Nieman Curator Bob Giles reflects on time at Harvard

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Nieman Foundation curator Bob Giles retired at the end of June after 11 years on the job. During his tenure, he found new ways to strengthen the Nieman Fellowship program and expand the foundation’s critical role in discussions about the future of serious journalism.

At a time when the profession was going through a period of unprecedented change, Giles and his staff oversaw the online expansion of the foundation’s quarterly magazine Nieman Reports and the Nieman Watchdog Project, as well as the creation of the Nieman Journalism Lab and Nieman Storyboard, a website offering fresh ideas and resources for narrative journalists.

Giles also established several journalism awards and raised money to build a new wing on Lippmann House that provided space for new seminars, speakers, and journalism conferences.

Under his leadership, the foundation added specialized fellowships in critical areas often inadequately covered by the press, including global health, community journalism, business reporting, and arts and culture issues. Giles also provided refuge to a number of international journalists who were threatened or persecuted for their work.

Reflecting on his time at Harvard, Giles said, “Being part of the Harvard community is such a privilege. To serve as steward of this remarkable fellowship program for journalists is, well, it has been a dream job.”