Class of 2014

Seated, from left: Rachel Emma Silverman, Uri Blau, Tyler Cabot, Tammerlin Drummond, Alison MacAdam, Flavia Krause-Jackson, Issac J. Bailey, Susie Banikarim, Ameto Akpe, Jeffrey R. Young, Sangar Rahimi.
Standing, from left: Yang Xiao, Tim Rogers, Wendell Steavenson, Greg Marinovich, Maria Lourdes “Nini” Cabaero, Alexandru-Cristian Lupsa, Hasit Shah, Ann Marie Lipinski (curator), Dina Temple-Raston, Laura-Julie Perrault, Sandra Rodríguez Nieto, Leslie Hook, Ravi Nessman, Anna Fifield.
The 24 members of the 76th class of Nieman Fellows are reporters, editors, columnists, digital media leaders and producers who work around the globe and across all media platforms.

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Ameto Akpe is a senior reporter for BusinessDay in Nigeria. Her reporting focuses on corruption and development issues with articles exposing the mediocrity of Nigeria’s oil-sector managers and human rights abuses in the oil-rich Niger Delta. Her investigation into the mismanagement of Nigeria’s water resources was featured on “PBS NewsHour.” She has spoken on public sector accountability at forums in the U.S. and Europe and was commended by the Stockholm International Water Institute for her contribution to water and sanitation reporting. Akpe received a bronze prize from the United Nations Correspondents Association for excellence in journalism. At Harvard, she will study civil movements and their impact on governance, the nature of power and the relationship of citizens to the state. Akpe will also research the impact and reception of U.S. soft power in the developing world. She is the 2014 Barry Bingham Jr. Nieman Fellow. Bingham, a 1956 Harvard graduate, was the editor and publisher of the Courier-Journal and Louisville Times in Kentucky.

Issac J. Bailey is a metro columnist and senior writer for The Sun News in Myrtle Beach, S.C. He has covered the real estate market, manufacturing industry, race relations and the child protection system, and served as business editor. His columns, which have been published in dozens of print and online publications, have garnered national writing awards, including the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. Bailey has taught a course in journalism and applied ethics at Coastal Carolina University and is the author of “Proud. Black. Southern. (But I Still Don’t Eat Watermelon in Front of White People).” He plans to study the intersection of race, sports and the economy in the American South, with a goal of using the research to understand efforts to battle illiteracy and improve cross-racial understanding in the region. He is the 2014 Donald W. Reynolds Nieman Fellow in Community Journalism.

Susie Banikarim is a network television and video producer who worked at ABC News as a member of the senior editorial team for “World News” and “This Week” and as a producer for Diane Sawyer, Charlie Gibson and George Stephanopoulos. She also served as deputy director of editorial operations and executive producer of video at Newsweek & The Daily Beast, where she launched Daily Beast TV and helped oversee the Women in the World Summit. Before her Nieman Fellowship, Banikarim was editorial producer for the talk show “Katie.” She has received an Edward R. Murrow Award and six Emmy nominations for her work. Banikarim will study visual storytelling, specifically focusing on online video and economically viable models for online-only broadcast enterprises.

Uri Blau is an investigative journalist specializing in military and political affairs for the Tel Aviv-based Haaretz newspaper. In 2012, he became the first journalist in Israel to be charged and convicted under the country’s Espionage Act for possession of classified information after exposing that the Israeli Defense Forces conducted and covered up unlawful targeted assassinations in the West Bank. Blau has reported on a wide range of topics, uncovering a number of corruption scandals involving top government and military officials. He also has worked as an analyst for Japan’s Fuji TV, Britain’s Channel 4 and other international media outlets. Blau will study entrepreneurial models for a sustainable, independent nonprofit investigative news platform in Israel and how that could form a base for cooperation among journalists from the Middle East.

Maria Lourdes “Nini” Cabaero is editor-in-chief of the Sun.Star Network Exchange, the new media department of the Sun.Star group of community newspapers in the Philippines. She manages all digital journalism produced by the group and set up the mechanism that allowed community newsrooms to go online. Before making the transition to digital journalism, she was news editor of the Sun.Star Cebu, the network’s flagship newspaper. She reported on political conflicts in the Philippines during the post-martial law years, through the restoration of democracy and beyond. She holds a master’s degree in journalism from the Ateneo de Manila University. On campus, Cabaero will study changing newsrooms and how small communities can use new media to gain equal access to national resources. Her fellowship is supported by the Ninoy and Cory Aquino Foundation (NCAF) and honors the memory of journalist Sandra Burton, who reported from the Philippines for Time magazine.

