg, the founder and editor-in-chief of the Animal Político website, used his time at Harvard to build the site into a leading digital editorial company in Mexico. On campus, he worked in partnership with others to conceptualize and build the platforms, teams and tools needed to expand his organization’s digital newsroom, integrating the best technology and journalistic practices. Eilemberg now oversees digital projects at Fusion. He participated in the Nieman co-sponsored workshop “Latin America’s Media Innovators” in 2014. Read more
Hong Qu, NF ’13
Chief technology officer for Fusion, Hong Qu developed his Keepr application to help journalists and other users better follow stories on Twitter and sort fact from rumor. Keepr was put to the test in April 2013 during the Boston Marathon bombings when Hong used his algorithm to identify reliable information as events unfolded. Read more
Kate Smith, NF '13
Kate Smith, a journalism professor at Edinburgh Napier University in Scotland, delved into the Ernest Hemingway and Martha Gellhorn archives in Boston to examine the writers’ war reporting, focusing on the role that moral truth and moral courage play in coverage of war. She conducted research using the Hemingway collection at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum and the Gellhorn archive at the Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center at Boston University. Learn more
Paul Salopek, NF ’12
Nieman’s inaugural visiting fellow, Paul Salopek used his time at Harvard to plan his epic seven-year Out of Eden reporting walk around the globe to trace the path of human migration and use storytelling and technology to test a new form of “slow journalism.” Salopek continues to collaborate with researchers at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education and Center for Geographic Analysis, and at the MIT’s Media Lab and Knight Science Journalism Program. Read more