Nieman Reports

From 2013 to 2023, I was deputy curator at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard and editor of Nieman Reports, which covers thought leadership in journalism. During my tenure, Nieman Reports won, among other awards, five Mirror Awards recognizing excellence in media industry reporting and two Bart Richards Awards for Media Criticism.

Forced to Flee: How Exiled Journalists Hold the Powerful to Account

March 20, 2023

As press freedoms around the globe erode, journalists are building networks outside their home countries to continue reporting

Open-Source Journalism in a Wired World

December 7, 2022

Spurred by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, open-source investigations are being integrated into standard newsroom practice

Political Coverage is Changing to Get Beyond ‘Us Versus Them’

September 14, 2022

A more nuanced depiction of voters and issues can help newsrooms better report on elections and political campaigns


Reporting at Risk

From Kashmir to Russia to Mexico and beyond, journalism is under threat. Essays by journalists who are managing to do vital independent reporting — often at great personal risk


A “Kiss of Freedom” for Turkey’s Press

August 15, 2022

Independent journalists are stubbornly persisting in digital formats from newsletters to videos to podcasts


How Latin American Journalists Are Using Collaborations To Get Around Censorship Laws

August 3, 2022

Silence is not an option


In Ghana, Only a Handful of Journalists Are Able To Do Critical Reporting

July 19, 2022

On paper, Ghana is a thriving democracy. On the ground, journalists do not have the freedom to do their work


The Myanmar Junta’s Wanton Violence Is Forcing Journalists to Flee

July 13, 2022

Exiled reporters are finding it difficult to reach sources back home, who are increasingly afraid to talk


What It’s Like Working in the Deadliest Country in the World for Journalists

July 12, 2022

In Mexico, journalists are trapped between physical threats and political disputes


With Dom, We All Died a Little Bit

July 6, 2022

The murder of a veteran journalist covering the vulnerable in the Amazon has reverberated among reporters in Brazil


“We Should Side with Democracy:” Why the War in Ukraine is Existential for Baltic Journalists

June 30, 2022

Thirty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Baltic states’ independent media reckon with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine


Tunisian Journalists Face Police Intimidation and Jail Time for Doing Our Jobs

June 29, 2022

As President Kais Saied consolidates his grip on power, Tunisia — and its media — are sliding backward from hard-won democratic gains


In the Philippines, Will Marcos Give the Media Hell Like Duterte Did?

June 23, 2022

The rise of hyper-partisan influencers has made it easier for those seeking power to control the flow of information


In Turkey, Erdoğan’s Crackdown on the Free Press Intensifies

June 22, 2022

As the country prepares for next year’s elections, the government is making it even harder for independent journalists


I witnessed Orbán crack down on Hungary’s free press. Here’s my advice to journalists facing similar threats

June 9, 2022

When you come under attack as a journalist, don’t make yourself the center of the story


Judges, Too, Can Be Enemies of the Press

June 1, 2022

In Malaysia, news organizations can find themselves on the losing end of expensive lawsuits


Piercing Putin’s Truth Blockade

May 27, 2022

A handful of courageous Russian journalists are fighting on the frontline of an information war. It is a battle that affects us all


In Mexico, A Mix of Violence and Economics Threatens Local News Organizations

April 26, 2022

Newspapers once had the financial strength to resist pressure from politicians looking for favorable coverage. That independence is in danger

Nieman Reports - Spring 2022 - cover
Nieman Reports - Spring 2022


Don’t Look Away: Photojournalists Are Documenting the Brutality of Russia’s War in Ukraine

April 15, 2022

There are layers to bearing witness, from the war's victims, to journalists in the field, to readers like you


Covering The War in Ukraine: “The Putin Regime Doesn’t Want Eye Witnesses”

March 28, 2022

Prior to the invasion, few Ukrainian journalists had experience working in conflict zones. Now the war has come to their homes


Reporting in Ukraine: “This War is Unpredictable and Deadly Like No Other”