Tyler Cabot is the articles and fiction editor at Esquire, where he edits and writes features on topics ranging from national affairs to science to culture, and has collaborated with digital start-ups on new publishing models and platforms. He has reported extensively on Guantánamo Bay and received a grant from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. His story “The Theory of Everything” was anthologized in “The Best American Science Writing 2007,” and a story he edited on a deadly tornado in Joplin, Missouri, received the 2011 National Magazine Award for best feature. He is on the founding committee of the global storytelling nonprofit Narrative 4. Cabot will study innovative ways of using digital technology to reimagine the way long-form journalism is created, bought and sold.

Tammerlin Drummond is a metro columnist for the Oakland Tribune/Bay Area News Group. She was Miami bureau chief at Time, where she covered Cuba, the U.S. military occupation of Haiti and the Oklahoma City bombing. She also has worked as a staff writer at the Los Angeles Times and was on the team that won a Pulitzer for reporting the LA riots. She won a Society of Professional Journalists Sigma Delta Chi Award for a series on Oakland’s child prostitution epidemic and was a finalist for the California Newspaper Publishers Association's Public Service Award for her series on elder financial abuse. Drummond will study urban gun violence as a public health emergency, prevention strategies and practices and ways that digital platforms can be used to disseminate information in urban communities plagued by gun homicides and other violent crimes.

Anna Fifield is the U.S. political correspondent for the Financial Times, covering the Obama administration, Congress and issues from health care and immigration reform to presidential election campaigns. She was previously based in the Middle East, reporting from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and the Gaza Strip. Before that, she spent four years covering North and South Korea, making repeated trips to Pyongyang. Originally from New Zealand, she was awarded a British Council journalism fellowship in 2000 and joined the Financial Times in 2001. She was recognized by the Society of Publishers in Asia for excellence in human rights reporting. Fifield will study how change occurs in closed societies, focusing on Iran and the Middle East in the wake of the Arab Spring and looking at the commonalities between revolutions. She is the 2014 William Montalbano Nieman Fellow, named for a 1970 Nieman Fellow and Los Angeles Times reporter who reported from 100 countries during his 38-year career.

Leslie Hook is a Beijing correspondent for the Financial Times, covering energy, the environment, commodities and general news in China. She has written stories on topics ranging from Mongolian herders in the Gobi Desert to rare earth mines in Southern China to solar-powered villages in Xinjiang. Hook previously worked for The Wall Street Journal in Hong Kong, where she wrote editorials and op-eds on political and human rights issues in Asia. She also worked at the Far Eastern Economic Review in Hong Kong, writing cover stories about China and editing essays for the magazine. At Harvard, she will study the intersection of social media and environmental protests in China, with a particular focus on the growing impact of social media on political decisions and policymaking.

Flavia Krause-Jackson is a diplomatic correspondent for Bloomberg News, where she covers foreign affairs from the United Nations and the State Department. During her 14-year career, she has been posted in London, Rome, Washington, D.C., and New York. She has reported from more than 40 countries at G-20 and G-8 summits and in conflict zones. An economist and banker by training, her assignments have included the European debt crisis, the Arab uprisings, a papal death and resignation, and the emergence of both South Sudan and Myanmar. Born in Italy, she is fluent in English, Italian, French and Spanish. Krause-Jackson plans to study the political and economic challenges and opportunities in Southeast Asia, using the democratization of Myanmar to investigate the influence of foreign investors, multiethnic representation and exogenous actors such as China on the region’s development. She is the 2014 Atsuko Chiba Nieman Fellow, named to honor the memory of Atsuko Chiba, a 1968 Nieman Fellow.

Alexandru-Cristian Lupsa is the editor of Decât o Revista, a Romanian quarterly magazine dedicated to long-form nonfiction. He has been writing and editing narrative journalism for eight years, four at the helm of DoR. Under his supervision, his staff has won multiple writing awards. He also wrote and edited for the Romanian edition of Esquire. Since 2011, he has overseen an international narrative journalism conference in Bucharest and has taught storytelling to journalists and other professionals. He is an M.A. graduate of the Missouri School of Journalism and was a Rosalynn Carter Mental Health Journalism Fellow. Lupsa will study how narrative journalism can create personal and societal change and ways in which such change can be measured. He is the Robert Waldo Ruhl Nieman Fellow. Ruhl, a 1903 Harvard graduate, was editor and publisher of the Medford Mail-Tribune in Oregon from 1911-1967.

