From the editor
In Hong Kong you can buy a souvenir keychain with “I am a HongKonger” written on it in Chinese characters. Flip the keychain around, though, and the same characters in reverse read: “Add fuel!”
“Add fuel!” is a popular expression in Hong Kong used to cheer someone up or encourage them, something like “You got this!” or “You can do it!” in English. As I step down after a decade as deputy curator of the Nieman Foundation and editor of Nieman Reports, I want to thank everyone who has added so much fuel to our coverage of thought leadership in journalism — at a time when so much is at stake for free speech, free thought, and the free press.
Thanks to Issac Bailey for his thoughtful takes on race, ethics, and journalistic values, in his monthly column as well as in deep dives like George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and One Journalist’s Painfully Honest Self-Examination on Racism. Thanks to regular contributor Celeste Katz Marston, whose versatile reporting and writing has enabled us to chronicle the tumult and innovation in journalism today, from what happens when candidates avoid mainstream news to how newsrooms are mobilizing to cover challenges to democracy. Thanks to all the freelance reporters, writers, fact-checkers, copyeditors and translators who have contributed so much to Nieman Reports during my tenure as editor, from my first cover story (on the state of arts criticism) to my last (on the use of open-source investigative techniques).
Thanks to my past editorial colleagues — Leah Becerra, Eryn Carlson, Jan Gardner, Barbara McCarthy, Jon Seitz, and designers Stacy Sweat and Pentagram’s Luke Hayman and team — for all they did for the growth and evolution of this 76-year-old publication. And thanks to the current editorial crew — Laura Colarusso, Natalie De Rosa, Adriana Lacy, and designer Dan Zedek — and Nieman curator Ann Marie Lipinski for their creativity and commitment to the Nieman and Nieman Reports mission: “to promote and elevate the standards of journalism.”
Last summer we published Reporting at Risk, a series of essays about how journalists around the world are doing vital independent reporting despite increasing political, financial and — especially under authoritarian regimes — physical threats. I was and am heartened to read about the courageous, impactful reporting still being done, despite the formidable forces arrayed against independent journalism. So, my final thanks is to you, Nieman Reports readers, for the vital work that you do.
Keep adding fuel!
Editor, Nieman Reports