Wenxin Fan Intro

I root for Spotlight to win the Oscar. Hi! My name is Wenxin. Am a Nieman fellow from China. I report from Shanghai for Bloomberg News/Businessweek, and previously for the New York Times.

A lot of my work involves finding data and then matching them. I spent a large amount of time searching the Web using names, phone numbers, emails, IDs, birthdays etc. as keywords. Then I try to connect those dots by matching a set of those data. An example would be identifying a man with an English name invested in an Australian mine to be the grandson of Deng Xiaoping. The databases I use include social networks such as Facebook or Weibo, company registrations, stock exchange filings, lexis/nexis, and Communist Party propaganda. Most of the times, I start with Google, which had also helped me to help my wife find her primary school classmates.

Am interested in learning the more innovative means of reporting, and am keen to find new ways for story-telling. Eager for my hidden geek-side to be kindled by working with y’all.

Wendi C. Thomas

Wendi Flyer HeadshotHi y’all! I’m a journalist based in Memphis. I’ve worked as a reporter, columnist or editor at The Indianapolis Star, The (Nashville) Tennessean, The Charlotte Observer, The Memphis Commercial Appeal and The Memphis Flyer. I’m a 2016 Nieman fellow and when I’m done, I’m going back to Memphis to use journalism to spark a citywide conversation about Memphis’ failure to live up to Martin Luther King’s dream of economic justice. (The 50th anniversary of his assassination is April 4, 2018.)

I think a lot about what tools can be used to keep elected officials accountable and how citizens can give elected officials feedback immediately with the goal of shaping public policy to benefit the poor. I know good journalism has the power to change communities but I don’t know exactly how to deploy it in a startup to change my community. (And I don’t know how to fund it either.) Hoping to solve all these challenges this semester, with time left over for whirled peas. 🙂

When I’m not reading studies about racial disparities, I’m playing Ruzzle on my phone, watching the new Beyonce video, tweeting at @wendi_c_thomas or Facebooking.

Naomi Darom

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I’m a 2015-6 Nieman fellow.
Before coming here I worked as a magazine reporter at Haaretz newspaper in Israel.
I reported mostly long-form pieces but also news and Op Eds.
Before that I was an art director in advertising agencies in New York and Tel Aviv.
I’m deeply interested in gender and childhood.
I would like us journalists to stop chasing the latest social media platforms, and take control of our storytelling.
I’m particularly interested in two questions:
1. How can technology be used to assist reporting and writing, make them more accessible and interactive, without sacrificing depth and craft?
2. How can technology make journalists more independent of organizations and free in creating the right platform for their content?
I’m excited about this class and the chance for collaboration!

Jia Zhang

Hi!
I’m a phd student working with interactive maps and data visualizations here in the Media Lab. My background is in visual art and interaction design.

I am interested in how journalists use maps and visualizations. I am a big fan of Amanda Cox and cannot express how excited I am about her new role as editor of the Upshot. I want to build visualization tools for professional and amateur storytellers alike.

1472086_10153515742355335_518222451_nI would like to focus on becoming a better writer through this class. I am especially excited to learn from so many great journalists and writers in the class. I would also like to work on a few map/dataviz-based projects that will contribute to my dissertation research if the opportunity comes up.

 

Relevant skills: visual design, python, front end web dev, javascript, processing, and mandarin.

Sravanti Tekumalla

Hi, I’m Sravanti!

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I’m a current senior at Wellesley College studying computer science and I’m interested in the intersection between technology and journalism — specifically, how to apply my computer science knowledge to create tools that can help journalists parse data in a meaningful, clear way, whether that be through data analysis tools or data visualization tools.

I’m coming to this class after finishing up a stint as Editor of my college paper, The Wellesley News. During my time at The News, I also started  an online team which created, and now maintains, our website as well as our social media presence.

Skills-wise, I have some reporting and editing experience from the journalism side. From the tech side of things, I’m good with Java, Python, JavaScript and web development-related things. I’m excited to learn a lot in this class, and to create with all of you!

Raafat Majzoub

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Hey!

I’m a Lebanese architect, artist and writer. I am invested in creating a network narrative system where the writing of imagined fiction is coupled with a research and construction process that scripts it into reality — writing as architecture.

