When Nieman curator Bob Giles came to Cambridge a decade ago, the world of journalism was already feeling the initial tremors of a seismic shift in the way news is gathered, distributed and paid for. Digital technology was Bill Wheatley
Advisory Board President
upending the entire information order and readers, viewers and listeners were rapidly finding new ways to become knowledgeable. It was beginning to become clear that journalism’s future would belong to those who could embrace and manage change rather than fall victim to it.
Bob, a veteran newspaperman, observed this and acted. In a time of uncertainty and experimentation, he wanted to make sure that the Nieman Foundation did everything that it could to help ensure that careful, consequential journalism survived what was certain to be a very rocky period of transition.
Ten years later, as Bob prepares to retire, that transition continues and the Nieman Foundation is playing a notable role in helping the journalism community adjust.
Under the guidance of Bob and his staff, the foundation has increased its outreach substantially. The Nieman Journalism Lab
is must reading for those trying to understand important industry trends and practices. Nieman Reports
, now available both in print and online, has added to its reputation for relevance and excellence with a series of in-depth, single-topic issues. Nieman Watchdog
asks the questions the news media should be asking but doesn’t always, while Nieman Storyboard
helps journalists improve their narrative skills. Separately, Nieman conferences and partnerships explore various issues critical to our craft.
All of this has been happening as the Nieman Fellowships, the centerpiece of the foundation’s mission, continue to bring outstanding midcareer journalists to Harvard for a year of study and growth. The fellows, too, reflect change, coming from an increasing number of disciplines, backgrounds and counties. To help them deal with the demands of new technology, the foundation has created extracurricular workshops focusing on digital technology skills.
It’s quite a record of achievement. The members of Bob’s advisory board salute him for his work in guiding the foundation through some of the most tumultuous years in journalism’s history, preparing it to deal with whatever happens next.
As Bob and his wonderful wife Nancy plan the next fulfilling chapter in their lives, we extend our deep thanks and every best wish.
- William O. Wheatley Jr.
1977 Nieman Fellow