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2005 Nieman Fellow Absar Alam

More than 100 Nieman Fellows around the world have joined forces to condemn the April assassination attempt on journalist Absar Alam, a Nieman alumnus from the class of 2005, and are calling on Pakistan’s government to take action against those who are attacking and harassing journalists in the country.

Their statement:


An alarming surge in attacks on journalists in Pakistan has shocked the media community in the country and caused concern among journalists everywhere.

We Nieman Fellows around the world condemn the assassination attempt on our colleague Absar Alam, Nieman Fellow 2005, a senior journalist and former Chairman Pakistan Media Regulatory Authority. On 20 April 2021, while he was walking in the park near his home in Islamabad, an armed assailant fired at him. The gunshots caused injuries from which he is still recovering. Alam is known for speaking truth to power. The police have yet to arrest the criminals who masterminded the assassination attempt or the attacker.

Barely a month later, three armed men barged into the apartment of vlogger Asad Toor in Islamabad and severely beat him. Although clearly visible in CCTV footage, they have yet to be apprehended.

Last July, unidentified men kidnapped senior freelance journalist Matiullah Jan outside his wife’s place of work, also in the country’s capital Islamabad. They drove him to an unknown place and tortured him, releasing him 12 hours later after international outcry.

These are just a few incidents over the past year alone. Rights bodies have documented several instances of journalists being attacked, tortured, killed, and disappeared in Pakistan in the recent past and called for the government to take action.

We urge the government of Prime Minister Imran Khan to arrest and prosecute the criminals involved in these attacks and kidnappings. The government of Pakistan must ensure the safety of all journalists and eliminate this culture of impunity that has rendered Pakistan one of the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists.