My work revolves around a borderless Arab World and has taken various forms as outlets such as film, video, interactive performance, public installation, journalism, erotic and children’s literature. My novel “The Perfumed Garden: An Autobiography of Another Arab World” will hopefully be published soon.

One of my previous projects that is most relevant to journalism is The Outpost, a magazine of possibilities in the Arab World. I co-founded the magazine with Ibrahim Nehme, its editor-in-chief, and was its creative director for the first two years. You can find some info on it here: 

Links:

raafatmajzoub.com

236m3.com

theperfumedgarden.info

the farewell chronicles (weekly column)

Mónica Guzmán

monipicHey all! I’m a 2016 Nieman Fellow this year, and to sum it up: I’m out to learn and show how building closer ties with the public makes journalism stronger and more sustainable.

Most recently I’ve been a freelance columnist, writing about technology and culture for The Seattle Times, GeekWire, the Daily Beast and The Columbia Journalism Review. I serve as vice-chair of the Society of Professional Journalists’ Ethics Committee, and until I came to Boston was the emcee of Ignite Seattle — a fun community speaker series where anyone and everyone can learn how give a great 5-minute lightning talk to a room full of 800 people.

Here’s my longer bio with more resume bits, awards, the braggy stuff. Among the bigger projects I’m proud of: I wrote the closing chapter in Poynter’s New Ethics of Journalism, called “Community as an End,” and for a couple years I ran weekly meetups for readers of my Seattle news blog at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. That’s how I became convinced that getting to know readers leads to the best ways to serve them.

On that note, I’m excited to get to know you all, see what we learn together, and get to work making it real 🙂

Brittany Parker

Brittany Parker At the risk of outing herself as a flack among hacks, Brittany Parker comes to #PartNews from the world of strategic communications where she once managed “spontaneous tweets” for a group of former congressman on budget reform. A recovering campaign staffer, she has worked on local, statewide, and national races from Arkansas to Tel Aviv. Most recently, she served as press secretary for a think tank on US policy in the Middle East — which was the straw that broke the camel’s back into graduate school.

Now at the Fletcher School for Law and Diplomacy, Brittany studies communications and civic participation, primarily in the Middle East and North Africa. In addition to learning and working with with the impressive collective of MAS 700, she looks forward to telling her mother — a former reporter — about the future of news.

Brittany is a StartingBloc fellow and holds a BA in International Relations and Arabic from Washington University in St. Louis. You can find her on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Jorge Caraballo

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I’m a Colombian journalist interested in covering the transformations that digital media have triggered in our communities.

In 2015 I received a Fulbright scholarship after presenting a project that wants to answer one question: How can digital media contribute to the reconstruction of social cohesiveness in Colombia, a country that has suffered an armed conflict for more that sixty years? Thanks to Fulbright I came to the Media Innovation program at Northeastern University. After finishing my studies I want to go back to my country to create a media experiment that supports a reconciliation process among its people.

My skills are in storytelling, multimedia production and community engagement. I enjoy telling stories using different formats –writing, audio, photographs, video–, and building active communities around information.

“Knowledge is what makes us good”, said to me an elder from a native Colombian community where I lived for a week. I liked that relationship between information and goodness, and that’s why I’m excited to be part of this course: I want to learn and imagine new digital tools that help us to create a better understanding of what we are.

Nemmani Sreedhar

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Nemmani Sreedhar

Hello, I am Nemmani, friends also call me Sree. I am a second-year Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy student at The Fletcher School with specializations in International Security Studies, Human Security, Negotiations, Conflict Resolution, Gender Studies, and International Communications.

Before coming to the Fletcher School, I worked as a Journalist (Senior Reporter) in India’s noted newspaper, The Hindu, for three years, and before that I worked in Indian Air Force as a Photo Specialist for 15 years. I did my Post Graduate Diploma in Journalism from India’s premier J-School, Asian College of Journalism, with a specialization in New Media stream. I also have a Masters in Economics.

I love Martial Arts, Mountaineering, and other outdoorsy activities. Currently, I am also in the process of setting up a new media venture along with some of the best and most creative minds at the Fletcher School. Looking forward for an exciting semester in Ethan’s class.

You can find me on : Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, among others…

Nemmani (Sree)