Nieman News

The Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard is now accepting applications for the second round of Abrams Nieman Fellowships for Local Investigative Journalism. Designed to strengthen investigative reporting in underserved communities across the United States, the fellowship includes two semesters of study at Harvard University followed by a fieldwork period funded for up to nine months. During that time, Abrams Nieman Fellows develop public service journalism projects in their local communities.

At Harvard, the Abrams Nieman Fellows take classes, learn new skills, broaden their understanding of issues important to their communities and develop an extensive network of expert contacts and potential collaborators in preparation for their fieldwork. This support is crucial at a time when many local and regional newsrooms continue to struggle with shrinking budgets and staffs.

The fellowships are funded by a generous grant from the Boston-based Abrams Foundation whose president, Amy Abrams serves on Nieman’s Advisory Board.

To learn more about the Abrams Nieman Fellowship and who should apply, read a Q&A with Nieman Foundation curator Ann Marie Lipinski: “Investigative journalism is tough for local newsrooms with fewer resources. The Abrams Nieman Fellowship focuses on that need”

Candidates for the fellowship may work full time in print, broadcast or online, or as freelance journalists. The application deadline for the 2019-20 Abrams Nieman Fellowships is Feb. 18, 2019. Information about eligibility and the application process is available on the Nieman website.

For more information contact:
Nicole Arias
Nieman Fellowship Program Administrator
(617) 495-2238
nicole_arias@harvard.edu

The 2019 Abrams Nieman Fellows

Nieman Board member Amy Abrams, center, with the three inaugural Abrams Nieman Fellows for Local Investigative Journalism: (from left) Benny Becker, Nathan Payne and Laura N. Pérez Sánchez

Nieman Board member Amy Abrams, center, with the three inaugural Abrams Nieman Fellows for Local Investigative Journalism: (from left) Benny Becker, Nathan Payne and Laura N. Pérez Sánchez

  • Benny Becker, a public radio reporter for the Ohio Valley ReSource and WMMT/Appalshop, is research strategies for funding infrastructure in rural communities that are struggling with the collapse of an extractive economy. For his fieldwork, he will investigate these issues in multiple counties in eastern Kentucky and southern West Virginia.
  • Nathan Payne, executive editor of Michigan’s Traverse City Record-Eagle, is studying the impact of data-driven investigative journalism on public perceptions of local media organizations. His fieldwork will examine the effects of mental health policies on local communities.
  • Laura N. Pérez Sánchez, an investigative reporter and editor from Puerto Rico, is studying corruption in post-disaster efforts, such as those following Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy, and how journalism can exercise better watchdog practices in reconstruction contexts. For her fieldwork, she will examine Puerto Rico’s ongoing reconstruction and use of relief funds after Hurricane Maria.