News

Nieman Foundation announces the 77th class of Nieman Fellows

April 30, 2014

The Nieman Foundation for Journalism has selected 24 journalists as members of the 77th class of Nieman Fellows. The group includes journalists who work around the globe as reporters, editors, columnists, bureau chiefs, digital leaders and news executives in print, broadcast and online media. They will study at Harvard University during the 2014-2015 academic year.

Nieman additionally invites a cohort of Visiting Fellows to campus for shorter periods of time during the year to work on research projects designed to advance journalism.

The Nieman Foundation has supported and mentored more than 1,400 accomplished and promising journalists from 93 countries since its founding in 1938. In recent years, as the mechanisms of journalism have changed, the fellowship too has expanded to encourage innovation, experimentation with digital and social media and other collaborative ventures designed to transform and strengthen the news industry. In addition to taking classes during their time at Harvard, fellows attend Nieman seminars, workshops and master classes and work closely with classmates, Harvard scholars and other leading thinkers and trendsetters in the Cambridge area.

U.S. Nieman Fellows in the class of 2015 and their study plans:


Melissa Bailey, managing editor of the New Haven Independent, a pioneering, not-for-profit online community news organization in New Haven, Conn., will study how online degrees are redefining higher education, with a particular interest in competency-based programs and the impact on the nation’s class divide.

Gabe Bullard, the director of news and editorial strategy at WFPL News in Louisville, Ky., will study the changing perceptions of American history in politics and culture.

Henry Chu, London bureau chief for the Los Angeles Times, will study the rise of a global middle class and why, in major developing countries such as China and India, the group has not become the engine of significant political change that it has been elsewhere.

Kitty Eisele, supervising senior editor at NPR’s Morning Edition, will examine the ways in which news is visualized, what that means for radio, and how digital storytelling is shaping the way we see news. She’ll also study the early history of slavery in the United States and look at the portrayal of aging in visual culture.

Farnaz Fassihi, a senior Middle East correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, is based in Beirut. She will study the rise of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, focusing on how they and other Islamic militants on both sides of the sectarian Sunni-Shiite divide are utilizing modern technology to organize, recruit, spread their influence and crush opponents.

Jason Grotto, investigative reporter for the Chicago Tribune, will study finance, accounting and economics to sharpen his investigative reporting skills.

Maggie Koerth-Baker, a columnist for The New York Times Magazine and science editor at BoingBoing.net whose work has appeared in Discover, Popular Science and other publications, will study the process, history and ethics of medical development and human testing, with a particular focus on the flu vaccine.

Celeste LeCompte, a San Francisco-based journalist who writes about innovation, the environment and entrepreneurs, will study motivations for news media consumption, with an eye toward developing media business models that reward reader-centric reporting and distribution.

Ann Marimow, a reporter at The Washington Post who covers legal affairs and the criminal justice system, will study the law and its intersection with politics and journalism, looking at conflicts between U.S. national security interests, privacy protections and press freedoms.

Denise-Marie Ordway, a senior reporter focusing on higher education at the Orlando Sentinel, will study performance-based funding models for state universities to understand their effect on instructional quality, tuition rates and degree completion and how these models affect universities with large minority enrollments, including historically black institutions.

Alicia Stewart, an editor at CNN.com, will study entrepreneurial and editorial models for accurate, nuanced reporting on under-covered communities, with a focus on women and people of color.

Dawn Turner Trice, a columnist and specialist reporter with the Chicago Tribune, will study creative nonfiction writing and screenwriting for documentary films.

International Nieman Fellows in the class of 2015 and their study plans:

Abeer Allam (Egypt), Gulf correspondent at the Financial Times, will study the impact of social media on accelerating reforms in closed societies and how the uprisings in Arab countries influenced Saudi Arabia. She will also study the role of religion in Western democracies.

Wahyu Dhyatmika (Indonesia), investigative reporter for Tempo magazine in Jakarta, will study how digital media can provide the platform for a collaborative network of independent investigative local and national media, supported by crowdsourcing.

