Nieman News

Class of 2020 matrix

The Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard, home to internationally recognized journalism fellowships, programs and publications, has selected 27 Nieman Fellows for the class of 2020. The group includes local reporters, foreign correspondents, editors, a photographer, a bureau chief, television producers, newsroom executives and others who specialize in data investigations, digital development and innovative forms of reporting across all platforms. They will begin two semesters of study at Harvard University in the fall of 2019.

Nieman is additionally hosting nine Knight Visiting Nieman Fellows for shorter periods throughout 2019 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 1,600 accomplished journalists from 98 countries since 1938. In addition to taking classes during their time at Harvard, fellows participate in Nieman seminars, workshops and master classes and conduct research with Harvard scholars and others in the Cambridge area.

For the second time, Nieman will welcome three journalists chosen as the Abrams Nieman Fellows for Local Investigative Journalism. After two semesters at Harvard, they will receive support during fieldwork at home, where they will work on a public service reporting project and participate in specialized journalism education. The fellowships are funded by a generous grant from the Abrams Foundation designed to strengthen local news coverage in underserved communities across the United States. The 2020 Abrams Nieman Fellows are Matthew Dolan, Johnny Kauffman and Tennessee Watson.

The 2020 Nieman Fellows and their study plans:

Rania Abouzeid (Australia/Lebanon), a Beirut-based journalist and author, will study the dynamics of post-civil war societies and how trust and the idea of community are rebuilt. She also plans to investigate the legacy of the Arab Spring uprisings.

Jasmine Brown, a producer for ABC News’ “Nightline,” will study the role of implicit bias in instances of police misconduct and the ways in which news coverage, cell phone videos and police body cameras illuminate how routine encounters can turn deadly.

Ana Campoy (Mexico/U.S.), a senior reporter at Quartz, will study the international backlash against globalization and the social and economic policies that can help address it. She will also look at how the media can foster a more fruitful public debate on these issues.

Robert Chaney, a staff writer who covers natural resources and science at the Missoulian newspaper in Montana, will explore how sense of place shapes the environmental attitudes of rural Americans, why their viewpoints often differ from those in metropolitan centers and how that discrepancy affects the asymmetrical power balance within U.S. environmental policy.

Chaney is the Harry M. Davis Nieman Fellow in Science Journalism. The fellowship will be supported during the 2019-20 academic year by a gift from an anonymous donor made on behalf of Ella (Davis) Mazel in memory of her brother, Harry M. Davis, a science journalist and a Nieman Fellow in the class of 1941.

Selymar Colón, editor-in-chief at Univision News Digital, will study how to most effectively reach and inform audiences during periods of low or no connectivity, with a focus on providing critical information after natural disasters.

Alex Dickinson (Australia), most recently executive managing editor of Gizmodo Media Group, will study journalism business models with a particular emphasis on what the media can learn about monetization and storytelling from the video game industry.

Matthew Dolan, an investigative reporter for the Detroit Free Press, will study automation and the future of transportation. For his fieldwork as an Abrams Nieman Fellow, he will investigate how increasing technological disruption in the nation’s auto industry impacts local communities.

Hannane Ferdjani (Niger), a lead presenter and producer for Africanews in the Republic of the Congo, will study how to develop new solutions journalism methods when covering nations undergoing digital transformations, with a focus on ensuring rigorous and effective reporting. She is the first Nieman Fellow from Niger.

Anne Godlasky, a USA Today enterprise editor, will study the mental health effects of media consumption, exploring whether “trauma-informed” reporting and programming could stem the growing problem of news avoidance.

Natalia Guerrero (Colombia/U.S.), a New York-based contributor to the BBC, will conduct research to create a toolkit for innovative journalism aimed at 16-to 24-year-olds. The toolkit will be adaptable for local and global newsrooms.

Gülsin Harman (Turkey), a freelance reporter at The New York Times Istanbul bureau, has been selected as the 2020 Robert L. Long Nieman Fellow. She will study how new challenges to journalism impact democracy, with a focus on the link between disinformation and distrust of media in society and how that fosters political apathy.

