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The first complete check-up over made on the activities of the Nieman Fellows after they finish their year of study, has just been submitted to President Conant by Curator Louis M. Lyons, present feature writer for the Boston Globe and former Fellow.
In the past three years, 50 men have given up their jobs on leaves of absence to come to Harvard for research in any field or fields they wish, following the terms of the endowment. There are 15 currently in the College.
Critics of the plan held that one of the unfortunate tendencies is to take good men off the small dailies and bring them to the city, thus lowering newspaper standards in the less populated areas. Figures in Lyons' report, however, do not corroborate this stand.
Twenty-four of the 35 who have left Harvard, returned to the same employer who gave them leave to come, and have remained in the same employment since. At least six of these "now have positions which clearly indicate advancement since their Fellowships," writes Lyons. "It is not possible to say of the others that their positions have not improved, but of these six the change in status definitely shows promotion."
Of the others, seven have shifted to other newspapers or to writing positions with magazines, and four are not now in journalism. Lyons points out, however, that two of these four have left their newspapers for government work created by the emergency and that it is probably not a permanent change. One other is working as secretary to a Congressman, and thinks of his job as a temporary experiences in Washington for reference to future newspaper work. The fourth man, says Lyons is probably definitely out of newspaper work.
Practically all of these moves, he declares, represent advancement either in pay, in position, or in work that offered greater interest.
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