The Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard has selected a group of 11 journalists and media executives as Knight Visiting Nieman Fellows for the 2017 calendar year. Each will spend time at Harvard University to work on an innovative project designed to advance journalism.
“We’ve been so encouraged by the quality and breadth of applicants for our visiting fellowships,” said Nieman curator Ann Marie Lipinski. “This group of fellows brings exciting questions and ideas to Harvard and we look forward to helping them advance their work on behalf of journalism.”
The 2017 Knight Visiting Nieman Fellows:
Trushar Barot, London-based mobile editor for the BBC World Service, will research the rise of audio AI assistants and their role in helping news audiences—especially those new to the internet—find quality, relevant and timely content. He plans to produce a guide for news organizations to help them with AI assistant optimization of content. @Trushar
Sandra Barrón Ramírez, product designer at Borde Político and Transparencia Mexicana, will create a central data index for disappeared and missing people in Mexico. The platform will be a tool for journalists, NGOs and families to verify cases and access information. @_sandrabarron
Malin Dahlberg, digital editor for SVT, Sweden’s largest TV network and public service company, will develop a strategy for fact-checking services to better connect with their intended audiences. Her goal is to test the strategy during the Swedish national parliamentary election in 2018. @malinkdahlberg
Lewis W. Diuguid, most recently a columnist and editorial board member at The Kansas City Star, will examine diversity and equity in journalism. He’ll also explore ways to encourage children to become lifelong news readers, thereby helping them to engage more deeply with their communities. Fellows in the Nieman class of 2017 selected Diuguid as winner of the Louis M. Lyons Award for Conscience and Integrity in Journalism. @DiuguidLewis
Jane Elizabeth, a senior manager at the American Press Institute, will study the characteristics of newsroom social media teams. She will examine how they might evolve to become an integral part of accountability journalism by focusing their efforts on battling misinformation on social platforms and helping newsrooms to become a more valued source of reliable information. @JaneEliz
Nikki Finke,* senior editorial contributor for Penske Business Media, will explore best practices in the reporting of breaking news and analysis in a 24/7 media environment, a field she influenced as founder and editor-in-chief of Deadline.com. @NikkiFinke
Raheel Khursheed, head of news partnerships for India and Southeast Asia at Twitter, will examine the feasibility and scalability of a micropayments news product/platform for premium and mass content. @Raheelk
Nina Lassam, director of ad product at The New York Times, will survey how news organizations can foster equal participation in comments and distributed news content, specifically looking for ways to encourage greater female engagement.
Nicholas Quah, founder of Hot Pod, a newsletter about podcasts that appears on Nieman Lab and a consultant to the Democracy Fund, will explore how podcasts can help strengthen the position of public radio stations in their local communities. He will develop a guide to create audience-focused and financially sustainable local podcast strategies. @nwquah
Stephanie Reuter, managing director of the Rudolf Augstein Foundation in Germany, will research how foundations can support quality journalism most effectively. She will create a blueprint that helps foundations reform their funding practices to facilitate maximum impact. @steph_reuter
Carlin Romano, critic-at-large for The Chronicle of Higher Education, will organize clinics for citizens who want to bring stories to the media’s attention. The project’s goal is to create a pro bono model, similar to that of the legal profession, that can be emulated in other communities.
Nieman created the visiting fellowship program in 2012 to invite individuals with promising journalism research proposals to take advantage of the many resources at Harvard University and the Nieman Foundation. In 2015, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation provided a $223,000 grant to support the Knight Visiting Nieman Fellowships. Those eligible 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.
The Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard educates leaders in journalism and elevates the standards of the profession through special programs and publications. More than 1,500 journalists from 94 countries have been awarded Nieman Fellowships since 1938. The foundation’s other initiatives include Nieman Reports, a quarterly print and online magazine that covers thought leadership in journalism; 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.
* Update: Nikki Finke deferred her 2017 Knight Visiting Nieman Fellowship and later withdrew from the program.