Nieman News

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (Feb. 25, 2005) — A Nieman Fellowship in community journalism has been established at Harvard University under a grant from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation.

The grant provides $350,000 over five years for the Donald W. Reynolds Nieman Fellowship in Community Journalism at Harvard University. One Reynolds Nieman Fellow will be chosen each year, starting with the 2005-2006 academic year. U.S. journalists at local daily newspapers with less than 50,000 circulation will be eligible to apply. (Get more information and/or apply for the fellowship.)

In announcing the grant today, Fred W. Smith, chairman of the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation said, “A large part of what made Mr. Reynold’s media company one of the nation’s most successful was the community newspaper. We are pleased that this grant will be used to recognize excellence in journalists who are committed to local daily newspapers in smaller communities.”

Applicants for the Reynolds Nieman Fellowship would come from a group of newspapers that represents 31 percent of total daily circulation and 1,238 of the 1,467 daily newspapers in the United States. The Nieman Foundation has several focused fellowships grants, including funding for journalists from Latin America, Asia and Africa and for U.S. journalists who specialize in labor, workplace or related issues.

“The distinctive voices of local newspapers play a critical role in informing citizens of many American communities, and we are pleased that the Nieman class each year will include a journalist of accomplishment and promise who is committed to the role of the community press,” said Bob Giles, Nieman Foundation curator. “School boards, city councils and Little League may not sway the great powers of the world, but they matter in places where a great many people live. Over time, we hope that the Nieman experience can contribute to elevating the standards of community journalism.”

The Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University administers the nation’s oldest midcareer fellowship program for journalists. Since 1938, more than 1,000 men and women from the United States and 76 other nations have come to 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. The foundation also is the home of the Nieman Program on Narrative Journalism and the Nieman Watchdog Project to encourage reporters and editors to monitor and hold accountable those who exert power in all aspects of public life.

The Donald W. Reynolds Foundation is a national philanthropic organization founded in 1954 by the late media entrepreneur for whom it is named. Headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada, it is one of the 50 largest private foundations in the United States.

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