The Robert L. Long Nieman Fellowship, offered by Nieman together with Turkish Philanthropy Funds (TPF), honors journalist, filmmaker and news executive Robert L. Long. The fellowship was established by Long’s widow, Joan Rebecca Siregar-Long, to support the work of exceptional Turkish journalists.

Lucy Hornby, deputy bureau chief for the Financial Times in Beijing, will study the role of international capital in China’s state-led economic model.

Ji Tianqin (China), a chief writer for Caixin Media, will study how to tell the stories of individuals in societies that do not embrace the fundamental principles of market democracies and suffer democratic breakdowns.

Carrie Johnson, a national justice correspondent at NPR, will study the disappearing promise of the Sixth Amendment rights to counsel and trial in the United States and the implications of that on public confidence in judicial accountability and the integrity of the justice system.

Pavel Kanygin (Russia), a correspondent for Novaya Gazeta, will study the ways mass media can counter misinformation in social networks and how to strengthen truly independent media outlets in countries such as Russia, Ukraine and Belarus.

Johnny Kauffman, a reporter at the public radio station WABE in Atlanta, will study voting in the 21st century, with a focus on methods for analyzing election policy and security. For his fieldwork as an Abrams Nieman Fellow, he will examine disenfranchisement and election technology in Georgia.

Lisa Krantz, a staff photographer at the San Antonio Express-News and an adjunct professor at Texas A&M University-San Antonio, will study the relationship between photojournalists and the people they photograph during times of sustained trauma.

Nour Malas, a Wall Street Journal correspondent based in Los Angeles, will study transitional justice issues in Syria, focusing on the use of land and property as a tool in the renegotiation of local administration. She will also study the effects of a changing American workforce on economic inequality.

Obey Manayiti (Zimbabwe), a senior investigative reporter at Alpha Media Holdings, will study illicit financial flows, focusing on how governments steal resources and how Zimbabwe, in particular, has allowed investors to exploit vast mineral deposits with no benefit to the country.

Ashwaq Masoodi (India), a national writer for the financial daily Mint, will explore ways to battle stereotypes and improve media reporting on Muslims, the largest religious minority in India.

Andras Petho (Hungary), an editor and reporter for the Direkt36 Investigative Journalism Center, will study how investigative reporting teams operating in hostile environments can improve audience engagement and create sustainable financial models for their work.

Chastity Pratt, the urban affairs reporter in the Detroit bureau of Bridge Magazine, will study how government has destabilized urban education and the ways multimedia storytelling can amplify solutions.

Karyn Pugliese (Canada), executive director of news and current affairs at the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network and assistant professor of journalism at Ryerson University, will study strategies newsroom leaders and educators can use to implement Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action. She is the 2020 Martin Wise Goodman Canadian Nieman Fellow.

Oliver Roeder, a senior writer at FiveThirtyEight, will study how the tools of both data journalism and traditional journalism might be used to examine the growing prevalence of advanced artificial intelligence by educating readers, unshrouding opaque systems and identifying hidden biases.

Alexander Trowbridge, a producer on the digital team at “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” who has worked as a reporter and producer for Politico, CBS News and Bloomberg Politics, will research ways to capture and illustrate the nation’s daily news agenda and priorities and develop a related production and training process.

Todd Wallack, an investigative and data reporter for the Boston Globe Spotlight Team, plans to study how newsrooms can better act as watchdogs as companies and government agencies increasingly employ obscure algorithms and artificial intelligence to make decisions.

Tennessee Watson, an education reporter with Wyoming Public Radio, will study how journalists can best cover the challenges young people face beyond moments of crisis—such as school shootings and teen suicides—in order to produce more nuanced reporting. For her fieldwork as an Abrams Nieman Fellow, she will explore the broken juvenile justice system in Wyoming, one of just three states that opts out of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act.

In selecting the Nieman class of 2020, Nieman Foundation curator Ann Marie Lipinski, a 1990 Nieman Fellow, was joined by Michelle Boorstein, a religion reporter for The Washington Post and a 2017 Nieman Fellow; Felicia Fonseca, also a 2017 Nieman Fellow and an AP reporter covering Native American tribes; James Geary, Nieman’s deputy curator and a 2012 Nieman Fellow; and Ryan McKittrick, director of artistic programs and dramaturg at Harvard’s American Repertory Theater.

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.