Nieman News

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Nieman Journalism Lab, a Harvard University-based digital publication exploring the future of news, is expanding its staff to offer robust coverage of local news and generative AI, two issues of growing significance to public knowledge.

The Lab is committing a reporter to full-time examination of the state of local news in the United States. Current Lab staff writer Sophie Culpepper will step into this new beat. Culpepper joined Nieman Lab from the hyperlocal news site The Lexington Observer in Massachusetts, where she was a co-founder and the only full-time journalist. Her promotion leads to the opening of a general staff writer position.

Nieman Lab will also hire a staff writer to cover journalism’s intersection with generative AI, setting the standard for smart, authoritative and appropriately skeptical coverage of the ways that generative AI is affecting the news industry.

“These reporting initiatives are vital to our work explaining the most consequential journalism developments of our time,” said Ann Marie Lipinski, curator of Harvard’s Nieman Foundation for Journalism. “We hope our expanded research and coverage will help guide the industry to improve the health of local journalism and decision making about content generated through artificial intelligence.”

“Nieman Lab has been covering the changes in local news for years, and is just at the beginning of exploring what happens when generative AI meets journalism,” said Laura Hazard Owen, editor of Nieman Lab. “We can’t wait to see what Sophie does with her new beat, and we’re excited to get down to work as a team of seven.”

The Nieman Journalism Lab was founded in 2008 to provide incisive reporting on the future of news, innovation and best practices in the digital space. The Lab today is an essential resource, serving a global audience of journalists, entrepreneurs, educators and industry analysts looking for original reporting, research and commentary.

Nieman publications collectively offer a dynamic examination of journalistic obstacles and opportunities across the globe. Along with Nieman Lab, they include Nieman Reports, focused on elevating global standards of journalism, thought leadership and a free press, and Nieman Storyboard, which showcases quality nonfiction storytelling.

Journalists interested in applying for one of Nieman Lab’s new staff writer positions can learn more through the Harvard Careers site, including the job descriptions for the openings covering general news and generative AI.

The Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard was founded 85 years ago to promote and elevate the standards of journalism and educate and support those poised to make important contributions to its future. Nieman does this through its fellowship programs, online and print publications and programming that convenes some of the leading thinkers of our time. More than 1,700 journalists from 100 countries have been awarded Nieman Fellowships since 1938.