March 21, 2022

Russia’s brutally simple Ukraine strategy poses new risks for journalists


Putin Shuts Down Russia’s Free Press for Reporting Accurately on Ukraine

March 9, 2022

The crackdown on independent news outlets takes Russia back to the Soviet era


Fighting for A Free Press in Ukraine — and Beyond

March 4, 2022

As Ukrainians defend their country against the Russian invasion, journalists there and in other post-Soviet states guard their fragile press freedoms


Ukrainian Journalists Risk Everything to Stand Up to Putin

March 2, 2022

Russia’s history of suppressing independent media at home offers clues about what might happen in Ukraine


Call Out Bigotry in Reporting on the Ukraine Invasion

February 28, 2002

How journalists cover armed conflict shouldn’t hinge on the color of people’s skin or the color of their hair

The Media and the Ballot Box: Confronting 21st Century Voter Suppression

December 15, 2021

As more states restrict ballot access, news outlets must invest in consistent voting rights reporting that cuts through lies, distortion, and disinformation

In Europe, Podcasters of Color Make Their Own Space for Conversations on Race

October 21, 2021

Podcasts are popping up across the continent to fill the coverage void of race and racism in mainstream media

Lessons from the Pandemic

Summer-Fall 2021

Can — or should — journalism return to a pre-pandemic “normal?”


In India, the Last Few Bastions Of The Free Press Stand Guard Against Rising Authoritarianism

September 20, 2021

How Indian newsrooms are holding the Modi government to account

The Real Meaning of “He’s No Angel” for Journalism

July 14, 2021

Why an artist’s angelic rendering of George Floyd could help change the way journalists describe victims of police violence

Journalism in Myanmar: “An Apocalypse for The Media”

June 18, 2021

Myanmar’s former ‘outlaw’ journalists lead the battle for a free press

Alexei Navalny, Social Media, and the State of the Free Press in Russia

June 10, 2021

The space for independent Russian journalism is shrinking, but a handful of small outlets still offer an alternative to state media

Serving the Audiences Mainstream Newsrooms Don’t

May 19,2021

How the pandemic, anti-police brutality protests, and Atlanta spa shootings starkly illustrate the need for community and immigrant-serving media outlets

Covering Extremism: “As Exhausting a Beat as It Is Important”

March 30, 2021

Reporters who have long covered the far right offer advice — and warnings — for where reporting on white nationalism and conspiracy theories should go from here

In India, Journalists “Are Fighting For Whether Truth is Meaningful or Not”

February 25, 2021

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is cracking down on the free press — and the free press is pushing back

Spanning Beats, Environmental Justice Reporting Influences Every Story

February 3, 2021

By connecting systemic inequities to environmental harms, environmental justice reporting covers everything from race and housing to healthcare and immigration

Spurred by Black Lives Matter, Coverage of Police Violence Is Changing

January 28, 2021

Newsrooms are moving away from privileging police accounts over those of police violence victims

What's Next...

Winter 2021



The Extremist Mob at the U.S. Capitol was America, Too


For Political Reporters, The Post-Trump Era Poses Practical—and Existential—Questions


Challenges and Possible Solutions to Winning Back Trust in Journalism Post-Trump


How Journalists Beyond the U.S. Fight Back Against Government Intimidation

The Newsrooms We Need Now

Fall 2020


Print design and video by Dan Zedek


5 Things I Learned as an AAPI Engagement Editor Covering Anti-Asian Hate


True Newsroom Diversity Must Account for Disability Status, Too


With Fresh Start, The Boston Globe Weighs News Value of Older Articles Versus Individual Harm


To Change Its Future, The Kansas City Star Examined Its Racist Past


How Can Journalists Better Serve Immigrant Communities?


Don’t Exoticize Latino Voters; Report on Them as Americans


It’s Time to Cover Black Women as the Norm and Not the “Other”


To Move Forward on Racial Equity, Newsrooms Need to Reckon with Their Pasts


Journalists Can Help People Tell Their Own Stories by Talking Less, Listening More


Newsrooms Should Make Space for Emotions


Before You Can Fix Your Newsroom, You Need to Fix Your Life


Journalists Need to Remember that Not All News Readers are White


Is Movement  Journalism What’s Needed During this Reckoning over Race and Inequality?


