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Nieman Foundation, April 12, 2019, Steve Almond - writing class. Lisa Abitbol


Alumni Perspectives

” I was a much more confident journalist — convinced, finally, that it really was possible to do big journalism in smaller communities — and I was more curious about the larger world, and where the communities I wrote about fit within them. ” Read Beth Macy’s perspective
Editor and publisher, MLK50: Justice Through Journalism
“I came to Cambridge with a vision for the project, but what I didn’t have was confidence. There were no entrepreneurial journalists in Memphis for me to follow. I wasn’t sure how to raise enough money to pay our contributors fairly. And part of me wondered if I was crazy to try.” Read Wendi C. Thomas’s perspective
Charlotte Observer editorial board member, writer, journalism professor
“When you hail from a small-market newspaper in a small state, convincing those outside of your readership area to take you seriously is a daunting task. When you are gifted with the stamp of Nieman at Harvard University, your work suddenly becomes indispensable.” Read Issac Bailey’s perspective
SBS News Headquarters, SDF (SBS D Forum) team leader
“It was when I was at Harvard as a Nieman Fellow that, for the first time, I was really able to find good female role models and also to see how a woman could be a leader.” Read Chong-ae Lee’s perspective
Deputy foreign editor, The Washington Post
“Not only were the professors brilliant; they were generous and eager to hear my opinions. The Harvard community, including my Nieman Fellows, were curious, full of ideas, and really collegial. Thanks to the Nieman program, I began to think of myself as a leader.” Read Mary Beth Sheridan’s perspective
Columnist, Chicago Tribune
“When I went back to my job … I carried the word ‘courage’ with me like a lucky charm, and to this day I’m fortified by the people who during my Nieman year helped me find it.” Read Mary Schmich’s perspective
Executive director of inewsource at San Diego State University
“The Nieman year gave me a gift that was totally unexpected, a series of conversations, encounters and contemplations that converged to change the course of my career. … It gave me the confidence to leave traditional journalism to be part of the future of journalism.” Read Lorie Hearn’s perspective
Senior Assistant Editor, The Times of India
“Any time and every time that you face any kind of challenges in your workplace and in your career, you have now a whole bunch of [Nieman Fellows] you can consult. They’re all people with whom you have a personal equation. They’re scattered all over the world.” Read Rema Nagarajan’s perspective
Journalist, Author, Biographer
“One of things I was thinking about was Robert Moses and urban political power and how I would need to do a book to explain. And it took a lot of nights to think that through. That’s really one of the things the Nieman year did for me.” Read Robert Caro’s perspective
Science Writer, The Washington Post
“One of the most wonderful things about the experience was meeting the international fellows, journalists who have had to put their lives on the line for their work.” Read Amy Ellis Nutt’s perspective
Director, Google-AIPG’s Digital Innovation Press Fund
“It’s a transformative year, completely, first because of the network and the relationships you build here.” Read Ludovic Blecher’s perspective
Director in the South African Press Council
“The Nieman Fellowship has supported people in countries that are very repressive. Comparing then and now, it’s day and night.” Read Joseph Thloloe’s perspective
Digital Adviser to the Editor, The Boston Globe
“Harvard as a whole has been an incredible gift to me. The professors have been outstanding. They’ve been incredibly generous with their time.” Read David Skok’s perspective
“People say, ‘Why’d you begin to write books?’ The reason I really began to write books is that, after my Nieman year, I felt I owed it to myself to go and do something out of the box. So that’s what I did.” Read H.G. “Buzz” Bissinger’s perspective
Reporter and Editor, The Oregonian
“I’m going back to my newsroom feeling a real responsibility to be more involved in teaching younger people, and in making my voice heard when there are big decisions to be made, and in being a pain in the neck to my bosses.” Read Anna Griffin’s perspective
Host, Music Inside Out
“My area of study when I was at Harvard was storytelling. I tried to use [the] year to learn about all kinds of different ways to tell stories.” Read Gwen Thompkin’s perspective