Journalism

Nieman Reports

I edit this website and quarterly print publication from the Nieman Foundation covering thought leadership in journalism. During my tenure, Nieman Reports has won, among other awards, three Mirror Awards, the Bart Richards Award for Media Criticism, two Eddie Awards, and two EPPY Awards, one for best digital magazine and one for best web redesign / relaunch.


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 timeeurope.com, deputy editor and ultimately as Europe Editor, responsible for the European edition of the magazine.


The Other Face of France

November 21, 2005

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

 


Streets of Fire

November 14, 2005

editor
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

editor
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

editor
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

writer
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

 

 

Interview

 

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


The Body Electric

March 11, 2002

writer
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

Editor's Letter


A Brief History of the Higgs Hunt

November 13, 2000

writer
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

Editor's Letter

 

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

 

 
 

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
editor

 

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
Drivetime

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

reporter

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?


Disconnected

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