In Photographing Social Justice Protests, Respect Means ‘Looking Again’

Racial Reckoning

Summer 2020


George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and One Journalist’s Painfully Honest Self-Examination on Racism


How Nimble, Mission-driven Outlets Are Telling Stories about — and for — Black Communities


Learning from Little Rock: A Look at Black Lives Matter Protests and the Role of Local News


Protest Photography Can Be a Powerful Tool For and Against Black Lives Matter


Refugee Journalists Bring Access to Stories that Would Otherwise Be Missed


Reporting and Resilience: How Journalists Are Managing Their Mental Health


The Impact of the Coronavirus on Journalism

Spring 2020


Without a Campaign to Cover, Reporters Shift to Covering the Voting Process Itself


COVID-19 is threatening to extinguish local media — and fueling bold proposals to fund its long-term future


How coverage of the coronavirus in Italy, Spain, France, and Germany has impacted trust in news outlets


Three Ways To Counter Authoritarian Overreach During the Coronavirus Pandemic


Speculative Journalism can help audiences think about the future, but critics question if integrating science fiction into journalism is responsible


COVID-19, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear, and the Future of Local News


Lessons from coronavirus coverage for the next health crisis story—climate change


Journalism and Prediction during the Coronavirus Pandemic


The Hong Kong Protests are Also a Fight for a Free Press

October 10, 2019

Faced with new levels of political pressure and physical threat, Hong Kong’s independent news outlets respond with intrepid reporting and innovative fundraising


Amidst Crackdowns, Kashmiri Journalists Struggle to Report

August 30, 2019

With communication restrictions creating dueling narratives of what's happening, Kashmiri journalists are fighting to keep people informed

How Implicit Bias Works in Journalism

November 13, 2018

Avoiding the pitfalls of hidden biases can lead to better story selection and more inclusive reporting

The Nieman 80

October, 2018

On the 80th anniversary of the Nieman Foundation, Nieman Fellows reflect on the journalism that’s left an indelible mark on them and their careers


"What Ever Happened to the Free Press?”

August 16, 2018

The Nieman Foundation is joining more than 300 news outlets publishing editorials on Aug. 16 in support of freedom of the press, an effort initiated by The Boston Globe

Critics and Online Outlets Leading the Vanguard in Arts Writing

May 2018

From heady journals to Tumblr manifestos, innovation in art criticism is happening outside the mainstream

Reinventing Local TV News

April 2018

To attract young viewers, stations are going digital-first, crowdsourcing reporting, experimenting with augmented reality, and injecting more personality into the news


The Race Beat, Revisited

January 2018

At a time when political and social divisions over race are constantly in the headlines, news outlets are striving to cover the issue with accuracy and sensitivity

"Almost Everyone, On Every Beat, Becomes an Immigration Reporter at Some Point"

December 2017

Covering immigration requires a multidisciplinary approach to reporting, from economics to politics to education


Fall 2017

How newsroom leaders can create workplaces that truly support women


Covering Climate Change, with Urgency and Creativity

August 2017

A look at news outlets bringing innovation, urgency and new audiences to stories on climate change

"A mass shooting, only in slow motion"

June 2017

Newsrooms are moving away from a focus on mass shootings to tell more nuanced stories about the people and communities marred by gun violence
For this piece, Glenn Jeffers won a SPJ Sigma Delta Chi Award for magazine writing.

Where Are the Mothers?

Summer 2017

If news organizations want to attract and retain millennial journalists, it's essential that they work to better meet the needs of parents and create better work-life balance for all employees

What Journalists Must Do Next:
Reporting in the Age of Trump

Fall 2016


Automation in the Newsroom

Summer 2015

How algorithms are helping reporters expand coverage, engage audiences, and respond to breaking news

Race and Reporting

Spring 2015

The case for more inclusive newsrooms


Where Are the Women?

