Nieman News

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

I am writing to say that, following ten years of outstanding leadership and service, Bill Kovach has decided to leave his post as Curator of the Nieman Foundation at Harvard, as of June 30, 2000.

This is — as you may well imagine — a very great loss for the Nieman program and for Harvard. Bill has been a truly exceptional leader, teacher, and advisor, as well as a public advocate for the very best values and standards in the media.

I am writing to ask for your help in seeking a successor to Bill Kovach. Enclosed is a brief description of the Curator’s chief duties. If you would like more background information about the Foundation, you may check out their website at

Clearly, for this particular post, we need someone who has had significant experience as an outstanding “practitioner,” but who also has a strong interest in the serious and deep issues — of many kinds — that relate to the modern media and their rapid transformation. While not an academic, the Curator needs to be someone who can participate fully in — and would enjoy — the kind of broad-based intellectual community represented by Harvard. In short, we need someone who is both active and reflective, and who can lead the Nieman program in a way that addresses the substantive, technological, financial, and other media challenges that lie ahead.

If you are willing to help, I would appreciate your thoughts about the kinds of challenges we face as we seek a successor to Bill Kovach; the special characteristics or criteria that seem most important in selecting a new Curator; and the names of any particular individuals that you believe might have the set of talents necessary to take on the leadership of the Foundation.

The Nieman Foundation plays, I believe, a special and unusually important role for the profession, for the University, and for the individual Nieman fellows. Thank you in advance for any help you may be able to provide. With all best wishes,

Neil L. Rudenstine

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