Leading American publishers and journalists have given Harvard's Nieman Fellow program an "unqualified endorsement" in an informal poil designed to gather opinions on the future course of the program.
President Pusey said yesterday he had solicited the opinions from a variety of publishers and from such top journalists as James Reston and Walter Lippmann, in order to get assessments of the program and suggestions on who should be its next director. Louis M. Lyons, Curator of the Nieman Fellowships for 25 years, is retiring this June.
Pusey said that almost to a man those responding had given "an overwhelmingly favorable opinion of the program." "All of the people in journalism feel this is one of the most important things that goes on in the area," he added.
The only misgivings about the program came from editors whose reporters had left for other jobs after spending a year at Harvard, Pusey said. He said this was a natural hazard, since journalists awarded Nieman Fellowships are among the best in the field.
One suggestion made in a few of the letters, Pusey said, is that the program pay more attention to media other than newspapers in selecting its fellows.
Pusey said that once all the replies were in he would begin considering those candidates for director suggested in the letters.
The Nieman Fellowships were established at Harvard in 1937 by a bequest of Mrs. Agnes Wahl Nieman in memory of her husband, Lucins W. Nieman, founder of the Milwaukee Journal. Each Fellowship pays tuition, fees, and a stipend for a year's residence at the University. Holders may pursue any course of study they wish in any school; the only stipulation is that they fulfill the requirements for one course as if they were actually taking it for credit.