Nigerian journalist, 18 others, win prestigious Knight-Wallace fellowship

Dayo Aiyetan, Executive Director, International Center for Investigative Reporting (Abuja, Nigeria)

The University of Michigan has named its Knight-Wallace Journalism Fellows for the 2017-2018 academic year. The group, which includes 12 American and seven international journalists, is the 44th class of journalism fellows at the University.

Among the international journalists named are Dayo Aiyetan, Executive Director, International Center for Investigative Reporting, Abuja, Nigeria.

“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 the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor 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 programme 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:

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Dayo Aiyetan, Executive Director, International Center for Investigative Reporting (Abuja, Nigeria). Advancing best practices for whistle blowing platforms to support investigative reporting in Nigeria

Alberto Arce, Independent Journalist (Mexico City, Mexico). 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, N.Y.). 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, Times Picayune (New Orleans, La.). Race, class, gender and the present relevance of home economics class

Jennifer Guerra, Senior Reporter, Michigan Radio (Ann Arbor, Mich.). Intergroup relations: The role and responsibility of public media in fostering civil discourse

Matthew Higgins, Independent Sports Writer (Amherst, N.Y.). The interplay between soccer, status and identity among young refugees

Mark Magnier, China Economics Editor, The Wall Street Journal (Beijing, China). Anti-globalization and what it means for China’s expanding soft power

Marcelo Moreira, Chief of Special Projects, Globo TV (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil). New approaches to ending violence against journalists

Sang-hun Oh, Senior Reporter, The 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, N.Y.). Reaching beyond natural audiences: Rebuilding media credibility through technology

John Pendygraft, Staff Photographer, Tampa Bay Times (Tampa Bay, Fla.). Elevating investigative journalism projects through techniques of anthropology and feature length filmmaking

John Shields, Commissioning Editor, “Today” at BBC Radio 4 (London, England). 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, Brazil). New models to organize and present science and health news

Lisa Wangsness, Religion Reporter, The Boston Globe (Boston, Mass.). Emergent cultural and political issues in American Muslim communities

Robert Yoon, Director of Political Research, CNN (Washington, D.C.). Revamping how news organizations collect and disseminate election results and data

The selection committee included Wallace House Director Lynette Clemetson; Associate Director Birgit Rieck; Knight-Wallace Alumni Ford Fessenden (Graphics Editor, The New York Times), Teresa Frontado (Digital Director, WLRN, Miami), Kate Linebaugh (East Coast Bureau Chief, The Wall Street Journal), Austin Ramzy (Asia Correspondent, The New York Times) and Yvonne Simon(Assistant News Director at CBS 13, Sacramento); and University of Michigan Professors Bobbi Low(Natural Resources and Environment) and Carl Simon (Mathematics, Complex Systems and Public Policy).

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