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


Profile and Study Plan Examples

Professional Profiles

Yang XiaoYang 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.


Mary Beth SheridanMary Beth Sheridan is an editor at The Washington Post, where she has covered homeland security, immigration and diplomacy. She arrived at the Post in 2001 after 11 years as a foreign correspondent based in Europe and Latin America for The Associated Press, The Miami Herald and the Los Angeles Times. She has reported from nearly 50 countries, including her assignments for the Post. She was awarded an Overseas Press Club Award for her work in Mexico and was part of the Washington Post team named as a Pulitzer Prize finalist for reporting on terrorism.

Study Plan Summaries

Lesley HookLeslie Hook, Beijing correspondent for the Financial Times, 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.


Souad Mekhennet Souad Mekhennet (Germany/Morocco), a reporter and columnist for The New York Times, Der Spiegel and ZDF (German TV), will study how the uprisings in Arab countries in 2011 have influenced the long-term strategies of terrorist organizations such as Al Qaeda and how Shariah (Islamic law) deals with human rights, women and democracy.