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, two Bart Richards Awards for Media Criticism, two Eddie Awards, and two EPPY Awards, one for best digital magazine and one for best web redesign / relaunch.
The Newsrooms We Need Now
Print design and video by Dan Zedek
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’
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
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
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
August 30, 2019
With communication restrictions creating dueling narratives of what's happening, Kashmiri journalists are fighting to keep people informed
November 13, 2018
Avoiding the pitfalls of hidden biases can lead to better story selection and more inclusive reporting
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
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
From heady journals to Tumblr manifestos, innovation in art criticism is happening outside the mainstream
To attract young viewers, stations are going digital-first, crowdsourcing reporting, experimenting with augmented reality, and injecting more personality into the news
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
Covering immigration requires a multidisciplinary approach to reporting, from economics to politics to education
How newsroom leaders can create workplaces that truly support women
A look at news outlets bringing innovation, urgency and new audiences to stories on climate change
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.
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
How algorithms are helping reporters expand coverage, engage audiences, and respond to breaking news
The case for more inclusive newsrooms
Why we need more female newsroom leaders
A reporter and a programmer on what social media coverage of the Boston bombings means for journalism
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.
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.
November 21, 2005
Can France bring order to the streets and hope to the restive minorities of the banlieues?
November 14, 2005
Nights of mayhem scorch France's troubled banlieues and blacken the country's image of itself
August 29, 2005
writer, cover story
As national borders blur, the Continent's original minorities are fighting to reclaim their ancient cultures and identities
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
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
September 13, 2004
Inside the Beslan Siege
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
Inside the Madrid train bombings
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.
November 4, 2002
BBC World Service
May 17, 2002
Patriotic pressure and journalistic self-censorship post-9/11
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
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
In the Fast Lane
Seven years after regaining independence, Estonia is well on its way to joining the E.U.
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.
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?
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
December 9, 1997
A conversation about some of the articles from Time's The New Age of Discovery special issue
October 12, 1998
writer, cover story
Europe’s new left must bring its lofty rhetoric down to earth
July 27, 1998
writer, cover story
Too much noise is driving people mad
July 7, 1997
writer, cover story
Half the world’s languages are faced with extinction. Does it matter?
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.
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.
I was a freelance writer for PopSci during 2007-2010.
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
Big Picture Science
December 19, 2010
Skeptic Check: Cell Phone Danger
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?
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
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
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
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 surprising benefits of being bored
One man's odyssey to retrace and reduce his water footprint
How persistence makes us who we are
How doubt can lead to greater intimacy, enhanced self- confidence and a deeper sense of spirituality
Exploring the promise and the perils of the new unconscious
It's followers who have solutions to our most challenging social and political problems
How dissent spurs innovation, creativity, and social justice
One man's odyssey to retrace and reduce his soil footprint
Why We Laugh
A special issue devoted to all things jesting and jocular
I Laugh, Therefore I am
Grins and giggles may hold the key to our social evolution
Failing is among life's least pleasant experiences, but nothing else is as essential to success
The Silence Issue
Everything you always wanted to know about peace and quiet
Noise pollution can damage your health and shatter your piece of mind. here's how to turn it down