Nieman News

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The Nieman Foundation for Journalism, training newsroom leaders and fostering journalistic innovation for 78 years, has selected 23* journalists as members of the 2016 class of Nieman Fellows. The group includes reporters, editors, columnists, a political cartoonist, a network producer, bureau chiefs, photographers, digital strategists and news executives who work around the globe in all media. They will begin an academic year of study at Harvard University in the fall.

Nieman also will host several Knight Visiting Nieman Fellows for shorter periods throughout the year to work on research projects designed to advance journalism.

The Nieman Foundation has educated more than 1,400 accomplished journalists from 93 countries since 1938. The fellowship has expanded in recent years to include a broad range of collaborative and experimental programs. In addition to taking classes during their time at Harvard, fellows attend Nieman seminars, workshops and master classes and work closely with Harvard scholars and other leading thinkers in the Cambridge area.

U.S. Nieman Fellows in the class of 2016 and their study plans:

Debra Adams Simmons, a senior news executive at Advance Local, the parent company of a group of metro news organizations, will study the impact of the digital news transformation on newsroom leadership and diversity, media ethics and local communities.

Mariah Blake, most recently a senior reporter for Mother Jones, will study the intersection of science and U.S. government policy.

Christopher Borrelli, a features writer at the Chicago Tribune, plans to study the decline of regional identities in the United States and the role that income inequality and social policy play in that change.

Andrea Bruce, a conflict photographer, will study the history of democratic theory and new storytelling techniques beyond photography.

Christa Case Bryant, Jerusalem bureau chief for The Christian Science Monitor, will study the technology and international politics of cybersecurity, with a particular focus on cyberwarfare.

Mónica Guzmán, a technology and media columnist for GeekWire, The Daily Beast and Columbia Journalism Review, will study how journalists can rethink their roles to meet the demands of online public discourse.

Mary Meehan, a writer at the Lexington Herald-Leader, will examine the impact of the Affordable Care Act and barriers to sustained health improvement among the previously uninsured.

Todd Pitman, Bangkok bureau chief for The Associated Press, will study the causes and consequences of military intervention in emerging nations and examine ways to advance reporting in countries under army rule.

Wendi C. Thomas, a columnist for the Memphis Flyer, will study how to deepen the public conversation on economic justice using a multimedia news website and civic engagement campaign.

Kim Tingley, a contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine, will study the history and philosophy of science, specifically the science of navigation and its relationship to memory and sense of place.

Christopher Weyant, a cartoonist for The New Yorker, will study the repositioning of editorial cartoons as a critical asset to journalism’s digital business model.

Christine Willmsen, an investigative reporter for The Seattle Times, will study emerging toxins and chemicals that impact the health and safety of our workforce.

Wonbo Woo, a producer for NBC News, will study the way major media events impact communities and examine the collateral effects of competitive news coverage on towns and residents after the spotlight fades.

International Nieman Fellows in the class of 2016 and their study plans:

Cansu Çamlibel (Turkey), a writer and senior diplomatic correspondent for Hürriyet, will study the rise of political Islam and how religion shaped contemporary Turkish political discourse.

Naomi Darom (Israel), a writer at Haaretz, will study the relationship between feminism and the messages about gender conveyed by popular culture.

Tim de Gier (Netherlands), head of digital and a staff writer for Vrij Nederland,will study the intersection of modern leftist theory and the political and economic challenges of digital technology.

Fan Wenxin (China), a reporter for Bloomberg News, will study how China’s domestic politics and economy impact its relations with other countries.

Hamish Macdonald (Australia), international affairs correspondent for ABC News, will study the intersection of traditional international affairs reporting with innovative, contemporary modes of storytelling to develop new models for collaboration and delivery.

Stephen Maher (Martin Wise Goodman Canadian Nieman Fellow), a political columnist at Postmedia News, will study the use and abuse of surveillance in the absence of effective civilian oversight.

Fabiano Maisonnave (Knight Latin American Nieman Fellow, Brazil), a senior reporter and editorial writer at Folha de S.Paulo, will study the impact of social and economic policies on inequality and the environment in developing countries.

Grzegorz Piechota (Poland), head of the Innovation Lab at the Warsaw-based Gazeta Wyborcza, will study patterns in digital news content engagement to identify best practices.

Anastasia Taylor-Lind (UK/Sweden), a documentary photographer, will study the ways women are portrayed in ancient and modern conflict.

Fungai Tichawangana (Zimbabwe), managing editor of Zimbo Jam, Zimbabwe’s leading arts and culture website, will study digital storytelling techniques, the development of interactive media and online security.

The 2015 Nieman Visiting Fellows

The Knight Visiting Nieman Fellows studying at Harvard this year are supported by a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. They include:

  • Dean Haddock, director of digital and technical innovation for StoryCorps, who is designing a system for recording, editing and accessing user-generated interviews online
  • Melody Joy Kramer, most recently an editor and digital strategist at NPR, who is developing a new model for public media membership to include non-financial forms of contributions
  • Donna Pierce, a syndicated food columnist, who is conducting research for a project on the migration of both African-American cooks and recipes out of the American South
  • Jack Riley, the London-based head of audience development for The Huffington Post UK, who is researching the impact of smartwatches and wearable devices on journalism and content and is developing a prototype of a smartwatch publishing app
  • Freek Staps, the head of the business news start-up NRC Q in the Netherlands, who is studying issues related to journalism’s digital transformation to identify best practices in the United States in order to introduce them to European markets
  • Amy Webb, founder and CEO of Webbmedia Group and co-founder of Spark Camp, who has been developing a program to reform journalism education

In selecting the Nieman class of 2016, Nieman Foundation curator Ann Marie Lipinski, a 1990 Nieman Fellow, was joined by Anna Griffin, storytelling editor at The Oregonian and a 2012 Nieman Fellow; Blair Kamin, architecture critic for the Chicago Tribune and a 2013 Nieman Fellow; Robert Faris, research director at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society; Rebecca Tabasky, Berkman’s manager of community programs; James Geary, Nieman’s deputy curator and a 2012 Nieman Fellow; and Joshua Benton, director of the Nieman Journalism Lab and a 2008 Nieman Fellow.

In addition to its fellowship program, the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard’s other initiatives include Nieman Reports, a quarterly print and online magazine that covers thought leadership 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.

* Original announcement has been edited to reflect a change in the class composition.

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