  1. Bill Kovach, Nieman Fellow 1989; Nieman Curator 1989-2000
  2. Robert Giles, Nieman Fellow 1966. Curator Nieman Foundation 2000-2011
  3. Ann Marie Lipinski, Nieman Fellow 1990. Curator Nieman Foundation
  4. James Geary, Nieman Fellow 2012, deputy curator, Nieman Foundation
  5. Zawwar Hasan, Nieman Fellow 1967, retired sports reporter, op-ed writer
  6. Philip Meyer, Nieman Fellow 1967, formerly with Knight-Ridder Newspapers; retired professor, UNC School of Journalism and Media
  7. Alvin Shuster, Nieman Fellow 1967, formerly with New York Times, and Los Angeles Times
  8. Beena Sarwar, Nieman Fellow 2006, freelance journalist, Boston/Karachi
  9. Nirupama Subramanian, Nieman Fellow 2003, The Indian Express, Mumbai
  10. Claudia Antunes, Nieman Fellow 2006, international editor at O Globo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  11. Chris Cobler, Nieman Fellow 2006, CEO and Publisher, Fort Worth Report
  12. Altin Raxhimi, Nieman Fellow 2006, freelance journalist, Albania/Montreal, Canada
  13. Taghreed El Khodary, Nieman Fellow 2006, freelance journalist/editor, Palestine/Holland
  14. Kim Cloete, Nieman Fellow 2006. Freelance journalist, media specialist, Cape Town
  15. Margaret Kriz Hobson, Nieman Fellow 2006, retired environment and energy reporter
  16. Owais Aslam Ali, Nieman Fellow 2002, Secretary General, Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)
  17. Sue Valentine, Nieman Fellow 2003, Open Society Foundations, London
  18. Bert Lindler, Nieman Fellow 1984, retired, outdoor and environment reporter, Montana
  19. Vidya Krishnan, Nieman Fellow 2021, Freelance journalist, India
  20. Jeb Sharp, Nieman Fellow 2006, broadcast journalist, Boston
  21. Yasmin Amer, Nieman Fellow 2021, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
  22. Kitty Eisele, Nieman Fellow, 2015. Editor, NPR, Washington, DC
  23. Bukola Adebayo, Nieman Fellow 2021, Senior producer CNN Africa
  24. Rema Nagarajan, Nieman Fellow 2012, Editor-Research, Times of India
  25. Amber Payne, Nieman Fellow 2021, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  26. Ines Pohl, Nieman Fellow 2005, Washington Bureau Chief, Deutsche Welle (DW)
  27. Elaine Díaz Rodríguez, Nieman Fellow 2014, Periodismo de Barrio, Cuba
  28. Laura Eggertson, Nieman Fellow 1996, Independent journalist, Wolfville NS Canada
  29. Melissa Ludtke, Nieman Fellow 1992, then-Time magazine correspondent.
  30. Anita Harris, Nieman Fellow 1982, author, consultant, Cambridge Ma
  31. Gaiutra Bahadur, Nieman Fellow 2008, Assistant Professor of Journalism, Rutgers University, New Jersey
  32. Kalpana Jain, Nieman Fellow in Global Health Reporting, 2009, Senior Editor, The Conversation
  33. Liz Mineo, Nieman Fellow 2010, Harvard Gazette Staff Writer
  34. Ignacio Gómez, Nieman Fellow 2001. Noticias Uno, Colombia.
  35. Lois Fiore, Assistant Editor, Nieman Reports, Retired
  36. Stefanie Friedhoff, Nieman Fellow 2001, Professor of the Practice and Strategy Director, Brown University School of Public Health, USA
  37. Phillip Martin, Nieman Fellow 1998, Senior Investigative Reporter, GBH News Center for Investigative Reporting, GBH News.
  38. Martha Bebinger, Nieman Fellow 2010, health care reporter, Boston
  39. Subina Shrestha, Nieman Fellow 2017, Independent journalist
  40. Darcy Frey, Nieman Fellow, 2011, Random House author, Director of Creative Writing at Harvard University
  41. Nathan Payne, Nieman Fellow 2019, CNHI Regional Editor for Investigations, Executive Editor Traverse City Record-Eagle
  42. Indira Lakshmanan, Nieman Fellow 2004, Senior Executive Editor, National Geographic Partners, Washington, DC
  43. Santiago Lyon, Nieman Fellow 2004, New York
  44. Ashwaq Masoodi, Nieman Fellow 2020, Kashmir
  45. Andras Petho, Nieman Fellow 2020, Hungary
  46. Stefan Candea, Nieman Fellow 2011, Romania
  47. Michael Fitzgerald, Nieman Fellow 2011, Articles Editor, The Boston Globe magazine
  48. Gary Knight. Nieman Fellow 2010. VII Photo Agency
  49. Selymar Colón, Nieman Fellow 2020, Puerto Rico.
  50. Doug Struck, Nieman Fellow 2004, Sr. Journalist in Residence, Emerson College
  51. Joshua Benton, Nieman Fellow 2008, Nieman Lab
  52. Robert Chaney, Nieman Fellow 2020, Missoulian senior staff writer
