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Jan. 11, 2012, 11 a.m.

Announcing the Nieman-Berkman Fellowship in Journalism Innovation

A new partnership between two parts of Harvard will allow one smart person to spend a year trying to advance the state of digital journalism. Deadline: Feb. 15.

For over 70 years here at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism, we’ve run the Nieman Fellowships, which allows a couple dozen journalists from around the world to spend a year studying here at Harvard. And today, we’re announcing a new fellowship partner that I’m really excited about.

I’m happy to announce the Nieman-Berkman Fellowship in Journalism Innovation. It’s a joint project between us here at Nieman and the Berkman Center for Internet & Society, the primary unit of the university dedicated to understanding our digital present and future. Berkman runs its own awesome fellowship program that brings technologists, social scientists, legal scholars, journalists, and others to Harvard. The Nieman-Berkman Fellow will be a full Nieman Fellow and a full Berkman Fellow, able to draw on both communities and help strengthen connections between technology and journalism.

So what’s this Nieman-Berkman Fellowship all about? We’re looking for someone who had a specific course of research or project that they’d like to undertake — something that would have a substantial benefit to the larger world of journalism. We’re intentionally keeping the boundaries of that idea wide open — so proposals might deal with social media, with data visualization, with database analysis, with the underlying business models of online journalism, with newsroom structure, with networked journalism, with mobile consumption patters, or anything else that plays a meaningful part in how digital journalism is evolving. If it’s a subject or field that we write about here at Nieman Lab, it probably makes sense for a proposal for the Nieman-Berkman Fellowship.

This fellowship is also open to a wider range of applicants than the other Nieman Fellowships. For instance, someone who works on the publishing or technology sides of a news organization could be a strong candidate, even if they aren’t reporters or editors.

When the Nieman-Berkman Fellow arrives on campus this fall, he or she will work with Nieman and Berkman to advance the work of the proposal, sharing their work and their findings with readers of Nieman Lab and with the Harvard community. It’s a pretty great gig — one I’d be applying for myself if I weren’t already here!

You can read a lot more about the Nieman-Berkman Fellowship over here, and I’m happy to answer specific questions by email. Because we’re announcing this fellowship a little later than usual, we’ve extended the deadline for applications to February 15 — so you’ve got a little over a month to think up a proposal and apply. This fellowship is open to both U.S. citizens and international applicants; we’ll do interviews with finalists in the spring and, if we find the right person, make an announcement in May. We look forward to seeing your ideas.

(An aside: Americans are also still very much welcome to apply for the traditional Nieman Fellowships, which have a deadline of January 31. Unfortunately, the deadline for international applicants was back in December. I’d strongly encourage any journalist who wants to apply for the Nieman-Berkman Fellowship to also apply for the standard fellowship — that’ll help your odds.)

POSTED     Jan. 11, 2012, 11 a.m.
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