Nieman News

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (Jan. 26, 2007) — The Nieman Foundation will award a fellowship to a U.S. journalist specializing in arts and culture reporting for the academic year 2007-2008.

Application deadline is March 10, 2007. Journalists who work for daily newspapers, weekly news magazines, radio and television news organizations, and online news organizations will be eligible to apply. The fellowship in arts and culture reporting will be an addition to 12 traditional Nieman Fellowships and one in global health reporting that will be awarded this spring. An application form and information about the fellowship are available on the Nieman Foundation web site.

In announcing the fellowship today, curator Bob Giles said it seeks to address the reality that “journalism is indispensable to public awareness and understanding of creative expression. Its role in informing communities about their artistic and cultural resources, and their aspirations for new investments in them, helps shape local and regional identities around these critical resources.”

“Stories in the news media that tell about art and artists, music and musicians, writers and writing profoundly influence citizen interest in the arts and the state of the arts themselves. Technology and the forms of expression it has inspired have created new audiences and broadened public interest, presenting news organizations with fresh opportunities and challenges,” Giles said.

“Despite the growth in the arts and culture in recent years, news organizations are employing fewer full-time journalists to report on these topics. The consequence is that the public is offered fewer insights about the meaning of art in their lives, or how to understand or appreciate arts and culture. With this fellowship, the Nieman Foundation is attempting to address this challenge by educating journalists in the arts and culture with the purpose of influencing more comprehensive and informed arts coverage and, ultimately, greater public appreciation of the arts.”

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.

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