The Year in Review

Nieman curator Ann Marie Lipinski and former curator Bill Kovach, who directed the Nieman Foundation during Lipinski’s fellowship year

2011: The Winds of Change at Lippmann House

The past year has been a time of transition and new beginnings for the Nieman Foundation.

In the spring, Bob Giles, NF ’66, retired as Nieman’s curator, wrapping up more than a decade at the helm while Ann Marie Lipinski, NF ’90, came aboard as Nieman’s new curator with fresh ideas on ways to expand the scope and impact of Nieman programs and serve the needs of journalists worldwide.

In departing, Giles reflected on the programs he introduced to the foundation saying, “Our conferences, our online presence and the spreading global recognition of our fellowships have acquainted many more people with the Nieman Foundation. They have strengthened and enlarged our brand and have given people an opportunity to learn under the auspices of the Nieman Foundation. Equally important, they have enriched the fellows.”

Upon her arrival, Lipinski began to build on those strengths saying, “I look forward to working with colleagues at universities and news organizations globally in addressing the challenges and promise of journalism. Harvard’s deep commitment to this work and to excellence makes this an extraordinary time to be at Nieman.”

Rosental Alves, NF '88, speaking at Nieman's conference on Freedom of the Press in Latin America

New Initiatives

While the fellowship program remains at the core of the foundation, the need to collaborate and share information with journalists beyond the Nieman program has grown. The foundation has responded by opening its doors to Harvard and the greater journalism community, inviting new guests to take part in some of the many seminars, workshops and conferences offered each year. The foundation also has expanded its partnerships across campus and with professional organizations seeking answers to some of journalism’s toughest challenges.

Public events bring fellows and interested participants together to discuss and learn more about issues in the news such as Nieman Reports’ panel on “The Arab Press: Can it Keep Up with Political Transformations?” and the Nieman Journalism Lab’s look at The Boston Globe’s new paywall strategy with top executives at the paper weighing in on ideas behind the new business model.

Longer conferences explored other topics in daylong sessions on Freedom of the Press in Latin America, Journalism in Eastern Europe: Who Controls the Media? and Global Health and Storytelling in the Digital Age. These conferences not only bring like-minded journalists and scholars together for substantive analysis of key issues, they also generate ideas on how to move forward to tackle problems journalists face in a variety of settings.

Nieman Programs Expand

Programmatically, the Nieman Journalism Lab redesigned its site and launched Encyclo, an encyclopedia of the future of news, and Fuego, the Lab’s new feature that tracks the links the future-of-journalism crowd is talking about most on Twitter.

Nieman Reports expanded its online presence with a website redesign that now features frequent updates on Nieman Fellows and contributors in the field, highlights from the latest issue and select information from Nieman Notes and Professor’s Corner.

Nieman Storyboard established an Editors’ Roundtable, which comments on craft and the storytelling aspects of current narrative projects and “Why’s this so good?” a weekly feature in which a guest writer chooses a classic narrative and explains what makes it extraordinary.

Nieman Watchdog increased its social media presence to better share the site’s many thought-provoking articles and took a hard look at coverage of current events ranging from the war in Afghanistan and the economy, to poverty in America and the Occupy movement.

Also this year, Nieman journalism conferences explored several new areas including press freedom in Latin America and global health storytelling in the digitial age, while our ongoing collaboration with the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma and the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting expanded to serve the needs of journalists in a variety of settings and situations.