Nieman News

Walter Lippmann House, home of the Nieman Foundation in Cambridge, Mass.

Walter Lippmann House, home of the Nieman Foundation in Cambridge, Mass.

The Nieman Foundation for Journalism, a leading global voice in journalism education and innovation, has selected 24 journalists as members of the Nieman class of 2018. The group includes reporters, writers, correspondents, editors, radio and television producers, a photographer, a director of audience engagement and news executives who work around the world. The new Nieman Fellows will begin an academic year of study at Harvard University this fall.

Nieman additionally is hosting 11 Knight Visiting Nieman Fellows for shorter periods throughout 2017 to work on research projects designed to advance journalism. They are supported by a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

The Nieman Foundation has educated more than 1,500 accomplished journalists from 96 countries since 1938. The fellowship has expanded in recent years to include new collaborative and experimental programs. In addition to taking classes during their time at Harvard, fellows attend Nieman seminars, workshops and master classes and work on their research with Harvard scholars and other leading thinkers in the Cambridge area.

U.S. Nieman Fellows in the class of 2018 and their study plans:

Tristan Ahtone, a freelance reporter and member of the Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma, will study how to improve coverage of indigenous communities with a particular focus on creating ethical guidelines, protocols and codes of conduct.

Maryclaire Dale, a legal affairs reporter for The Associated Press, will study how journalists can improve the coverage of sexual violence as more victims come forward and confront policymakers in government, law, religion and higher education.

Emily Dreyfuss, a journalist at Wired, will study how the internet and social media change the way culture is formed and history is written, and the role journalism should play in verifying and creating that record.

Dustin Dwyer, a reporter/producer for Michigan Radio, will study the connection between work and personal identity. He will look at the personal, psychological and social upheavals that come with changes in the nature of work.

Matthew Karolian, director of audience engagement at The Boston Globe, will study the impending impact of artificial intelligence on how news is reported and consumed.

Lisa Lerer, a national political reporter for The Associated Press, will study how distrust of major societal institutions is reshaping American politics and posing new challenges to effective governance.

Jamieson Lesko, an international producer for NBC News, will study the intersection between truth, political persuasion, perception and trust in mainstream media.

Diana Marcum, a senior writer at the Los Angeles Times, will study the impact of true stories on people and cultures as well as the divide between urban and rural sectors and whether shared stories can bridge that gap.

Nneka Nwosu Faison, a television reporter and producer at WCVB-TV’s Chronicle program, will study how broadcast news stations can utilize social media video as a storytelling and revenue tool. She will also explore how journalists can best use social media to engage diverse audiences.

Emily Rueb, a New York Times writer and producer of New York 101, a multimedia column explaining the city’s machinery, will study the evolution of public works in the United States to understand how infrastructure investment will impact cities and citizens.

Lauren N. Williams, features editor for Essence, will study the historic contributions of black women to American society, with a specific focus on how they have shaped culture and trends. She will develop a new journalistic digital platform that prioritizes their experiences.

Edward Wong, an international correspondent for The New York Times who most recently served as Beijing Bureau Chief, will study the rise and fall of modern empires, their strategies for shaping the world and the consequences of their declines. He also plans to study visual storytelling.

International Nieman Fellows in the class of 2018 and their study plans:

Sebastián Escalón (Guatemala), a reporter at Plaza Pública, a Guatemala City-based online news site, will study the Alliance for Prosperity Plan, a new policy trying to address the migration crisis in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. As the 2018 Knight Latin American Nieman Fellow, his fellowship is supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

Glenda Gloria (Philippines), managing editor and co-founder of Rappler, the Philippines’ top social news network, will study the evolution of journalism and democracy at this time of rapid technological change, and changing relationships between journalists, citizens and democratic institutions. Gloria is the 2018 Sandra Burton Nieman Fellow, whose time at Harvard is sponsored by the Sandra Burton Scholarship Fund for Filipino Journalists.

Lenka Kabrhelova (Czech Republic), a U.S. correspondent for Czech Radio, the country’s main public radio broadcasting network, will study the polarization of the media environment and ways to engage diverse audiences in an environment of eroding trust in the traditional media.

Sipho Kings (South Africa), the environment reporter at the Mail & Guardian in Johannesburg, will examine how Africa’s carbon emitters plan to lower their emissions and help populations adapt to the changing climate. The research will compare plans to national capabilities and the feasibility of each, making alternate recommendations where possible.

Christine Mungai (Kenya), editor of Africapedia, Ltd., a web publication offering data on key trends and the major issues in the news in Africa, plans to study the relationship between torture, silence, repression and how that affects a country’s political imagination and media reporting.

Frederik Obermaier (Germany), an investigative reporter at the Süddeutsche Zeitung, will study how to fight the global implications of tax havens with journalistic means, with a particular focus on the role of banks, lawyers, wealth managers and consulting firms.

Michael Petrou (Canada), a freelance foreign correspondent, will study the media environment in the contested political spaces of Eastern Europe, the Middle East and elsewhere. He will research how Russia and Western nations try to shape accepted narratives and the democratizing opportunities presented by new technologies and media platforms. He is the 2018 Martin Wise Goodman Canadian Nieman Fellow, sponsored by the Martin Wise Goodman Trust.

João Pina (Portugal), a photographer with a broad international portfolio, will study the importance and impact of archival photography and the way its juxtaposition with current images can increase storytelling impact and outreach.

María Ramírez (Spain), a reporter and entrepreneur who covers U.S. politics for Univision and co-founded a bot called Politibot, will study how to develop better and personalized tools to reach an audience skeptical about media in the age of populism and fake news.

Shalini Singh (India), a Delhi-based correspondent for the newsmagazine The Week, will focus on expanding a multimedia digital repository of information about the lives, languages and cultures of the 833 million people in India’s countryside who are largely ignored by mainstream media.

Mat Skene (UK), executive producer of Al Jazeera’s current affairs program Fault Lines, will study how the conventions of Western television media have led to a dominant form of storytelling in journalism and will explore new alternatives.

Bonny Symons-Brown (Australia), a supervising producer and reporter for ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation), will study the intersection of Islam, democracy and human rights, drawing comparisons between Indonesia and the rest of the Muslim world.

In selecting the Nieman class of 2018, Nieman Foundation curator Ann Marie Lipinski, a 1990 Nieman Fellow, was joined by Caroline Elkins, professor of history and African and African American studies at Harvard University; Debra Adams Simmons, most recently the vice president of news development at Advance Local and a 2016 Nieman Fellow; Brett Anderson, a restaurant critic and features writer at The Times-Picayune in New Orleans and a 2013 Nieman Fellow; and James Geary, Nieman’s deputy curator and a 2012 Nieman Fellow.

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. In addition to its fellowship program, the foundation’s other initiatives include Nieman Reports, a website and quarterly print magazine that covers thought leadership in journalism; Nieman 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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