Nieman News

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Addressing the growing need for fresh ideas and research in news reporting, the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard and the Berkman Center for Internet & Society announce the creation of the joint Nieman-Berkman Fellowship in Journalism Innovation.

Candidates for the new yearlong fellowship will be asked to propose a specific course of study or project relating to journalism innovation. The proposal may deal with any issue relating to journalism’s digital transformation. Examples might include ideas for new revenue streams to fund journalism, the construction of new tools for reporting or research into news consumption patterns. The candidate must indicate clearly how his or her proposal will benefit journalism.

Nieman and Berkman share a set of common interests around journalism, innovation and the development of digital space, and both run fellowship programs that offer professionals a year to learn and collaborate with others in the Harvard community.

“We are excited to marry the resources of Nieman with the expertise of our colleagues at Berkman,” said Nieman curator Ann Marie Lipinski. “This partnership offers an excellent opportunity for a fellow to use these assets in support of a project that will help journalism in a meaningful way. We think this sort of collaboration with a great Harvard partner holds much promise.”

“While a great many challenges to journalism and news remain, there is tremendous energy and innovation among the diverse journalists and news organizations embracing digital opportunity,” added Colin Maclay, managing director of the Berkman Center. “This fellowship is a promising step toward catalyzing and deepening our relationship with the Nieman community – and in our joint efforts to better understand and support journalism’s digital future.”

On campus, the Nieman-Berkman Fellow will be a full participant in the Nieman and Berkman fellowship programs and serve as a conduit of information between the two. The fellow also will be expected to share the results of his or her work online through the Nieman Journalism Lab.

The Nieman-Berkman Fellow will be able to draw upon the wealth of resources available at Harvard and in the surrounding area. Along with the Nieman Foundation and the Berkman Center, Cambridge is home to such institutions as Harvard Business School, the Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations, the Shorenstein Center for Press, Politics and Public Policy, the MIT Media Lab, MIT’s Center for Civic Media and others concerned with journalism’s ongoing evolution.

The Nieman-Berkman Fellowship is open to both United States citizens and citizens of other countries. Working journalists, including independent journalists, and those who work for a news organization in a business, technology, or leadership capacity are welcome to apply.

The deadline for applications for the 2012-2013 academic year is Feb. 15, 2012. American citizens may apply for both the standard Nieman Fellowship (deadline: Jan. 31) and the specialized Nieman-Berkman Fellowship.

The Nieman Foundation and the Berkman Center share a commitment to diversity and encourage applications from members of underrepresented groups.

The Nieman-Berkman Fellow will receive the standard Nieman Fellowship stipend, which is $60,000 over 10 months. Fellows also receive additional allowances for housing, childcare and health insurance. More details about the new fellowship are available on the Nieman Foundation website.

Questions about the application process may be sent to Nieman fellowship administrator Nicole Arias at

The Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard administers the oldest fellowship program for journalists in the world. Grants are awarded to accomplished professionals who come to Harvard for a year of study. More than 1,300 journalists from 91 countries have received Nieman Fellowships since 1938. The foundation’s other initiatives include the Nieman Journalism Lab, a website that reports on the future of news and identifies emerging business models, innovation and best practices in journalism in the digital media age; Nieman Reports, an influential quarterly magazine/website that explores contemporary challenges and opportunities in journalism; Nieman Watchdog, a website that poses questions the press should ask and teaches journalists how to monitor and hold accountable all those who exert power in public life; and Nieman Storyboard, a website that showcases exceptional narrative journalism in every medium and explores the future of nonfiction storytelling.

The Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University is a research program founded to explore cyberspace, share in its study, and help pioneer its development. Founded in 1997, through a generous gift from Jack N. and Lillian R. Berkman, the Center is home to an ever-growing community of faculty, fellows, staff, and affiliates working on projects that span the broad range of intersections between cyberspace, technology, and society.

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