Reynolds Fellowship in Business Journalism

A Partner in Business and Community Journalism

Recognizing the importance of certain types of journalism today, the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation funds the Donald W. Reynolds Nieman Fellowship in Community Journalism and the Donald W. Reynolds Nieman Fellowship in
Jeff Young

Loch Adamson
Business Journalism.

The Donald W. Reynolds Nieman Fellowship in Business Journalism was created to help business journalists gain in-depth knowledge of business, finance and economics and make important connections to business leaders and analysts at Harvard and in the workplace.

This annual fellowship is offered to journalists who are U.S. citizens and who report on business issues. Journalists selected for the fellowships may take advantage of classes across campus, including those offered at Harvard Business School and other professional business schools across campus.

Jeff Young, senior correspondent with PRI’s “Living on Earth,” a weekly public radio program focusing on the environment, is the 2012 Donald W. Reynolds Nieman Fellow in Business Journalism. He is studying the full costs of energy sources and how new media might spark a more meaningful discussion of energy choices. He covered environmental policy and politics on Capitol Hill as Living on Earth’s Washington correspondent for six years. Young shares his thoughts about his first semester at Harvard below.

Loch Adamson, London bureau chief for the Institutional Investor from the Nieman class of 2011, was the first Reynolds Nieman Fellow in Business Journalism. She studied the ecology of risk in the global financial system and explored the challenges that industry practitioners and policymakers face in anticipating and containing market crises.

The Reynolds Foundation has committed to sponsoring the Nieman business and community journalism fellowships through 2015.

The Reynolds Foundation is a national philanthropic organization founded in 1954 by the late media entrepreneur for whom it is named. Headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada, it is one of the 50 largest private foundations in the United States and has invested more than $100 million in its National Journalism Initiative.

My Nieman Year So Far

One highlight of my first term as a Nieman Fellow was taking the course "Business & the Environment" at Harvard's Business School. The course's case studies gave real world examples of business decision makers dealing with the sort of issues I cover as an environmental reporter: regulations on climate change and resource extraction; international restrictions on genetically modified foods; and obstacles to renewable energy development. The course gave me a much deeper appreciation of the challenges businesspeople face as they strive for more sustainable ways to do business.

Frequently, the protagonist in the case study was invited to class to comment. That gave me a good chance to get to know those people and expand my contacts with business leaders. And, judging from the list of HBS alumni, I would guess I made contacts with some future business leaders just by getting to know my classmates.

At the end of the term my professor asked me to speak to the class about how journalists affect decision making, which led to a lively discussion.

Another highlight came with the daylong workshop "Covering the Green Economy" at the Society of Environmental Journalists annual convention. This is a great addition to the SEJ event. I made very useful contacts with people analyzing the renewable energy sector, working in the organic products realm, and trying to green their company supply chains. I've already recommended to my Living on Earth colleagues that they use some of the presenters at the workshop as interview sources. I left the conference with a list of emerging trends to watch and some valuable additions to my rolodex.

I'm looking forward to the next term, which will begin with the "Strictly Financials" session at the Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism.

Jeff Young
2012 Donald W. Reynolds Nieman Fellow in Business Journalism