Nieman Foundation for Journalism announces the 84th class of fellows



7 min read

The Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University, a center internationally recognized for its fellowships, publications and programs, has selected 22 Nieman Fellows from across the globe for a year of on-campus study. The journalists will focus their work on some of the most urgent issues facing the industry, ranging from racial justice to disinformation.

The fellows forming the Nieman class of 2022 will begin their two semesters of studies this fall. They represent 10 countries, including the United States, and the spectrum of media from young digital newsrooms to legacy newspapers. Their work has centered on areas of vital importance to journalism, from trust and far-right movements to innovations in audience growth and virtual reality. They cover politics, technology, race and child welfare, and work as investigative reporters, podcasters and data specialists. The class is especially rich in visual journalism expertise and includes photo and graphics editors, video producers, photographers and documentary filmmakers.

“Many of these journalists and the countries and communities they serve have faced historic challenges over the past year,” said Ann Marie Lipinski, Nieman Foundation curator. “They have much to teach and learn from each other and to offer and gain from Harvard. I am inspired by their commitment to sharpening journalism as a tool for revealing and bettering the world and can’t wait to welcome them to Cambridge.”

Nieman has additionally supported 12 Nieman Visiting Fellows for shorter periods this year to develop projects that either advance racial justice or improve public health journalism in the U.S.

The Nieman Foundation has educated more than 1,600 accomplished journalists from 99 countries since 1938. In addition to taking classes at Harvard, fellows participate in a variety of Nieman seminars, workshops and master classes, and collaborate with Harvard scholars and others in the Cambridge area.

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The 2022 Nieman Fellows and their study plans:

Caelainn Barr, an Irish journalist and the data projects editor at The Guardian in London, will study how missing data in reporting can perpetuate inequality and underrepresentation in journalism. She will examine how news organizations can build and better use data to report on marginalized communities.

Bill Barrow, a national political reporter based in Atlanta for The Associated Press, will examine the intersection of movement and party politics in the United States, focusing on the institutional structures and prevailing social dynamics that are reshaping Democratic and Republican alliances in the early 21st century.

Jorge Caraballo Cordovez, a Colombian journalist and growth editor at Radio Ambulante, NPR’s only podcast in Spanish, will develop a toolkit for narrative journalism podcasts in Latin America, seeking to leverage the power of audio storytelling to strengthen community connections.

Choy Yuk-ling (Bao Choy), an investigative journalist based in Hong Kong, will study how independent and investigative news outlets can evolve in order to survive the financial, legal and political roadblocks set up by authoritarian governments.

Pranav Dixit, a New Delhi-based technology correspondent for BuzzFeed News, will examine the evolution of the American tech press and what lessons it offers for global media, and how newsrooms in developing countries can more effectively cover the intersection of technology, culture and democracy.

Reuben Fischer-Baum, a graphics editor at The Washington Post, will collect lessons from the field to explore how to make interactive journalism more accessible to small newsrooms and help reproduce the audience growth that major news organizations have seen with this form of storytelling.

Fu Ting, a Chinese journalist reporting for The Associated Press from Thailand, will research China’s global expansion, domestic living standards and ongoing brain drain in the face of an economic slowdown that follows years of rapid growth. She will examine how the country and the wider world are addressing the downturn and the resulting social challenges.

Sammy Jo Hester, the lead photo editor for sports at the Los Angeles Times, will examine the intersection of gender and athletics, with a focus on the media’s role in perpetuating the ways women are seen and represented in athletics.

Selase Kove-Seyram is a digital media producer from Ghana and head of digital strategy for the Tiger Eye Social Foundation, a media nonprofit. He will study how collaborative efforts to produce public service journalism could enhance professionalism, fight misinformation and help restore public trust in journalism in West Africa.

Patricia Laya, the Venezuela bureau chief for Bloomberg News, will study Venezuela’s economic, sociopolitical and health crises as tools of oppression and how the country’s authoritarian government has benefitted from a population subdued by hunger, misery and disease.

Felice León, a video producer and presenter at The Root, will study the manifestations of Black joy, from the antebellum era to the present, and the ways that the media can document these stories through visual storytelling.

Julia Lurie, a senior reporter at Mother Jones, will study the complex history of the U.S. child welfare system. She will examine the system’s racial and socioeconomic inequities, the impact of the movement for racial justice on reform efforts and the effects of the overdose epidemic and the coronavirus pandemic on families in the system.

Pacinthe Mattar, a Canadian journalist based in Toronto, will study how journalism can better foster, retain and promote Black, Indigenous and other racialized journalists. She will focus on developing initiatives that lead to more representative newsrooms and coverage. Mattar is the 2022 Martin Wise Goodman Canadian Nieman Fellow.

Dave Mayers, a producer and cinematographer at Vice News, will study the barriers to entry for those wishing to diversify documentaries, and the best methods for overcoming them domestically and internationally.

Shereen Marisol Meraji, co-host and senior producer of NPR’s “Code Switch,” a podcast that covers race and identity, will explore ways for public media to attract and retain Latino audiences.

Jakob Moll, co-founder and former CEO of Zetland, a membership-based digital newspaper in Denmark, will study how trust evolves on the preferred digital platforms of the younger generations, and how those dynamics can help support the membership business model for news organizations.

Marisa Palmer, a senior video producer at Business Insider, plans to study the effects of police training programs in the U.S. and will develop a database for journalists, communities and police departments that ranks the programs by quality, efficacy and accessibility.

Deb Pastner, director of photo and multimedia at the Star Tribune in Minneapolis, will examine how the racial reckoning in the wake of George Floyd’s death has altered the relationship between photojournalists and their subjects. She will explore ways to reframe and renew that association.

Jonathan Rabb, founder of Watch The Yard, a digital platform for Black college students and alumni, will examine the use of virtual reality for journalism, with a focus on creating ethical and inclusive practices when using 360-degree video technologies to cover marginalized groups. As a 2021 Nieman Visiting Fellow, he researched revenue models for minority-owned media companies.

Gabrielle Schonder, a producer and reporter for “Frontline” and the Kirk Documentary Group, will study innovations in reporting methods for documentary filmmakers and examine the intersection of media, technology and policy to find ways to combat distrust and misinformation.

Jim Urquhart, a Colorado-based photojournalist who reports from across the U.S., will strengthen his understanding of the rapid rise of right-wing extremism, studying the history of far-right violence and the writings and political and social concepts that inspire militants.

Natalia Viana, co-founder and executive director of Agência Pública, Brazil’s first nonprofit investigative journalism outlet, will study the erosion of democracy in Brazil and Latin America and the rise of far-right movements, with a focus on media manipulation and disinformation campaigns.