Summer 2014

Why we need more female newsroom leaders

The State of Journalism in China

Winter 2014


Nieman's 75th Anniversary

Summer-Fall 2013

Organize the Noise: Tweeting Live from the Boston Manhunt

Spring 2013

A reporter and a programmer on what social media coverage of the Boston bombings means for journalism


Related Forum

The Nieman Foundation

May 1, 2013

Shortly after the Boston Marathon bombings, the Nieman Foundation convened a round table conversation on the role of Twitter during coverage. Speakers included Boston Globe deputy managing editor for local news Jennifer Peter; Globe reporter and 2013 Nieman Fellow David Abel; Cheryl Fiandaca, chief of public information for the Boston Police Department; Seth Mnookin, co-director of MIT's Graduate Program in Science Writing; Callie Crossley, host of WGBH's "Under the Radar"; and The Washington Post's director of digital content David Beard. The event was introduced by Nieman Foundation curator Ann Marie Lipinski and moderated by James Geary, Nieman's deputy curator.

The World Weekly

From September through December of 2012, I was the founding editor-in-chief of The World Weekly, a freemium international news magazine combining original journalism with curated content from the best publications around the world. I co-developed the magazine's editorial formula and edited the first three issues. You can read my inaugural editor's letter.

Time Magazine

I worked for TIME from 1993-2006, first as a Netherlands-based stringer, then as a writer, senior editor, founding editor of, deputy editor and ultimately as Europe Editor, responsible for the European edition of the magazine.

The Other Face of France

November 21, 2005

Can France bring order to the streets and hope to the restive minorities of the banlieues?

Streets of Fire

November 14, 2005

Nights of mayhem scorch France's troubled banlieues and blacken the country's image of itself

The Lost Tribes of Europe

August 29, 2005

writer, cover story
As national borders blur, the Continent's original minorities are fighting to reclaim their ancient cultures and identities

No Way Out

August 8, 2005

After a massive manhunt, Britain's suspected suicide bombers are nabbed. But that doesn't mean the threat of more attacks is over

Don't Mention the War

May 9, 2005

Tony Blair looks set to win what he's said will be his last campaign. But for many, the Iraq war has tarnished his legacy

Slaughter of the Innocents

September 13, 2004

senior editor
Inside the Beslan Siege

Everyman's Odyssey

July 5, 2004

James Geary joins a crowd of James Joyce devotees on a Bloomsday trek through Dublin in pursuit of the elusive, allusive soul of Ulysses

A Strike at Europe's Heart

March 22, 2004

senior editor
Inside the Madrid train bombings

Living with Risk

July 28, 2003

writer, cover story
Science can pinpoint potential dangers from GM foods, mobile phones and household chemicals but can't tell us if those risks are real. What's a consumer to do?

This article won the 2004 British Environment and Media Award.

Inside the Moscow Siege

November 4, 2002
senior editor


BBC World Service
May 17, 2002
News Hour
Patriotic pressure and journalistic self-censorship post-9/11

The Body Electric

March 11, 2002

Scientists are melding computer chips with the human nervous system, allowing people to extend, enhance and repair their senses

Fast Forward Europe

Special Issue, Winter 2000–2001

Editor's Letter

A Brief History of the Higgs Hunt

November 13, 2000

Scientists in Switzerland may have solved one of the great mysteries of particle physics. Why should we care?

Visions of Europe

Special Issue, Winter 1998–1999


Editor's Letter


In the Fast Lane
Seven years after regaining independence, Estonia is well on its way to joining the E.U.


A Delicate Balance


Related Interview

MDF1 Direkt
Magdeburg, Germany
May 1999


In the Visions of Europe special issue, Time included Magdeburg, Germany on a map of potential flashpoints for conflict, due to its record of far-right violence. This outraged the mayor, Wilhelm Polte, and many others in the city. Mayor Polte invited me to visit Magdeburg to see for myself. I accepted his invitation and wrote this piece as a result. Mayor Polte neglected to inform me that he had arranged for local news teams to be present at our meeting with residents and officials. So in this segment I am clarifying Time's coverage and explaining that the piece was based on reporting by Time staff and stringers in Germany, not by journalists in New York, which the mayor and others thought was the case. Unfortunately, the German translation of my remarks makes it sound like I was distancing Time from the reporting; I was not. In fact, I was defending the reporting because it was based on local experience and local knowledge from Time journalists in Germany.

The New Age of Discovery

Special Issue, Winter 1997–1998


In the Realm of the Senses
Scientists are using advanced computer technologies to extend, enhance and repair the power of the senses. I later expanded on the research in this article for my first book, The Body Electric.


