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


Issac Bailey, NF ’14

Charlotte Observer editorial board member, writer, journalism professor

Issac Bailey

The Nieman fellowship is designed to make good journalists even better so they can improve journalism wherever they are or go. That was my understanding of the program when I was accepted as part of the 2014 class. In my case, it worked. But as important as that goal is, the fellowship provided me something just as valuable, if not more: relevance.

“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. That may not be a problem for journalists at well-known national publications and outlets, but for those of us from less-well known organizations, it is akin to having the door to the rest of the world opened and finally being invited to enter. I now get to say I had a chance to quiz Harvard’s president and the head of its business school while taking courses at the law school and working with the world’s best researchers on toxic stress and child brain development. I could not buy those kinds of experiences.”