Banner Image for Beth Macy, NF ’10


Beth Macy, NF ’10


Beth Macy

It’s hard to explain how much the Nieman fellowship shaped the arc of my career and my life. When I returned to Roanoke in mid-2010, I came back with a set of lifelong friends and colleagues. 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. I didn’t just set out to write about the aftermath of globalization in southern Virginia, I went to Asia to document what it looked like on the ground there, too. I thought and read much more deeply about the historical underpinnings of the issues I was covering — from globalization to institutionalized racism to so-called “diseases of despair” — because I’d had the benefit of studying with the likes of Caroline Elkins, Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Kathy Swartz. I also had Niemans on the ground in a dozen countries to help me navigate a new and wider landscape.”