The Undiscovered Country
Death remains life’s ultimate riddle, but is it inevitable?

Related Interviews


BBC Wiltshire
February 11, 1998
The Afternoon Show

A Doctor Who-themed, time-traveling tour of some of the issues raised and people featured (including Sir John Maddox about 25 minutes in) in Time's The New Age of Discovery special issue


LBC Radio
December 9, 1997

A conversation about some of the articles from Time's The New Age of Discovery special issue​

Hot Air?

October 12, 1998

writer, cover story
Europe’s new left must bring its lofty rhetoric down to earth

Mad About the Noise

July 27, 1998

writer, cover story
Too much noise is driving people mad

Back to Babel

July 7, 1997

writer, cover story
Half the world’s languages are faced with extinction. Does it matter?

Total Recall

May 5, 1997

writer, cover story
Scientists are beginning to grasp how memories are made and stored in the brain. Can "memory drugs" be far behind?

This was my first cover story for Time, and to mark the occasion my son, Gilles, and I were the subject of this issue's editor's letter.

No Stone Unthrown

June 7, 1993


This is my first appearance in Time magazine. Having traveled to Albania on assignment for another title, I stumbled across the opening of the first privately-owned art gallery in the country since the fall of the Stalinist regime. This piece was based on my reporting of the event, and I received this fax of thanks from the gallery owner after I sent him a copy of the article.

Popular Science

I was a freelance writer for PopSci during 2007-2010.

Cell Phones and Cancer

May 17, 2010
The Interphone study finds no increase in risk but the long-term effects of prolonged cell phone use require further study and will spark fresh controversy

Related Interviews


Big Picture Science
December 19, 2010
Skeptic Check: Cell Phone Danger


Business Matters
November 10th, 2010
Are Cell Phones Dangerous?


On The Media
May 21, 2010
Cell Phone Study Provides Few Answers
How can one study produce so many conflicting reports?


March 2010
Your cell phone does not in itself cause cancer. But in the daily sea of radiation we all travel, there may be subtler dangers at work

Who Protects the Internet?

April 2009
Pull up the wrong undersea cable and the Internet goes dark in Berlin or Dubai. Meet the people who stand guard over the World Wide Web

Podcast: Who Protects the Internet?

March 18, 2009
A podcast of PopSci's Cocktail Party Science, in which host Chuck Cage discusses protecting the Internet with Deputy Editor Jake Ward and James Geary

The Litvinenko Assassination

June 2007
Move over weapons of mass destruction; make way for targeted nuclear terrorism
This article appears in The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2008

Ode / The Intelligent Optimist

I was editor of Ode / The Intelligent Optimist, a magazine about positive change, from 2006 to 2012. During my tenure, Ode won three gold Eddies and a silver Eddie in the Folio awards and three Maggies in the Western Publishers Association awards.

The Unbearable Lightness of Boredom

July-Aug. 2013
The surprising benefits of being bored

Walking on Water

Jan.-Feb. 2013
One man's odyssey to retrace and reduce his water footprint

True Grit

Nov.-Dec. 2012
How persistence makes us who we are

Sure Enough

July-Aug. 2012
How doubt can lead to greater intimacy, enhanced self- confidence and a deeper sense of spirituality

Hidden Persuaders

May-June 2012
Exploring the promise and the perils of the new unconscious

Life Without Leaders

Jan.-Feb. 2012
It's followers who have solutions to our most challenging social and political problems

The Wisdom of One

July-Aug. 2010
How dissent spurs innovation, creativity, and social justice

The Joy of Dirt

March 2010
One man's odyssey to retrace and reduce his soil footprint

Why We Laugh

Aug. 2009
A special issue devoted to all things jesting and jocular


In the Beginning Was the Joke


Laughter and Learning


I Laugh, Therefore I am
Grins and giggles may hold the key to our social evolution

In Praise of Failure

Oct. 2008
Failing is among life's least pleasant experiences, but nothing else is as essential to success

The Silence Issue

July-Aug. 2008
Everything you always wanted to know about peace and quiet


Ode to the Ear


Quiet, Please!
Noise pollution can damage your health and shatter your piece of mind. here's how to turn it down