Twenty Four Nieman Fellows Announced

Twenty-four journalists who work in media ranging from newspapers and magazines to radio and television have been chosen for the 2011-2012 class of Nieman Fellows, the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard announced on Tuesday.

The 74th class of Nieman Fellows, according to Nieman Foundation Curator Robert H. Giles, consists of “journalists who have reported from around the globe on an extraordinarily wide range of topics and, in many cases, under dangerous circumstances.”

Established in 1938, the Nieman Foundation for Journalism administers the oldest mid-career fellowship program for journalists in the world. More than 1,300 journalists of accomplishment from 91 countries and territories have received Nieman Fellowships and benefited from a year of study and exploration at Harvard University.

“This is a class of vigorous, talented young journalists who have a keen eye on changing the nature of journalism and who aspire to use their Harvard experience to achieve our level of excellence and contribute to the changing dynamics of journalism,” Giles said in an interview.

The new class of U.S. Nieman Fellows, according to a press release for the Foundation, includes Jonathan Blakley, a foreign desk producer for NPR who will study history, politics, and social media in sub-Saharan Africa, as well as Megan O’Grady, a literary critic for Vogue. She will examine the relationship among female novelists, literary criticism, and the canon that focuses on postwar American literature and the persistence of gender myths in cultural discourse.


The international Nieman Fellows include Samiha Shafy, a science reporter for German newspaper Der Spiegel who will be the first Fellow originally from Switzerland, and Wu Nan, a Beijing-based reporter.

Shafy will study how public policy and economic principles shape the way scientific evidence is translated into action to address global challenges, while Nan will focus on how new media is empowering people and businesses, changing political dynamics, and sparking social change.

Giles said that every year, the Foundation looks for individuals who have a passion for journalism despite the financial difficulties and uncertainties that the digital world has introduced to the industry. Prominent previous recipients of the fellowship including Pulitzer Prize winners Dexter Filkins and Robert Caro.

—Staff writer Jane Seo can be reached at

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