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Aug. 19, 2016, 9 a.m.

It’s time to apply for a Knight 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 14.

Journalism lives in interesting times. By many measures, the opportunity for invention and impact are greater than ever. By others, it’s an industry crippled by stubborn financial conditions.

But we’re bullish at Nieman, and every day invest in the people we think can make a difference. If you’re someone with an idea to advance journalism and think that time at Harvard could help, we’d like to hear from you.

We’re accepting applications now for our next group of Knight Visiting Nieman Fellows. This is a chance to join us here on campus for up to 12 weeks to work on a project. The deadline for applying is October 14 and you can submit online.

In five years of offering these fellowships, we’ve welcomed a diverse group of journalism influencers. Reporters, developers, editors, academics, and others from the U.S. and abroad have been among the applicants we’ve supported. The projects have ranged from Pulitzer-winning correspondent Paul Salopek’s epic seven-year walk across the globe to test concepts of slow journalism, to futurist Amy Webb’s provocative plans for rewriting the future for journalism schools. Many of our fellows have published the results of their inquiry with us. Jack Riley, head of audience development at The Huffington Post U.K., spent a month at Harvard studying the opportunities for news organizations with wearables, such as the Apple Watch. He wrote about his findings for Nieman Lab.

Visiting fellow alumna Melody Kramer, who researched a terrific project on public media, made a short video about her proposal, her application, her interview with us, and how she tackled eight weeks at Harvard. You’ll find her description helpful in deciding both whether and how to apply. Be sure to consider whether your needs are better met by our longer Nieman Fellowship, geared toward broader inquiry and professional development. Applications for that fellowship are not due until December 1 for international journalists and January 31 for U.S. applicants.

We believe there are two keys to a successful visiting fellowship. First, a focused inquiry is better than a broad one. Two or three months speed by quickly and having clear goals — even if it’s only a part of a larger project — is important. And plan ahead. One question we ask of every applicant: “Why Harvard?” Since our founding in 1937, this remarkable university has nurtured and encouraged approximately 1,500 journalists and others who care about the future of the news. But before you arrive on campus, it helps to know what resources here can best contribute to your work, including those at the Nieman Foundation — Nieman Lab, Nieman Reports, Nieman Storyboard, or others.

Questions? Contact us at nieman_applications@harvard.edu. I look forward to reading your proposals.

Ann Marie Lipinski is curator of the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard.

POSTED     Aug. 19, 2016, 9 a.m.
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