Nieman News

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard has selected five journalists as Visiting Fellows for the 2014 calendar year. Each will spend a short period of time at Harvard University to work on a project designed to enhance journalism in a unique way.

Taylor Goldenstein, a recent graduate of the University of Illinois’s journalism program, will work on a website that will provide a forum for college journalists to converse and collaborate; offer advice from professional critics on topics ranging from reporting to app development; and showcase the front pages of participating college newspapers.

Samar Padmaker Halarnkar, a writer and former managing editor of the Hindustan Times, will study ways to build an inexpensive model for mobile phone-based public interest journalism in which journalists, non-journalistic organizations and readers can collaborate on investigations.

Tina Pamintuan, the director of radio projects and initiatives at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, will research and develop a plan for a mobile app that will enable ethnic radio stations across the United States to reach more audiences and share programming.

Allissa Richardson is an assistant professor of journalism at Bowie State University. At Harvard, she will work on developing a mobile journalism MOOC project, a free online educational resource that will teach veteran journalists, citizens and journalism students how to report news using only tablets, MP3 players or smartphones.

David Smydra, who works on Google’s news partnerships team, will develop an industry-wide method for organizing future news events into structured data that will be accessible via an open, collaborative calendar. Such a calendar will enable journalists and audiences to see beyond ephemeral daily news and better comprehend stories that have a lasting impact on their lives.

The Visiting Fellowship program at Nieman was established in 2012 to invite individuals with promising research proposals to advance journalism to take advantage of the many resources at Harvard and the Nieman Foundation. Those who are welcome to apply include publishers, programmers, designers, media analysts, academics, journalists and others interested in enhancing quality, building new business models or designing programs to improve journalism.

Visiting fellows have included:

  • Daniel Eilemberg, who credits Harvard Business School with helping him refine and expand his plans to redesign and rebuild his Animal Politico website, a leading online news source for Mexican and U.S.-Mexican news.
  • Hong Qu, who used his time on campus to develop his Keepr app, which extracts credible information from raw Twitter feeds. At Harvard, he worked to design an algorithm that can filter thousands of tweets to automatically distill meaningful signals out of online chatter.
  • Paul Salopek, who prepared for Out of Eden, his epic 21,000-mile walk around the world, which was the focus of National Geographic’s December 2013 cover story. Salopek continues to collaborate with researchers at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education and Center for Geographic Analysis, and at the MIT’s Media Lab and Knight Science Journalism Program.
  • Kate Smith, who delved into the Ernest Hemingway and Martha Gellhorn archives in Boston to research the writers’ war reporting. Her work focused on the role that moral truth and moral courage play in coverage of war.

The Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard educates leaders in journalism and elevates the standards of the profession through special programs that convene scholars and experts in all fields. More than 1,400 accomplished and promising journalists from 92 countries have been awarded Nieman Fellowships since 1938. The foundation’s other initiatives include Nieman Reports, a quarterly print and online magazine that explores contemporary challenges and opportunities in journalism; the Nieman Journalism Lab, a website that reports on the future of news, innovation and best practices in the digital media age; and Nieman Storyboard, a website that showcases exceptional narrative journalism and explores the future of nonfiction storytelling.

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