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U-M names Knight-Wallace Journalism Fellows

  • Contact Birgit Rieck, (734) 998-7666, brieck@umich.edu

ANN ARBOR—The Knight-Wallace Fellows program at the University of Michigan has named 12 American and eight international journalists for the academic year 2013-2014.

The group is the 40th to be offered fellowships by the university.

"The mission of the Knight-Wallace Fellows program is to help top talent grow personally as well as professionally, and this year's group shows huge potential to do just that," said Fellowship Director Charles R. Eisendrath, a former TIME correspondent in Washington, London, Paris and Buenos Aires. "They will enrich campus life while at Michigan and their audiences when they return to working journalism."

While on leave from regular duties, Knight-Wallace Fellows pursue customized sabbatical studies and attend twice-weekly seminars at Wallace House, a gift from the late newsman Mike Wallace and his wife Mary. The program also includes training in narrative writing and multiplatform journalism. News tours for the KWF group to Edmonton (Alberta), Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo and Istanbul are an integral part of the program.

Knight-Wallace Fellows receive a stipend of $70,000 for the eight-month academic year, plus full tuition and health care 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:

  • Petra Bartosiewicz, writer (Harper's, LA Magazine, New York Times); The institutionalization of the War on Terror.
  • Jenny Baxter, head of production, BBC News; How can large news organizations adapt for the ongoing digital media revolution?
  • Martin Bidegaray, business reporter, Clarin (Buenos Aires); Dynasties: Families and the newspapers they own.
  • Sylvia Colombo, Buenos Aires correspondent, Folha de Sao Paulo; The final years of the Brazilian Monarchy.
  • Patrick Coolican, columnist, Las Vegas Sun; Sports and gambling.
  • Laura Holson, staff writer, New York Times; Creation and promotion of digital storytelling.
  • Michael Innes, senior journalist, BBC World Service; The use of Syrian citizen journalists by international media outlets.
  • Si-haeng Jeong, staff writer, World News Desk, Chosun Ilbo (Seoul); Women's leadership in Korean and international politics.
  • Bonney Kapp, producer, CBS News; The impact of the proliferation of news outlets on presidential politics.
  • Ruhullah Khapalwak, correspondent (CNN, New York Times, Al Jazeera English); The effects of the digital revolution on journalism in the developing world.
  • Louisa Lim, Beijing correspondent, NPR; China's post-Tiananmen political development: Can its political system survive?
  • Curt Nickisch, reporter, WBUR (Boston); Can technological education stop displacing American middle-class jobs?
  • Marcia Pledger, columnist, The Plain Dealer (Cleveland); Business etiquette.
  • Cynthia Rodriguez, reporter, WNYC (New York Public Radio); The connection between poverty and mental illness in the U.S. and abroad.
  • Megha Satyanarayana, reporter, Detroit Free Press; Genetically modified foods: The fact and fiction of what we eat.
  • Toni Sciarretta, senior financial journalist, Folha de Sao Paulo; Brazil's financial infrastructure.
  • Laura Starechski, radio producer, State of the Re-Union; American perpetrators and media coverage of violence.
  • Alex Stone, writer and author (New York Times, Wall Street Journal, NPR); The science of addiction.
  • Scott Tong, correspondent, Market Place Public Radio; Comparative innovation ecosystems and innovation history in China.
  • James Wellford, photo editor (formerly Newsweek); A news platform focused on words and experiences of photojournalists.

Fellows were selected by Eisendrath; John Costa, editor-in-chief, Western Communications and editor, The (Bend, Ore.) Bulletin; Rachel Dry, current Knight-Wallace Fellow and deputy editor, Washington Post; Ford Fessenden, graphics editor, New York Times); Kate Linebaugh, reporter, Wall Street Journal; Bobbi Low, U-M professor of natural resources and environment; Birgit Rieck, assistant director, Knight-Wallace Fellows); Carl Simon, U-M professor of mathematics and complex systems; and Ellen Soeteber, chair of the advisory board at the Alfred Friendly Press Fellowships and former editor, St. Louis Post-Dispatch.