  53. Helen Branswell, Nieman Fellow 2011, Boston
  54. Shalini Singh, Nieman fellow 2018, freelance journalist, India
  55. Brent Walth, Nieman 2006, Assistant Professor, University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication
  56. Tom Regan, Nieman Fellow 1992, Canada.
  57. Bill Schiller, Nieman Fellow 2006, retired Foreign Editor, Foreign Correspondent, Toronto Star
  58. Obey Manayiti, Nieman Fellow 2020, Zimbabwe
  59. Isaac Bantu, Nieman Fellow 1992, Former BBC Stringer, Liberia, West Africa
  60. Charles M. Sennott, Nieman Fellow 2006, CEO and Editor of The GroundTruth Project
  61. Steve Myers, Nieman Fellow 2019, Enterprise editor, USA TODAY
  62. Marcus Brauchli, Nieman Fellow 1992, North Base Media
  63. Ana Campoy, Nieman Fellow 2020, Quartz, US
  64. Johnny Kauffman, Nieman Fellow 2020, Reporter at WABE News
  65. Nazila Fathi, Nieman Fellow 2011, Journalist and Author
  66. Anica Butler, Nieman Fellow, 2019, The Boston Globe
  67. Damakant Jayshi, Nieman Fellow 2007, Wausau Pilot & Review
  68. Howard Berkes, Nieman Fellow 1998, Investigations Correspondent, NPR (retired)
  69. Takashi Oshima, Nieman Fellow 2006, U.S Correspondent for the Asahi Shimbun
  70. Emily Corwin, Nieman Fellow ’21, Abrams Fellow ’22, Investigative Reporter, Burlington Vermont
  71. Alissa Johannsen Rubin, Nieman 2021, New York Times, International Correspondent
  72. Jenifer McKim, Nieman fellow 2008, Senior investigative reporter, GBH News Center for Investigative Reporting
  73. Benny Becker, Nieman Fellow 2019, Story Trainer & Co-Producer – WMMT-fm / Appalshop
  74. Christine Mungai, Nieman Fellow 2018, Nairobi, Kenya
  75. Samantha Broun, Nieman Fellow 2021, Independent radio producer, Woods Hole, MA
  76. Pir Zubair Shah Nieman Fellow 2012, Multimedia Journalist VOA Washington DC
  77. Betsy O’Donovan, Nieman Fellow 2013, Assistant professor of journalism, Western Washington University
  78. Robert Frederick, Nieman Fellow 2021, digital managing editor, American Scientist
  79. Laura Wides-Munoz, Nieman 2013, author of PEN longlisted “The Making of a Dream: How a Group of Young Undocumented Immigrants Helped Change What it Means to be American”
  80. Mary Louise Schumacher, Nieman Fellow 2017, former art critic, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and independent journalist
  81. ​​Kondwani Bell Munthali, Nieman Fellow 2007, Ag. Director, Centre for Public Accountability, Malawi
  82. David Skok, Nieman Fellow 2012, Founder & Editor-in-chief, The Logic, Canada
  83. Christine Willmsen, Nieman fellow 2016, WBUR
  84. Laurence Bagot, Nieman Fellow 2005, President narrative, Paris
  85. Elizabeth Rubin, Nieman Fellow 2005, Independent Journalist, author of Committee to Protect Journalists report on Pakistan,”Roots of Impunity.”
  86. Lisa Mullins, Nieman 2010, Anchor WBUR/NPR
  87. Kevin Cullen, Nieman Fellow 2003, Columnist, The Boston Globe
  88. Jason Rezaian, Nieman Fellow 2017, ​​Global Opinions writer, The Washington Post
  89. Deb Amos, Nieman Fellow 1992, International Correspondent, National Public Radio; Ferris Professor, Princeton University
  90. Sonali Samarasinghe, Nieman Fellow 2010, Independent journalist, author
  91. Tom Ashbrook, Nieman 1996, formerly with NPR. Berlin, Germany
  92. Monica Campbell, Nieman Fellow 2010, Senior reporter and editor, The World
  93. Amy Goldstein, Nieman Fellow 2005, Staff writer, The Washington Post
  94. Richard Chacón, Nieman Fellow 2005, Director, News Standards and Practices, NBC News Group
  95. Amy Nutt, Nieman fellow 2005, author and teacher
  96. Cheryl Carpenter, Nieman fellow 2005, faculty, The Poynter Institute
  97. Alfredo Corchado, Nieman fellow, 2009, author, The Dallas Morning News
  98. William Henson, Nieman Fellow 1978, retired deputy editorial director, The Plain Dealer
  99. Geneva Overholser, formerly New York Times, Washington Post, Des Moines Register editor. Nieman Fellow 1986
  100. Nuri Vallbona, Nieman Fellow 2001, independent journalist, University of Texas at Austin journalism professor
  101. George Abraham, Nieman Fellow 1995 and Founder-Publisher, New Canadian Media
  102. Sergio Kalili, Nieman Fellow 2005, international news editor coordinator at RedeTV
(Updated July 25, 2021)