Nieman News

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (Aug. 16, 2007) — Writer Constance Hale has been named director of the Nieman Program on Narrative Journalism at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University.

Hale will manage a variety of programs and publications designed to foster greater craftsmanship in the area of narrative journalism. In her new position, she will oversee the annual Nieman Conference on Narrative Journalism and the Nieman Seminar for Narrative Editors; edit the Nieman Narrative Digest, a resource-rich website devoted to improving the practice of narrative in journalism; and consult with news organizations and journalists on ways to develop narrative skills.

In announcing the appointment, Nieman Curator Bob Giles said “Connie brings to her work with Nieman Fellows a deep knowledge of the narrative craft and an engaging teaching style. Her experience in organizing narrative conferences has given her a clear vision of how to work with journalists in the new forms of storytelling.”

Hale added that, “For years, the Nieman Foundation has done a superb job of nurturing top reporters in traditional media. But newsrooms across the country are now in turmoil and journalists have new, urgent questions about how to tell stories. I look forward to helping them explore new ways to report stories and bring insight and skill to everything from print to video, from broadcast to podcast.”

A seasoned writer, editor, and teacher, Hale has worked as a staff reporter and editor at the Gilroy Dispatch, the Oakland Tribune and the San Francisco Examiner, as well as Wired and Health magazines, where she was managing editor. Her freelance journalism has also appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, The Atlantic Monthly and National Geographic Adventure, among other publications. Hale’s essays have appeared in numerous anthologies, and she is the author of two books on language, Sin and Syntax and Wired Style.

Hale also has worked as a developmental editor for Wired Books as well as Harvard Business School Press, where she edited a variety of titles on subjects ranging from black and white women working in corporate America to career change and the invention of the Segway.

On the faculty of UC-Berkeley Extension, UC-Santa Cruz Extension, and several writing schools in the San Francisco Bay Area, Hale has taught writing, reporting, and editing. She gives public lectures on the use of English and appears frequently in print and on radio as a commentator on language.

Hale, who grew up in Hawaii, holds degrees from Princeton University and the Graduate School of Journalism at UC-Berkeley.

She succeeds Mark Kramer, who established the foundation’s conferences on narrative journalism, conceived the website, co-edited the foundation’s new anthology, Telling True Stories, and led weekly writing seminars for Nieman Fellows.

Established in 1938, the Nieman program is the oldest mid-career fellowship for journalists in the world. The fellowships are awarded to working journalists of accomplishment and promise for an academic year of study at the university. More than 1,200 journalists from 88 countries have studied at Harvard as Nieman Fellows.

The Nieman Foundation publishes the quarterly magazine Nieman Reports and is the home of the Nieman Watchdog Journalism Project, which encourages reporters and editors to monitor and hold accountable those who exert power in all aspects of public life.

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