Campus & Community

Nieman names 28 fellows from U.S. and abroad

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The Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard has named 28 journalists from the United States and abroad to the 71st class of Nieman Fellows. They include print reporters and editors, online journalists, columnists and editorial writers, broadcasters, a photojournalist, and a filmmaker.

Established in 1938, the Nieman program is the oldest midcareer fellowship for journalists in the world. The fellowships are awarded to working journalists of accomplishment and promise who come to Harvard University for a year of study, seminars, and special events. More than 1,200 journalists from 90 countries have received Nieman Fellowships.

The U.S. Nieman Fellows for 2008-09 and their areas of interest:

Kael Alford, a freelance photojournalist based in Atlanta, plans to study how dominant narratives relating to U.S. foreign policy are reinforced through mass media. She also will research models for multimedia approaches to independent reporting.

Hannah Allam, Cairo bureau chief, McClatchy Newspapers, will study sectarianism within Islam, focusing on Arab-Persian relations and Sunni versus Shiite doctrine on governance, armed struggle, and family law.

Carla Broyles, Metro deputy news editor, The Washington Post, will examine the power of images in the media and the impact they have on how ethnic communities are represented and regarded.

Alfredo Corchado, Mexico bureau, The Dallas Morning News, will study the fallout of organized crime on Latin America’s young, fragile democracies, particularly the impact on the freedom of the press and consequences for the United States.

David Jackson, reporter, Chicago Tribune, will study the lives and social impact of elementary school pupils who are so often absent, suspended, or truant that they have effectively dropped out of school by the eighth grade.

Margie Mason, Asia-Pacific medical writer, The Associated Press, will study the international response to emerging infectious diseases in developing countries and how lessons from past experiences have influenced pandemic preparedness and the overall strengthening of poor health systems. Mason is a Nieman Fellow in Global Health Reporting, with funding provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Ching-Ching Ni, Beijing correspondent, Los Angeles Times, will study the intersections among religion, politics, and immigration, with a focus on the changing spiritual landscape of America.

Dorothy Parvaz, columnist and editorial writer, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, will study American history and constitutional law with a focus on the moral and social underpinnings that created the country’s current political climate. Parvaz is the Louis Stark Nieman Fellow.

Guy Raz, defense correspondent, National Public Radio, will study the collapse of ancient and modern empires and the effect of such collapses on global order.

Julia Reynolds, staff writer, The Monterey County Herald, will study the epidemiology of street gangs and how to measure the effectiveness of youth violence prevention programs. Reynolds is the Donald W. Reynolds Nieman Fellow in Community Journalism.

Andrea Simakis, reporter, The Plain Dealer, Cleveland, will study U.S. immigration and refugee policy and its impact on how newcomers learn and navigate American culture.

Ernie Suggs, enterprise reporter, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, will study the significance, history, and future of historically black colleges and universities and their place in American society.

Tommy Tomlinson, columnist, The Charlotte Observer, will study how the causes and consequences of poverty unfold at the neighborhood level.

Chris Vognar, movie critic, The Dallas Morning News, will study interdisciplinary connections between African-American culture and history and today’s African-American pop culture. Vognar is the 2009 Arts and Culture Nieman Fellow.

The international Nieman Fellows for 2008-09 and their areas of interest:

Mónica Almeida (Ecuador), Quito bureau chief, El Universo, will study the relationship between business and government in some South American countries ruled by left-of-center and/or nationalist administrations. She is a John S. and James L. Knight Foundation Latin American Nieman Fellow.

Rosita Boland (Ireland), reporter, The Irish Times, will study the ways in which recipient countries have adapted to their multicultural incoming communities, and how politics, education, language, economics, media coverage, and culture influence integration in both directions.

Haili Cao (China), foreign editor, Caijing magazine, will study foreign affairs, their influence on global trends, and the role China plays in them. She also will study the history, religion, and culture of the Middle East, India, and Africa. Cao is the Atsuko Chiba Nieman Fellow. The fellowship honors the memory of Atsuko Chiba, a 1968 Nieman Fellow.