Elaine Díaz Rodríguez (Cuba), journalist, blogger and professor at the University of Havana, will study Internet-based models of journalism that could serve a plurality of voices in Cuban civil society, with a particular focus on political consensus building and national reconciliation.

Irina Gordienko (Russia), correspondent for the Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta, will study the role of jihadist ideas in armed conflict in Dagestan and assess their potential: either dramatic radicalization and marginalization or moderation and focus on Islamic society.

David Jiménez (Spain), Asia bureau chief for El Mundo, will study the role of foreign correspondents in the digital era and the development of new platforms to extend the reach of freelancers’ work through the Internet, especially in developing countries and authoritarian regimes.

Seung Ryun Kim (South Korea), an editor at Channel A in Seoul, will study national security with a focus on U.S. policy in China, Japan and Korea, and news industry transformation, including media management and marketing.

Luo Jieqi (China) is a senior legal reporter for the Caixin Media Company. She will study how investigative journalism in the Chinese media can contribute to the public decision-making process.

Miguel Paz Rueda (Chile), journalist, former Knight ICFJ Fellow and founder and CEO of Poderomedia, an organization that promotes transparency and digital innovation, will study new data visualization models, innovative news startups and civic media approaches to building quality sustainable journalism models.

Laurie Penny (UK), contributing editor of the New Statesman, editor-at-large of The New Inquiry, and a contributor to The Guardian, Vice, The Nation and many other publications, will study the economic history and theory of social movements, with an emphasis on digital culture and linguistics.

Vladimir Radomirovic (Serbia), editor-in-chief of Pistaljka, an online investigative journalism outlet, will study business models of nonprofit organizations, the use of online and video tools for human rights activism and how whistleblowing organizations and media outlets can interact.

Johanna van Eeden (South Africa), a senior newsroom executive with the Volksblad Group in South Africa, will study leadership in a digital economy, with a special focus on the importance of commercial skills in editorial management roles.

Nabil Wakim (France), digital editor-in-chief of Le Monde, will study how legacy media can adapt their business models and internal organizations to benefit from the digital revolution, with a particular focus on political journalism.

The 2014 Nieman Visiting Fellows

This year, five Nieman Visiting Fellows are studying at Harvard: Taylor Goldenstein, a recent graduate of the University of Illinois’s journalism program, who is developing a website that will allow college journalists to converse and collaborate; Allissa Richardson, an assistant professor of journalism at Bowie State University who is developing a mobile journalism MOOC project; Samar Padmaker Halarnkar, a writer and former managing editor of the Hindustan Times, who is studying ways to build an inexpensive model for mobile phone-based public interest journalism; David Smydra, Google’s strategic partner manager for news, who is developing a method for organizing future news events into an open, collaborative calendar to be used by journalists and others; and Tina Pamintuan, the director of radio projects and initiatives at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, who is developing a mobile app that will enable ethnic radio stations across the United States to reach more audiences and share programming.

In selecting the Nieman class of 2015, Nieman Foundation curator Ann Marie Lipinski, a 1990 Nieman Fellow, was joined by Rohit Deshpandé, Sebastian S. Kresge Professor of Marketing at Harvard Business School; David Skok, digital adviser to the editor at The Boston Globe and a 2012 Nieman Fellow; Jane Spencer, editor for digital projects and innovation at The Wall Street Journal and a 2013 Nieman Fellow; Robert Faris, research director at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society; Rebecca Tabasky, Berkman’s manager of community programs; James Geary, Nieman’s deputy curator and a 2012 Nieman Fellow; and Joshua Benton, director of the Nieman Journalism Lab and a 2008 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. More than 1,400 journalists from 93 countries have been awarded Nieman Fellowships since 1938. The foundation’s other initiatives include Nieman Reports, a quarterly print and online magazine that explores contemporary challenges and opportunities in journalism; the Nieman Journalism 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.