Nieman Foundation at Harvard
HOME
          
LATEST STORY
Should it stay or should it go: News outlets scramble to cover Britain’s decision to exit the European Union
ABOUT                    SUBSCRIBE
Sept. 2, 2015, 11:44 a.m.

It’s time to apply for a visiting Nieman Fellowship

The Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard wants to hear your idea for making journalism better. Come spend a few weeks working on it in Cambridge. Deadline: October 31.

Do you have an idea to advance journalism? Can Harvard help?

If yes and yes, we’d like to hear from you. We’re opening applications for our Knight Visiting Nieman Fellowships, a chance to join us here at Harvard for up to 12 weeks of work on a special project. Nieman has nearly eight decades of experience with yearlong fellowships for journalists, but added these shorter stays to reflect the changing needs of the industry and the evolving cast of journalism influencers.

This is our fourth year welcoming visiting fellows, and our first in partnership with the Knight Foundation. In that time, we’ve had developers, editors, journalism professors, and others bring their research projects to Nieman. We’ve helped a foreign correspondent plan his epic seven-year walk across the globe and a Google editorial director develop a method for mapping future news events. Some of our fellows’ projects have won funding for further development. Many have been covered in Nieman Lab or Nieman Reports and reached large international audiences. This week, Nieman published an ebook documenting visiting fellow Amy Webb’s ambitious work on rewriting the future for journalism schools.

I asked Melody Kramer, who recently finished a terrific project with us on public media, if she would talk about her fellowship as a way of helping others who are considering applying. She recorded a short video describing her proposal, her application, her interview with us, and how she spent her two months at Nieman.

Ready to apply now? You can do that online. The deadline is October 31.

Our experience with visiting fellows has taught us a lot, but here are two ingredients we’ve learned are key to success:

  • A focused inquiry is better than a broad one. An applicant’s proposal can be part of a larger project, but should be a well-defined part of the whole. When visiting fellow Hong Qu came to Nieman, he wanted to build a tool to help journalists judge the reliability of Twitter during breaking news. The result was Keepr, which he tested during the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing. While Reddit and other forums were important forces during that complex story, his focus on one made it possible to create a tool that could have immediate impact on our use of a growing medium.
  • Plan ahead. Best not to wait to land at Harvard to start researching the people and resources here that could inform your project. Some fellowships and assignments lend themselves to a more meandering pace, but not this one. You have no more than 12 weeks. I think of the time as structured exploration β€” setting out with clear objectives while staying open to serendipitous discovery. The question “why Harvard?” is one we often ask of candidates and we like to hear that you’ve thought that through. That includes how you might use Nieman Foundation resources β€” the Lab, Nieman Reports, Storyboard, and our academic-year fellows β€” to inform your work.

Be certain when you apply that the longer Nieman Fellowship is not a better fit. After arriving here, one or two of our visiting fellows felt a broader inquiry would have been preferable to their tailored projects. Nearly 1,500 journalists have been awarded that fellowship since our founding in 1937 and it remains a remarkably transformative experience. Applications for that fellowship will not be due until December 1 for international journalists and January 31 for U.S. applicants.

But if you have an idea for what someone called the “new Nieman,” do let us know by October 31. I look forward to reading about it.

POSTED     Sept. 2, 2015, 11:44 a.m.
SHARE THIS STORY
   
Show comments  
Show tags
 
Join the 15,000 who get the freshest future-of-journalism news in our daily email.
Should it stay or should it go: News outlets scramble to cover Britain’s decision to exit the European Union
Online, readers stayed up for the results: Peak traffic to BBC News, for instance, was around 4 a.m. GMT, and by 11 a.m. BBC.com had received 88 million page views.
Acast wants to get new audiences “in the podcast door” with more diverse shows and better data
With a new paid subscription option and its sights set on non English-speaking countries, the Swedish podcasting startup is looking for listeners (and shows) beyond the iTunes set.
“Medium’s team did everything”: How 5 publishers transitioned their sites to Medium
What happened when Pacific Standard, The Ringer, The Awl, The Bold Italic, and Femsplain moved their sites over to Medium.
What to read next
0Spain’s Eldiario.es has 18,000 paying members, and its eye on the next several million
“We have a potential of six million readers. You may not convince all six million people to be your socios, but if you learn more about their interests, you can get closer.”
0The Washington Post is testing out a few new hurdles for non-paying online readers
The Post is now asking readers to submit their email in order to read stories without paying.
0This new collaboration hopes to aid the endless debates about media with some actual hard data
“For a long time, I’ve wanted to try to put more data and quantitative analysis behind some of the claims and questions we ask around underrepresented and misrepresented stories in online spaces.”
Encyclo is our encyclopedia of the future of news, chronicling the key players in journalism’s evolution.
Here are a few of the entries you’ll find in Encyclo.   Get the full Encyclo ➚
Chicago Tribune
Las Vegas Sun
The Daily Voice
Sports Illustrated
Mashable
The Orange County Register
Poynter Institute
New England Center for Investigative Reporting
Newsmax
Tumblr
Slate
Topix