Campus & Community

Nieman reunion convenes some of world’s top journalists

2 min read
Kitty Galbraith, flanked by President Neil L. Rudenstine (left) and Bill Kovach, outgoing curator of the Nieman Foundation, accepts a plaque on behalf of her husband John Kenneth Galbraith, Paul M. Warburg Professor of Economics Emeritus. The presentation was part of the Nieman Fellows 2000 reunion. Photos by Marc Halevi. </p>

If a war had broken out somewhere last weekend, there’s a possibility the rest of the world might have missed it.

That’s because more than 400 of the most heralded journalists from around the world set aside their notepads and laptops to gather at Harvard for the Nieman Fellows Reunion 2000.

“It was pretty exciting,” according to Bill Kovach, the curator of the Nieman Fellowships at the Nieman Foundation. “It’s hard to put the feelings about these people and this much history into words. It’s just like breathing pure oxygen. It’s a high without any drugs.”

Former Fellows in attendance included Hodding Carter III, Emmy-winning PBS correspondent and assistant secretary of state in the Carter administration; Anthony Lewis, two-time Pulitzer Prize—winning author and columnist; and Liu Binyan, considered the “father of investigative journalism” in China, who was barred from his homeland after coming to the United States as a Nieman Fellow in 1989.

The weekend was highlighted by a series of seminars on Saturday afternoon (April 29), and a reception and dinner at the John F. Kennedy Library in Dorchester on Saturday night. University President Neil L. Rudenstine addressed the group, and John Kenneth Galbraith, Paul M. Warburg Professor of Economics Emeritus, was honored with an Appreciation Award.

Approximately 24 Nieman Fellowships are awarded every year to mid-career journalists throughout the world, giving them the opportunity to study for a full academic year at Harvard. Almost 1,000 men and women have been accorded Fellowships since the program began in 1938.