Nieman Foundation and Harvard School of Public Health announce 2008-2009 fellowships in global health reporting

For immediate release: May 19, 2008

Boston, MA — Three journalists have been awarded Nieman Fellowships in Global Health Reporting for the 2008-2009 academic year. The fellowships, a joint initiative between the Center for Health Communication at the Harvard School of Public Health and the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard, are supported by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation with the purpose of addressing the critical need to improve public understanding of health issues that affect the developing world.

The 2009 Nieman Fellows in Global Health Reporting are Kalpana Jain (India), health journalist and former health editor, The Times of India; Margie Mason, Asia-Pacific medical writer, The Associated Press; and Ronke Olawale (Nigeria), senior features correspondent, Guardian Newspapers Limited.

During their Nieman year, these fellows will participate in weekly activities at the Nieman Foundation, pursue a concentrated course of study at Harvard’s School of Public Health, and have access to faculty and courses across the University.

At the conclusion of their academic year at Harvard, the Nieman Global Health Fellows will begin four months of journalistic field work in a developing country. The field work is intended to provide an intensive learning and reporting experience in countries facing the most pressing issues in global health. At the end of their field work, the fellows will be expected to produce work based on this experience and their academic studies. This work could be stories, a case study, or a handbook of best practices related to reporting on health in a developing country.

The 2009 Nieman Fellows in Global Health Reporting were selected by Jay A. Winsten, an associate dean and the Frank Stanton director of the Center for Health Communication at the Harvard School of Public Health; Dr. Harro Albrecht, science/medical editor at Die Zeit and a 2007 Nieman Global Health Fellow; and Stefanie Friedhoff, special projects manager for the Nieman Foundation. Bob Giles, Nieman Foundation curator, was chair of the committee.

These are the third group of Global Health Reporting Fellowships awarded under a three-year, $1.19 million grant to Harvard from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The grant provides for three fellowships each year: one from the United States, one from an European Union nation, and one from a developing nation.

For more information contact: Robin Herman  (617) 432-4752

Established in 1938, the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard administers the oldest midcareer fellowship program for journalists in the world. The fellowships are awarded to working journalists of accomplishment and promise who come to Harvard University for a year of study, seminars and special events. More than 1,200 journalists from 90 countries have received Nieman Fellowships. The Nieman Foundation also publishes the quarterly magazine Nieman Reports and is home to the Nieman Program on Narrative Journalism and the Nieman Watchdog Project, which encourages reporters and editors to monitor and hold accountable those who exert power in all aspects of public life.

The Harvard School of Public Health’s mission is to advance the public’s health through learning, discovery, and communication. The School’s Center for Health Communication has helped pioneer the field of mass communication and public health by researching and analyzing the contributions of mass communication to behavior change and policy, by preparing future health leaders to use communication strategies, and by strengthening communication between journalists and health professionals.