Shorenstein Center Welcomes Distinguished Journalists, News Anchor and Internet Visionary for Fall 2010

Contact: Edie Holway
Phone: 617-495-8209
Date: August 30, 2010

CAMBRIDGE, MA — The Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government will be enriched by new Fellows, a Writer-in-Residence and visiting faculty this Fall.

One of the most celebrated non-fiction writers of our time, Tracy Kidder, will be the first A.M. Rosenthal Writer-in-Residence. Kidder won the Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction, the National Book Award, and the Robert F. Kennedy Award. He is the author of several nonfiction books including The Soul of a New Machine, Hometown, My Detachment, Mountains Beyond Mountains and Strength in What Remains. The A.M. Rosenthal Writer-in-Residence Program is designed to bring professional nonfiction writers to the Shorenstein Center and provide an opportunity for them to do research and work on a specific project, as well as interact with a community of scholars and students. Kidder will teach student workshops on writing, work on his new book, and participate in Shorenstein Center events. The Rosenthal program was created as a memorial and funded by gifts from A.M. Rosenthal’s widow, Shirley Lord Rosenthal, and other friends and admirers. Rosenthal, who died in 2006, was formerly the executive editor of The New York Times.

"This semester at the Shorenstein Center is going to be truly extraordinary, with a group of fellows and visiting faculty that can only be viewed as all-stars,'" said Alex S. Jones, director of the Shorenstein Center.

Clay Shirky, one of the most prominent thinkers on the social and economic effects of Internet technology, will be the Visiting Murrow Lecturer on the Practice of Press and Public Policy. He is the author of the new book, Cognitive Surplus: Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age, and Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations. Shirky teaches in New York University's graduate Interactive Telecommunications Program. While at Harvard, he will be teaching a course on “New Media and Public Action.”

Four Shorenstein Fellows will spend the semester researching and writing a paper, and interacting with students and members of the Harvard community.

  • Charles Gibson is the Reidy Fellow at the Shorenstein Center. He is one of the nation’s most celebrated broadcast journalists and television anchors who covered the White House and Congress, and anchored major ABC News broadcasts through 11 election cycles. He was anchor of World News with Charles Gibson and host of Good Morning America. While at the Center, he will examine political polarization in the U.S. Congress and the multiple causes for the current atmosphere of incivility.
  • Karen Rothmyer is a consulting editor at the Star (Nairobi, Kenya) and a contributing editor at The Nation. She has worked at news organizations including the AP, The Wall Street Journal, Newsday, and more recently, as managing editor of The Nation. She teaches at the University of Nairobi. Rothmyer will examine how NGOs influence media coverage of Africa.
  • Sandra Rowe is the Knight Fellow at the Shorenstein Center. Rowe was editor of The Oregonian in Portland for sixteen years. She was executive editor and vice president of The Virginian-Pilot and The Ledger-Star. She was president of the American Society of Newspaper Editors in 1997-98. At the Shorenstein Center, Rowe will research how local and regional news organizations can capitalize on digital growth and the explosion of social media to expand accountability coverage. Rowe’s year-long fellowship is funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
  • Dietram Scheufele is the John E. Ross Professor in Science Communication at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He is co-leader of the Public Opinion and Values Research Team at the NSF Center for Nanotechnology in Society at ASU. He was a member of the Nanotechnology Technical Advisory Group to the U.S. President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. Scheufele’s research will look at science, media and public policy and how we communicate about emerging technologies.

The Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy is a Harvard Kennedy School research center dedicated to exploring the intersection of press, politics and public policy in theory and practice. The Center strives to bridge the gap between journalists and scholars and, increasingly, between them and the public. More information about the Center is available at www.shorensteincenter.org.

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