Alison MacAdam is senior editor of NPR’s “All Things Considered.” She has edited and, before that, produced the program through two wars, a financial crisis and three presidential elections. As a producer, she traveled with NPR hosts and reporters to locations including Ghana and post-Katrina Louisiana. Before arriving at NPR, MacAdam worked for WBUR in Boston, first with the station’s news desk and then as associate producer of the nationally syndicated talk show “The Connection.” She grew up in Kentucky, worked at a bookstore in Ireland, learned Spanish in Guatemala and now lives in Washington, D.C. She will study how the arts intersect with business, law and technological innovation, and how cultural institutions are redesigning themselves for the future. MacAdam is the 2014 Arts and Culture Nieman Fellow.

Greg Marinovich is a South African Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist and co-author of “The Bang Bang Club,” a nonfiction account of South Africa’s transition to democracy. He has traveled widely as a conflict photographer for The New York Times, Time, Newsweek, The Guardian, Der Spiegel and others. He has made television documentaries in countries from Afghanistan to Cameroon on topics from belief systems to murder. He is currently associate editor at the online Daily Maverick and is working on a book about the 2012 Marikana Massacre in which South African security forces used lethal force against striking miners. Marinovich will study African syncretic religion and politics and issues of communal morality in times of conflict. His fellowship is supported by the Nieman Society of Southern Africa.

Ravi Nessman is the South Asia bureau chief for The Associated Press. In his 13 years as a foreign correspondent, he has covered the AIDS crisis in Africa, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the death of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, Israel’s pullout from Gaza and the 2008 Mumbai attacks. He won an Overseas Press Club citation and an award from the South Asian Journalists Association for his coverage of the Sri Lankan civil war and was part of an AP team that won a Sigma Delta Chi Award for its coverage of Benazir Bhutto’s assassination in 2007. On campus, Nessman will study the influence of religion on creating and alleviating poverty around the world and the responsibility of governments and communities to assist society’s most vulnerable members.

Laura-Julie Perreault is a staff reporter who covers international affairs for Montreal’s La Presse. She has worked in over 35 countries, covering subjects ranging from the Chechen war and the Tunisian revolution to the famine in Somalia. For her international coverage, Perreault has received a Canadian National Newspaper Award as well as an Amnesty International Award. At home in her native French Canada, she has focused on immigration issues and the impact of anti-terror laws on immigrant communities. Before joining La Presse, Perreault worked at Quebec City’s Le Soleil, for the Moscow bureau of CNN and for the London-based Gemini News Service. She plans to study issues facing women combatants as well as state building and democratization in post-dictatorial states. Perreault is the 2014 Martin Wise Goodman Canadian Nieman Fellow, named for a fellow in the Nieman class of 1962.

Sangar Rahimi is an Afghan journalist who has reported for The New York Times in Kabul since 2007. He has covered Afghanistan’s war against the Taliban, politics, presidential and parliamentary elections, the first-ever banking scandal in the country, violence against women and violent protests that erupted after American soldiers burned copies of the Koran at Bagram Air Base. He was honored by The New York Times for his contribution to the 2009 Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage of Afghanistan and Pakistan. With an interest in a range of topics including ethnic- and gender-based discrimination, he will study banking scandals, money laundering, corruption and the misuse of power by politicians. He is the 2014 Carroll Binder Nieman Fellow. The Binder Fund honors 1916 Harvard graduate Carroll Binder, who expanded the Chicago Daily News Foreign Service, and his son, Carroll “Ted” Binder, a 1943 Harvard graduate.

Sandra Rodríguez Nieto is an investigative journalist based in Juarez, Mexico. Since 2008, she has covered the extreme violence and other problems that have plagued the city as a result of the government’s war on drugs. Her work has attracted widespread recognition, including the 2013 Daniel Pearl Award for Courage and Integrity in Journalism, the 2012 Zenger Award from the University of Arizona School of Journalism, the 2011 Knight International Journalism Award and the 2010 Reporteros Del Mundo Award from Spain’s El Mundo for outstanding work covering a conflict zone. Her book “La Fabrica del Crimen” was published in 2012. Rodríguez Nieto will study ways to develop sustainable online investigative and narrative journalism projects, focusing on governmental accountability and transparency in Mexico. She is the 2014 Ruth Cowan Nash Nieman Fellow. Nash was best known for her work as an Associated Press war correspondent during World War II.

Tim Rogers is the editor of The Nicaragua Dispatch and a contributing correspondent for Time, The Miami Herald, The Christian Science Monitor, the BBC, GlobalPost and other publications. He has lived in and reported on Central America for 13 years, filing stories on topics ranging from political corruption and renewable energy, to border disputes, drug violence and baseball. Rogers started both a traditional print newspaper and an online news publication from Nicaragua. He has a special interest in reinventing the role of the community newspaper in the digital world, with a focus on innovation, citizen-building and cross-cultural participation. Rogers will study the evolving role that online media can play in non-democratic societies, focusing on how content sharing, free expression and interconnectivity contribute to democratization efforts.

