Melissa Ludtke

About Melissa Ludtke

Melissa Ludtke was editor of Nieman Reports from 1998 to 2011.

Spring 2005: Introduction

By Journalist’s Trade March 15, 2005

Water is the essence of life, and its cleanliness, availability, and our use and abuse of it are stories meriting reporters’ and editors’ attention. Yet as Stuart Leavenworth, who covered water issues for The Sacramento Bee and describes the wide array of issues he took on, reports: “To my chagrin, I had the beat largely to myself for four years. Across the country, papers have tackled problems of water pollution and degradation, but have overlooked fundamental issues of supply—and sustainability. This is curious.” – Melissa Ludtke, Editor Read more

Winter 2004: Editorial Cartoons Introduction

By Journalist’s Trade December 15, 2004

Many newspapers have decided not to hire a full-time editorial cartoonist, but instead publish the readily available work of syndicated cartoonists. To explore what impact these decisions and other changing circumstances related to editorial cartoons have on journalism, Nieman Reports asked cartoonists, editorial page editors, and close observers of cartooning to write out of their experiences and share their observations about how the long-time role that cartoons have played in journalism and democracy is being affected. – Melissa Ludtke, Editor Read more

Journalist’s Trade “Africa: Stories to Be Told” Introduction (Fall 2004)

By International Journalism September 15, 2004

Africa is portrayed in the Western media by its extremes, observes Ugandan journalist Charles Onyango-Obbo, a managing editor with the Nation Media Group in Nairobi, Kenya. Stories about its civil wars, human rights abuses, government corruption, disease and poverty abound, but these have been joined by Western reporting that, in Onyango-Obbo’s opinion, can be too willing to celebrate the promised reforms of emergent leaders for whom greater journalistic scrutiny should be applied. The result: “… the leadership in Africa became not only complacent, but also used the flattering international coverage to muzzle internal critics and vigorous independent reporting ….” Read more

Summer 2004: Journalist’s Trade Introduction

By Journalist’s Trade June 15, 2004

Watchdog reporting resides at the core of what journalism does. Its roots dig deeply into the common ground uniting the muckrakers’ unearthing of public and private scandals a century ago with what investigative reporters are illuminating today. Though reporting and distribution of this news is very different in the digital era, unfortunately the human conditions requiring press scrutiny are not. These include patterns of corruption and malfeasance among those holding powerful positions of public and private trust. – Melissa Ludtke, Editor Read more

Summer 2004: Introduction

By June 15, 2004

War and Terror “Government has no legitimate claim to sole control of secrecy decisions, even on matters of common defense,” Barton Gellman, a Washington Post project reporter observed when he spoke about reporting on stories … Read more