Rappler managing editor Glenda Gloria named Nieman Fellow at Harvard

Rappler managing editor Glenda M. Gloria has been selected as a Nieman Fellow at Harvard for the academic year that begins in September this year, the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard announced on Tuesday, May 2.

Gloria joins 23 other journalists from around the world – news executives, reporters, writers, correspondents, editors, radio and TV producers, a photographer, and a director of audience engagement – who will be members of Nieman class of 2018, the foundation said.

The foundation said Gloria, whose time at Harvard is sponsored by the Sandra Burton Scholarship Fund for Filipino Journalists, will study the evolution of journalism and democracy at this time of rapid technological change, and changing relationships between journalists, citizens, and democratic institutions.

In addition to taking classes during their time at Harvard, fellows attend Nieman seminars, workshops and master classes and work on their research with Harvard scholars and other leading thinkers in the Cambridge area.

"Many of the challenges we face have global roots and implications," wrote Rappler CEO and executive editor Maria Ressa in an email to the Rappler team. "Glenda's time in Harvard will be strategic for Rappler, placing her in the middle of thought leaders on journalism, technology, and civic engagement – our 3 pillars."

In selecting the Nieman class of 2018, Nieman Foundation curator Ann Marie Lipinski, a 1990 Nieman Fellow, was joined by Caroline Elkins, professor of history and African and African American studies at Harvard University; Debra Adams Simmons, most recently the vice president of news development at Advance Local and a 2016 Nieman Fellow; Brett Anderson, a restaurant critic and features writer at The Times-Picayune in New Orleans and a 2013 Nieman Fellow; and James Geary, Nieman’s deputy curator and a 2012 Nieman Fellow.

The Nieman Foundation has educated more than 1,500 accomplished journalists from 96 countries since 1938. The fellowship has expanded in recent years to include new collaborative and experimental programs.

Aside from Gloria, the other international Nieman Fellows in the class of 2018 and their study plans are the following:

1. Sebastián Escalón (Guatemala), a reporter at Plaza Pública, a Guatemala City-based online news site, will study the Alliance for Prosperity Plan, a new policy trying to address the migration crisis in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. As the 2018 Knight Latin American Nieman Fellow, his fellowship is supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

2. Lenka Kabrhelova (Czech Republic), a US correspondent for Czech Radio, the country’s main public radio broadcasting network, will study the polarization of the media environment and ways to engage diverse audiences in an environment of eroding trust in the traditional media.

3. Sipho Kings (South Africa), the environment reporter at the Mail & Guardian in Johannesburg, will examine how Africa’s carbon emitters plan to lower their emissions and help populations adapt to the changing climate. The research will compare plans to national capabilities and the feasibility of each, making alternate recommendations where possible.

4. Christine Mungai (Kenya), editor of Africapedia, Ltd., a web publication offering data on key trends and the major issues in the news in Africa, plans to study the relationship between torture, silence, repression and how that affects a country’s political imagination and media reporting.

5. Frederik Obermaier (Germany), an investigative reporter at the Süddeutsche Zeitung, will study how to fight the global implications of tax havens with journalistic means, with a particular focus on the role of banks, lawyers, wealth managers and consulting firms.

6. Michael Petrou (Canada), a freelance foreign correspondent, will study the media environment in the contested political spaces of Eastern Europe and elsewhere. He will research how Russia and Western nations try to shape accepted narratives and the democratizing opportunities presented by new technologies and media platforms. He is the 2018 Martin Wise Goodman Canadian Nieman Fellow, sponsored by the Martin Wise Goodman Trust.

7. João Pina (Portugal) a photographer with a broad international portfolio, will study the importance and impact of archival photography and the way its juxtaposition with current images can increase storytelling impact and outreach.

8. María Ramírez (Spain), a reporter and entrepreneur who covers US politics for Univision and co-founded a bot called Politbot, will study how to develop better and personalized tools to reach an audience skeptical about media in the age of populism and fake news.

9. Shalini Singh (India), a Delhi-based correspondent for the newsmagazine The Week, will focus on expanding a multimedia digital repository of information about the lives, languages and cultures of the 833 million people in India’s countryside who are largely ignored by mainstream media.

10. Mat Skene (UK), executive producer of Al Jazeera’s current affairs program Fault Lines, will study how the conventions of Western television media have led to a dominant form of storytelling in journalism and will explore new alternatives.

11. Bonny Symons-Brown (Australia), a supervising producer and reporter for ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation), will study the intersection of Islam, democracy and human rights, drawing comparisons between Indonesia and the rest of the Muslim world.