CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (Nov. 6, 2003) — The new wing on the Nieman Foundation’s home at Harvard University will honor the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation for its long-standing support of the Nieman mission to elevate the standards of journalism.
The addition to Walter Lippmann House includes a seminar room, a library and a media technology laboratory and will be called the Knight Center.
“Nothing could please us more than to be associated so closely with the Nieman program,” said Hodding Carter III, the president and CEO of Knight Foundation. Carter was a Nieman Fellow in 1966. His father was a Nieman Fellow in 1940 — the second class of fellows. “Its objectives are ours and help further exactly the kind of journalism that the Knight brothers supported in their newspapers for so long.”
“Putting the Knight name on our new wing is a fitting recognition of the Knight Foundation’s exceptional support of education for journalists and its generosity to both the Nieman Foundation and Harvard University,” said Robert H. Giles, curator of the Nieman Foundation. “The Knight Center provides a modern learning environment for the Nieman Fellows and will enable the Nieman program to include the Harvard community and the larger world of journalism in many of its activities.”
The Knight Center is where Nieman Fellows gather for weekly seminars and other activities, Giles said, and would be a new location for Nieman Foundation conferences, dinners and other programs, including those held in partnership with other Harvard and journalism organizations.
The Nieman Foundation has been located in Walter Lippmann House since 1979. The building, originally Greek Revival in design, was built in 1836 and is on the edge of the Harvard campus. It houses the Nieman Foundation staff and is the center for Nieman Fellows’ activities.
The Knight Foundation has provided funding for Nieman Fellows from Latin America and Africa since 1985, and currently supports the Nieman Program on Narrative Journalism. The foundation has invested more than $4 million in the Nieman Foundation and other programs throughout Harvard University.
The Knight Foundation promotes excellence in journalism and invests in the vitality of 26 U.S. communities where the Knight brothers published newspapers. Since its first journalism grant in 1954, the foundation has given nearly $200 million to advance the education of journalists and freedom of the press. It has provided funding for midcareer education programs for journalists, modeled after the Nieman Foundation’s fellowships, at the University of Michigan and Stanford, as well as specialized reporting fellowships at M.I.T., Yale, the University of Maryland, the University of Southern California and the University of California-Berkeley.
The Nieman Foundation at Harvard University administers the nation’s oldest midcareer fellowship program for journalists. Each year 12 American and 12 international journalists come to Harvard University for a year of academic study. Since 1938 more than 1,000 American and international journalists have studied at Harvard as part of the fellowship program.
In addition to the fellowships, the Nieman Foundation publishes Nieman Reports, the nation’s oldest magazine devoted to a critical examination of the practice of journalism. It is also the home of the Program on Narrative Journalism and the Nieman Watchdog Journalism Project to encourage reporters and editors to monitor and hold accountable those who exert power in all aspects of public life.