Hasit Shah is a senior producer at BBC News in London who has produced award-winning national and international news programs. He has also worked in social media in the BBC newsroom and as a foreign affairs producer specializing in South Asia. He has covered major breaking news stories and events including the Mumbai attacks, riots in France, violence in Indian-administered Kashmir, the London bombings, regime change in Egypt and the earthquake in Japan. He recently produced the “Indian Dream” series, which profiles people moving to India from the West. Shah is a 2014 Nieman-Berkman Fellow in Journalism Innovation at Harvard. He will study the rapid growth and development of digital media in India and its impact on journalism, society, popular culture, political discourse, the economy and public policy.

Rachel Emma Silverman is a reporter at The Wall Street Journal, where she has worked since 1998. She covers management and workplace issues, writing features on topics such as office distractions, firms with no bosses and the vogue for stand-up meetings, and is a contributor to the’s “At Work” blog. She previously covered personal finance, focusing on estate and tax planning and edited “The Juggle,” the Journal’s work and family blog. Silverman is the author of “The Wall Street Journal Complete Estate Planning Guidebook,” published in 2011. She works from Austin, Texas. On campus, Silverman will study workplace design and how it affects collaboration and productivity. She also will explore how journalists can more effectively access new academic management research. She is the 2014 Donald W. Reynolds Nieman Fellow in Business Journalism.

Wendell Steavenson is a staff writer for The New Yorker based in Jerusalem. Before that, she was a freelance journalist and author for 15 years, reporting from Cairo, Tbilisi, Nagorno-Karabakh, Eritrea, Kabul, Tehran, Baghdad, Damascus, London, Beirut and Paris. Steavenson has written two books, one about Georgia, the other about Iraq, and is working on a book on the Egyptian revolution. She has written for Time, the Financial Times, Granta, The Guardian, The Telegraph and, and is a contributing editor to Prospect magazine in the U.K. Steavenson will study the way history is memorialized in the Middle East and explore the theories behind the design of museums and how they contribute to a nation’s sense of its own identity.

Dina Temple-Raston has been NPR’s counterterrorism correspondent since 2007. She began covering terrorism while researching her book “The Jihad Next Door: Rough Justice in the Age of Terror,” about the Lackawanna Six, a suspected al-Qaeda sleeper cell in upstate New York. One of her four books, “A Death in Texas: Race, Murder and a Small Town’s Struggle for Redemption,” about the dragging death of James Byrd, Jr., was chosen as one of The Washington Post’s Best Books of 2002 and won the Barnes & Noble Discover Award. She has reported from nearly 50 countries, most recently Iraq and Pakistan. She will study the intersection of Big Data and the intelligence community to understand how information from Twitter and other social media can be used to predict and understand events in the future. She also will study the rise of Islam and the first caliphate to research how Shariah law might be included in the transitional governments of the Arab world. Temple-Raston is the first Murrey Marder Nieman Fellow in Watchdog Journalism. The fellowship honors the memory of Murrey Marder, a 1950 Nieman Fellow who helped found the Nieman Watchdog Project.

Yang Xiao is Beijing correspondent and a chief writer for Southern People Weekly, a news magazine owned by the Southern Media Group in China. He writes feature stories on a variety of topics ranging from youth culture to political transition. Before arriving at SPW, Yang worked for the Xinhua News Agency and the Chicago Tribune’s Beijing bureau. His stories twice won the Best People Portrait Award, presented for journalism excellence by Tencent, in 2009 and 2010. He also received the 2010 International Reporting Award given by Southern Weekly and a 2012 feature writing award given by Tencent, two of the most important independent journalism awards in China. With a special interest in democratic transition, he will study comparative politics, democratic theory and courses related to China’s political and economic reforms. His fellowship at Harvard is supported through the Marco Polo Program of Sovereign Bank and Banco Santander.

Jeffrey R. Young is an editor and writer for The Chronicle of Higher Education. He has covered the intersection of technology and education for more than 15 years. His articles have appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and New Scientist, and one of his pieces was selected for “The Best of Technology Writing 2007.” Young also co-edited the e-book, “Rebooting the Academy: 12 Tech Innovators Who Are Transforming Campuses.” He teaches multimedia journalism at the University of Maryland at College Park and is a 2014 Nieman-Berkman Fellow in Journalism Innovation. Young will study massive open online courses, or MOOCs, and how they will change higher education and the very nature of pedagogy. He is the Louis Stark Nieman Fellow; the fellowship honors the memory of the New York Times reporter who was a pioneer in the field of labor reporting.