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Bob Giles: Linking Journalists in the U.S. and South Africa

This column first appeared in the Spring 2011 edition of Nieman Reports. Fifty years ago, two journalists from South Africa were in the final weeks of their Nieman fellowship year. The two—Aubrey Sussens, the white editor of The Rand Daily Mail, and Lewis Nkosi, from a young generation of black writers giving voice to the [...]

Bob Giles: Curator’s Corner: The Special Role of the Nieman Foundation

This column first appeared in Nieman Reports. When I arrived at Lippmann House in early August 2000 to begin my tenure as curator, I had only an inkling of the sweeping changes that would wash over journalism and mainstream news organizations during the coming decade. My predecessor, Bill Kovach, in announcing his retirement, had a [...]

Bob Giles: Overcoming the U.S. Visa Denial of a Colombian Nieman Fellow

This column first appeared in the Fall 2010 issue of Nieman Reports. The e-mail message from Hollman Morris was unexpected. It was “urgent,” he said. “Please call im- mediately on Skype.” I reached him and his brother, Juan Pablo, in Bogota. His image on the computer screen revealed a stricken man at pains to say [...]

Bob Giles: Curator’s Corner: Fairness as an Essential Ingredient in News Reporting

For the past nine years, the Nieman Foundation has honored journalistic fairness with the Taylor Family Award for Fairness in Newspapers. Our goal is to encourage fairness and ethical practices in enterprising news coverage by drawing public attention to exemplary work. The award is given in the name of the Taylor family whose stewardship of [...]

Bob Giles: Curator’s Corner: In Global Health Reporting, Expertise Matters

Diminished resources in newspaper and broadcast newsrooms are weakening the ability of journalists to report on the spread of disease as well as the dire consequences of poorly funded public health systems and corporate malfeasance. Also diminished is the capacity of news organizations to hold accountable those charged with delivering public and foundation money to [...]

Bob Giles: Curator’s Corner: A Guide to Covering a Pandemic

This column first appeared in the Fall 2009 issue of Nieman Reports. Three years ago, the Nieman Foundation convened a first-of-its-kind conference for journalists, experts in infectious diseases and world, national and local public health officials to explore how to cover a potential pandemic. Then the concern was avian flu, and the gathering’s purpose was [...]

Bob Giles: More Applicants but Fewer from Newspapers

CURATOR’S CORNER Attached to the personal statement in the file of a Nieman Fellowship applicant for the class of 2010 is this note of explanation concerning his “evolving situation.” He had been offered a buyout from his company, he said, and had decided to accept it. He and his family would be moving back to [...]

Bob Giles: Curator’s Corner: Clear Direction in Tough Economic Times

As the Nieman Foundation’s Advisory Board met in early November on the eve of the convocation celebrating 70 years of Nieman Fellowships, two questions dominated the discussions: • Should the foundation reconsider its mission of midcareer education in response to the dramatic and disruptive technological and economic changes affecting journalism? • How can the foundation [...]

Bob Giles: Wartime and the Nieman Foundation

This first appeared as the “Curator’s Corner” essay in the Summer 2008 edition of Nieman Reports. Nieman Fellows visiting Harvard’s Memorial Church often wonder about the last name engraved on the church’s south wall, listing those who died in World War II: “John Brigham Terry, Lucius W. Nieman Fellow.” It had been a bit of [...]

Bob Giles: Curator’s Corner–Recognizing Excellence

This first appeared in the Spring 2008 edition of Nieman Reports. Investigative reporting has always been central to the Nieman experience. Journalists specializing in investigative work continue to populate Nieman classes. Speakers address the topic at seminars and workshops. The Nieman Watchdog project offers a platform to reinforce an essential element of watchdog reporting: asking [...]