I should probably start off by apologizing for staying away from the blog for so long. But I won't. Sometimes life seems far more compelling—and certainly more demanding—than the blog. That said, I'm very happy to be back, and I look forward to providing far more regular updates in the coming (academic) year. And with that bit of foreshadowing ladled in, I have news:
I've left New York City, and for a time at least, my journalistic work. Tomorrow I'll start one year of study at Harvard University as a Nieman Fellow. Generally there's no silver cloud in which I can't find a dark lining, but not this time. I'll sum up the Nieman gig thusly: You really, really want to be me. I have one year to take anything I want at Harvard and MIT. In return, I have to provide my benefactors with ... nothing! In fact, the only stipulation is that I do no professional work while I'm here. That's one deadline I'm sure to make.
Naturally the Nieman program has acquired something of a reputation as a paid vacation, but so far as I can tell that's patently unfair. The curators tend to screen for over-achieving, workaholic types, with the result that the fellows tend to be the types who'll close down the library night after night, despite the fact they're not receiving grades for their courses (we audit our courses.) To judge by my cohorts, this year will be no different. They are, without exception, a superlative bunch.
Niemans are accepted on the basis of a study plan: Mine is to continue researching the impact of social media—on business, politics and culture. I'll be doing much of that outside of my coursework, and plan on sharing much of what I find over this blog. To be continued ...