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Nieman-Berkman Fellowship in Journalism Innovation

The *Nieman-Berkman Klein Fellowship in Journalism Innovation brings individuals to Harvard University to work on a specific course of research or a specific project relating to journalism innovation. The fellowship is a collaboration between the Nieman Foundation for Journalism and the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard. Both organizations share a set of common interests around journalism, innovation, and the evolution of the digital space, and both have longstanding fellowship programs that offer a year of learning and collaboration with others in the Harvard community.

Proposals from Nieman-Berkman Klein Fellowship candidates may deal with any issue relating to journalism’s digital transformation. Examples include ideas for new revenue streams to fund journalism, the construction of new tools for reporting, or research into news consumption patterns. Candidates must explain how their proposals will benefit journalism.

On campus, Nieman-Berkman Klein Fellows draw upon the wealth of resources available at Harvard and in the surrounding area for their work. Along with the Nieman Foundation and the Berkman Klein Center, Cambridge is home to institutions such as the Harvard Business School, MIT’s Center for Civic Media, the Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations, the Shorenstein Center for Press, Politics and Public Policy, the Harvard Innovation Lab (i-lab) and other centers interested in journalism’s evolution.

Nieman-Berkman Klein Fellows are expected to fully participate in both the Nieman and Berkman Klein fellowship programs and serve as a bridge between them. They also are expected to share the results of their work with other fellows and through the Nieman Journalism Lab.

The Nieman-Berkman Klein Fellowship is open to both U.S. and international applicants. Candidates should either be working journalists or work for a news organization in a business, technology, or leadership capacity. Freelance journalists are welcome to apply.

Read about the work of previous Nieman-Berkman Klein Fellows, including Laura Amico, CEO of Glass Eye Media and co-founder of Homicide Watch D.C., and Borja Echevarría de la Gándara, vice president of digital for Univision News.
A Nieman Fellowship is an extraordinary, transformative learning opportunity open to journalists working in all media in every country around the world. Those selected for the program spend two full semesters at Harvard auditing classes with some of the university’s greatest thinkers, participating in Nieman events and collaborating with peers. Nieman Fellows are also able to audit classes at other local universities including MIT and Tufts.

Each year, the Nieman Foundation awards paid fellowships to up to 24 journalists working in print, broadcast, digital and audiovisual media. Journalists and other professionals working in positions that support journalism, such as the business or technology departments of news companies, are welcome to apply for one of the foundation’s short-term Visiting Fellowships.

During their time at Harvard, Nieman Fellows attend seminars, shop talks, master classes and journalism conferences designed to strengthen their professional skills and leadership capabilities, thereby helping to fortify the news industry itself. With the knowledge they gain on campus and the relationships they build, fellows often return to work as journalism entrepreneurs, industry innovators and top managers in their newsrooms.

Am I eligible?
All applicants for academic-year Nieman Fellowships, including freelancers, must be working journalists with at least five years of full-time media experience. Journalism-related work completed as a university student does not count as professional experience. Professionals who work in public relations or in a position whose primary focus is not the media are not eligible to apply.

During the two years prior to applying, an applicant should not have participated in a fellowship lasting four months or longer.

Candidates nominate themselves for Nieman Fellowships by submitting an application and supplementary materials. There are no age limits or academic prerequisites, and a college degree is not required.

After candidates have been chosen, they must agree in writing to honor all leave stipulations made with their employers; to refrain from professional work during the fellowship year, except as approved by the Nieman curator; and to complete work in a minimum of one course per semester and honor commitments made to faculty as a condition of auditing a class. Fellows also must remain in residence in the Cambridge area while classes are in session and participate in all Nieman Foundation programs.

What types of fellowships are available?
Each year, the Nieman Foundation selects up to 12 U.S. citizens and 12 international journalists for full academic-year Nieman Fellowships. All prospective fellows must speak, read and write English fluently.

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