As editor of The News magazine during a brutal regime in the 1990s, Dare risked his life to report on corruption and other problems in Nigeria
During my Nieman year, I studied the intersection between the media and government policy—how the media can best understand policy and, in turn, report it more appropriately to the public. I also wanted to learn more about how the media can interrogate policies and policymakers to ensure they serve the public interest. The understanding I gained informed my interest in another area of study: writing and public speaking.
This combination of a better grasp of public policy with enhanced storytelling abilities sharpened my mind and my writing skills in profound ways. On my return to Nigeria, I held a number of training sessions across newsrooms to teach journalists the importance of writing effectively and knowledgeably. I wrote a book documenting my years as a “guerrilla journalist,” when my colleagues and I had to work underground because of threats from our country’s military dictatorship. In the book, I laid out policy issues, examined the media and democratic governance, and offered potential solutions to Nigeria’s many problems. I began to write more analysis and opinion pieces on public policy issues, and my speeches took on greater depth and clarity. I also mentored a group of young journalists who have since gone on to become newsroom leaders. So my Fellowship has had an impact in my country that goes far beyond the personal and professional enrichment I experienced at Harvard.