U-M names Knight-Wallace Journalism Fellows

May 1, 2017
Birgit Rieck, 734-998-7666, brieck@umich.edu

ANN ARBOR—The University of Michigan’s Knight-Wallace Journalism Fellows for the 2017-18 academic year—its 44th class of fellows—includes 12 American and seven international journalists.

“The international and domestic scope of this class of fellows and the range of interests and expertise they bring will foster a rich environment for exploration and problem solving,” said Wallace House director Lynette Clemetson.

“Supporting the essential work of journalists is of vital importance for a democratic society. We are pleased to provide this talented group the time and resources to sharpen their craft and to develop ideas that will bolster journalism excellence and innovation.”

Knight-Wallace Fellows spend an academic year at U-M to pursue individual study plans and to engage in collaborative learning through fellowship seminars, training workshops and travel. Through twice-weekly seminars, fellows engage with visiting journalists, eminent scholars and creative thinkers from a range of fields.

Weeklong international news tours provide broader context to political, economic and social forces shaping their fields of study, and to trends and challenges facing journalism in other countries. In recent years, the program has visited South Korea, Brazil, Turkey, Argentina and Russia.

The program is based at Wallace House, a gift from the late newsman Mike Wallace and his wife, Mary. Knight-Wallace Fellows receive a stipend of $70,000 for the eight-month academic year plus full tuition and health insurance. The program is entirely funded through endowment gifts by foundations, news organizations and individuals committed to improving the quality of information reaching the public.

Fellows and their study projects are:

  • Dayo Aiyetan, executive director, International Center for Investigative Reporting (Abuja, Nigeria). Advancing best practices for whistleblowing platforms to support investigative reporting in Nigeria.
  • Alberto Arce, independent journalist (Mexico City). Understanding Central America as the world’s deadliest peacetime region.
  • Regina Boone, staff photographer, Richmond Free Press (Richmond, Va.). Family, legacy and the viability of black newspapers.
  • Candice Choi, food industry writer, Associated Press (New York). Uncovering the social and corporate forces that shape our eating habits.
  • Chitrangada Choudhury, independent journalist (Orissa, India). Local rights and the role of informed consent in ecological justice and sustainability.
  • Danielle Dreilinger, reporter, NOLA.com/Times Picayune (New Orleans). Race, class, gender and the present relevance of home economics class.
  • Jennifer Guerra, senior reporter, Michigan Radio (Ann Arbor). Intergroup relations: The role and responsibility of public media.
  • Matthew Higgins, independent sports writer (Amherst, N.Y.). The interplay between soccer, status and identity among young refugees.
  • Mark Magnier, China economics editor, Wall Street Journal (Beijing). Anti-globalization and what it means for China’s expanding soft power.
  • Marcelo Moreira, chief of special projects, Globo TV (Rio de Janeiro). New approaches to ending violence against journalists.
  • Sang-hun Oh, senior reporter, Korea Economic Daily (Seoul, South Korea). Pension funds and university funds: investment trends in the U.S.
  • Lois Parshley, independent writer and photographer (Portland, Ore.). Emerging diseases and new approaches to long-form science journalism.
  • Azi Paybarah, senior reporter, Politico (New York). Reaching beyond natural audiences: rebuilding media credibility through technology.
  • John Pendygraft, staff photographer, Tampa Bay Times (St. Petersburg, Fla.). Elevating investigative journalism projects through techniques of anthropology and feature length filmmaking
  • John Shields, commissioning editor, “Today” at BBC Radio 4 (London). Addressing and mitigating the loss of public trust in broadcast media.
  • Amy Toensing, independent photojournalist (New Paltz, N.Y.). New ways to teach and tell stories of women through photos and documentaries.
  • Mariana Versolato, science and health editor, Folha de São Paulo (São Paulo). New models to organize and present science and health news.
  • Lisa Wangsness, religion reporter, Boston Globe (Boston). Emergent cultural and political issues in American Muslim communities.
  • Robert Yoon, director of political research, CNN (Washington). Revamping how news organizations collect and disseminate election results and data.

The selection committee included Wallace House director Lynette Clemetson and associate director Birgit Rieck; Knight-Wallace alumnus Ford Fessenden (graphics editor, New York Times), Teresa Frontado (digital director, WLRN, Miami), Kate Linebaugh (East Coast bureau chief, Wall Street Journal), Austin Ramzy, (Asia correspondent, New York Times) and Yvonne Simon (assistant news director, CBS 13, Sacramento); and U-M professors Bobbi Low (natural resources and environment) and Carl Simon (mathematics, complex systems and public policy).


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