Jae Hyun Choi (Korea), reporter, Korean Broadcasting System, will study international politics and explore possible changes in the role and policy of the United States in Northeast Asia due to the rapid growth of Chinese influence in the region. The Asia Foundation supports his fellowship.

Sapiet Dakhshukaeva (Chechnya), producer, BBC Russian Service, Moscow, will study the psychological outcomes of war-zone trauma and methods for healing survivors of war. Dakhshukaeva is the Barry Bingham Jr. Nieman Fellow.

Scheherezade Faramarzi (Iran/Canada), reporter, The Associated Press, Lebanon, will study the Sunni-Shia divide that is often caused by the changing alliances of Western nations with regional players and how mainstream U.S. media covers the war on terror. Faramarzi is the Ruth Cowan Nash Nieman Fellow.

Kalpana Jain (India), health journalist and former health editor, The Times of India, will study global health systems and explore sustainable solutions for providing health care in developing countries. Jain is a Nieman Fellow in Global Health Reporting, with funding provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Thabo Jerry Leshilo (South Africa), editor in chief, Sowetan, will study economics and its application to public policy. He will focus on microeconomic behavior and the rationale for government intervention when people make decisions that are detrimental to their own well-being. Leshilo’s fellowship is supported by the Nieman Society of Southern Africa.

Margarita Martinez (Colombia), freelance filmmaker, plans to focus on film, Latin American studies, and Chinese philosophies. Martinez is a John S. and James L. Knight Foundation Latin American Nieman Fellow.

Graciela Mochkofsky (Argentina), reporter and writer, will study the impact and potential of Internet technology in Latin America. Mochkofsky is a John S. and James L. Knight Foundation Latin American Nieman Fellow.

Ronke Olawale (Nigeria), senior features correspondent, Guardian Newspapers Limited, will concentrate on maternal health and child survival strategies, as well as public health policies and strategies for revitalizing the primary health care delivery systems in developing countries. Olawale is a Nieman Fellow in Global Health Reporting, with funding provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Nathalie Villard (France), business reporter, Capital magazine, will study how the American economy and society adapt to globalization with regard to four challenges: innovation, immigration, job outsourcing, and competition from emerging economies. Villard is the Robert Waldo Ruhl Fellow.

Peter Wolodarski (Sweden), editorial writer, Dagens Nyheter, will study the future of health care, especially how to increase innovation and efficiency in publicly financed systems.

Andrei Zolotov Jr. (Russia), editor and publisher,, will study the interrelationship between politics, religion, and media, including the adoption of Russia’s 1997 law regulating religious organizations, and the historic role of religion in nation building. He also will study media management. Zolotov is the William Montalbano Nieman Fellow.

The U.S. fellows were selected by Amy Nutt, a reporter for The Star-Ledger in Newark, N.J., and a 2005 Nieman Fellow; Marshall Ganz, a lecturer in public policy at Harvard Kennedy School; Sam Fulwood, columnist for The Plain Dealer in Cleveland and a 1994 Nieman Fellow; and J. Richard Hackman, Edgar Pierce Professor of Social and Organizational Psychology, Harvard University. Bob Giles, Nieman Foundation curator and a 1966 Nieman Fellow, chaired the committee.

The Nieman Fellows in Global Health Reporting were chosen by Jay Winsten, an associate dean at the Harvard School of Public Health and the Frank Stanton Director of the School’s Center for Health Communication; Harro Albrecht, science/medical editor at Die Zeit and a 2007 Nieman Global Health Fellow; and Stefanie Friedhoff, special projects manager for the Nieman Foundation. Giles was chair of the committee.

The Nieman Fellow in Arts and Culture Reporting was selected by Jack Megan, director of the Office for the Arts at Harvard University, and Alicia Anstead, arts and culture reporter for the Bangor (Maine) Daily News and the 2008 arts and culture Nieman Fellow. Giles chaired the committee.

In addition to administering the Nieman Fellowship program, the Nieman Foundation also publishes the quarterly magazine Nieman Reports. The foundation also is home to the Nieman Program on Narrative Journalism and the Nieman Watchdog Journalism Project, which encourages reporters and editors to monitor and hold accountable those who exert power in all aspects of public life.