Visiting Fellowships

Beginning in 2012, the Nieman Foundation began to offer a new research and study opportunity: a short-term Visiting Fellowship for individuals to work on special projects designed to advance journalism.

The foundation offered the first Visiting Fellowship to Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Paul Salopek to help him prepare for an extraordinary
Paul Salopek
reporting project, an epic seven-year walk around the world to trace the path of human migration. Paul collaborated with more than 40 local professors and other thought leaders who helped him shape this grand experiment in slow journalism. Carrying a small laptop and a satellite phone, he will report on the major issues of our day — poverty, conflict, climate change, local innovations — from the ground level, living among the people he will cover. In December Salopek returned to Harvard to talk about his plans and the project website Paul will begin his journey in East Africa in January 2013.

The collaborators and mentors who helped Paul shape his walk plans included Nieman curator Ann Marie Lipinski and the class of 2012 Nieman Fellows; Ofer Bar-Yosef, curator of palaeolithic archaeology at Harvard’s Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology; Shari Tishman, director of “Project Zero” at Harvard's Graduate School of Education; Ethan Zuckerman, director of the MIT Center for Civic Media; Patrick Wellever, digital media training coordinator for MIT’s Knight Science Journalism Fellowship program; Daniel E. Lieberman, professor of human evolutionary biology at Harvard; Joshua Benton, director of the Nieman Journalism Lab; Jeff Blossom, senior GIS specialist at the Center for Geographic Analysis; and Henry Louis Gates Jr. director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research.

In 2013, the Nieman Foundation will welcome three new Visiting Fellows: Hong Qu, a UX designer; Kate Smith, a lecturer in journalism at Edinburgh Napier University in Scotland; and Daniel Eilemberg, the founder and editor-in-chief of Animal Político, a political website in Mexico.
  • Hong Qu will work on developing a new mobile and open source application that will enable journalists and others to easily tune in to and draw meaning from any live-tweet event. At Harvard, he will collaborate with groups and individuals to brainstorm and gather feedback on the software’s design, usefulness and sustainability.
  • Kate Smith will examine literary journalism in the war reporting of Ernest Hemingway and Martha Gellhorn to glean what lessons their writing can offer war correspondents today. While in the Cambridge area, she will conduct 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
  • Daniel Eilemberg, the founder and editor-in-chief of the Animal Político website, will use his time at Harvard to build the site into the leading digital editorial company in Mexico. While on campus, he hopes to work in partnership with others to conceptualize and build the platforms, teams and tools needed to expand his organization into a modern, digital newsroom, integrating the best technology and journalistic practices.
The Visiting Fellowship program at Nieman was established to invite individuals with promising research proposals to Harvard to take advantage of the many resources on campus and at the Nieman Foundation. Those who are welcome to apply include publishers, programmers, Web designers, media analysts, academics, journalists and others interested in enhancing quality, building new business models or designing programs to improve journalism. The proposed project may be completed during the time spent at Harvard or be part of a larger undertaking.