Room for Something New: Apply for a Knight-Wallace Fellowship


Anna Clark and her cohort of Fellows visit a Korean open-air museum during a Knight-Wallace news tour to South Korea.


How an independent journalist breaking stories on the Flint water-crisis found inspiration and turned her reporting into a book.

Need time away from daily deadlines to dig deeper and become an expert on an issue or topic? Anna Clark goes to Medium and shares how a Knight-Wallace Fellowship brought something new to her life: intellectual space.  From taking classes at the University of Michigan Law School to workshops and collaborative learning with her fellow Fellows, Clark writes “The Knight-Wallace year replenished my spirit at the time I needed it most.”

Clark wrote many of  the early stories about the lead discovered in Flint’s drinking water before coming to the program. Following the fellowship, she spent 14 months writing the first full account of the Flint water crisis. Her book, “The Poisoned City: Flint’s Water and the American Urban Tragedy,” was published this July.

Read Clark’s reflection of her fellowship journey on Medium.

The Knight-Wallace Fellowships for Journalists at the University of Michigan are accepting applications from U.S. applicants for the 2019-20 academic year. We’re looking for accomplished journalists eager for growth and deeply committed to the future of journalism. The deadline to apply is February 1, 2019.

Anna Clark is an independent journalist based in Detroit and author of “The Poisoned City: Flint’s Water and the American Urban Tragedy.” As a 2017 Knight-Wallace Fellow, she studied how chronic underfunding of American cities imperils its residents.

Wallace House Associate Director Embarks on a Fellowship of Her Own

Birgit Rieck has been cultivating the
Knight-Wallace Fellowships for journalists
from both Ann Arbor and abroad for many
years. Now it’s her turn.

After more than 18 years of helping to create life-changing fellowship experiences for other people, it is high time that our Wallace House Associate Director, Birgit Rieck, gets to experience a fellowship of her own. Birgit has been accepted into the inaugural class of the Media Transformation Challenge, a one-year executive leadership program at Harvard’s Kennedy School, designed to help news leaders find creative, sustainable solutions to challenges facing the industry.

For the next year, Birgit will spend one week each quarter in Cambridge with a cohort of news executives working on a focused initiative to help Wallace House move in new directions. The timing for this unique development opportunity is ideal. Wallace House is in an exciting period of growth. Allowing Birgit the space to step away from the busy day-to-day of the Knight-Wallace Fellowships to develop new ideas that will benefit us for years to come.

Birgit’s focus during her fellowship year will be examining ways for Wallace House to provide targeted support to journalism initiatives in the Midwest.

“Over 63 million people live in the twelve Midwest states between North Dakota and Ohio but stories from the region seldom make headlines and most midwestern newsrooms continue to shrink or disappear completely. I’d like to find ways Wallace House can specifically support regional journalists and their work. At the same time, I want to explore ideas that would make national audiences more interested in reporting from the Midwest. I am grateful that Lynette supported my application and is giving me the time away to experience a fellowship myself!”

The Media Transformation Challenge, which starts in January 2019, is a new program of the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics, and Public Policy within the Kennedy School’s Executive Education Program. It is directed by Doug Smith, founder and former director of the Punch Sulzberger Executive Leadership Program at Columbia University School of Journalism, and Nicco Mele, director of the Shorenstein Center.

In the quarterly training sessions, Birgit will join her fellowship cohort for coaching and group problem solving, designed to help news leaders drive long-lasting change within their organizations. In the weeks between the group sessions she will spend time researching her study plan, working with her executive coach, and developing her project with the leadership team back at Wallace House.

Please join us in congratulating Birgit and cheering her on as she works to bring the same kind of energy and new ideas back to Wallace House that we send our own Fellows away with each year.

And don’t worry… we’ll make sure she wears plenty of Wallace House and Michigan gear while she’s walking around the campus of that other university. #GoBlue!

Wallace House Announces Executive Board

Wallace House Executive Board



Wallace House announces a newly formed Executive Board to provide strategic support for its existing programs and guidance in developing new initiatives. The group will advise the Knight-Wallace Fellowships for Journalists, the Livingston Awards and the Wallace House Presents event series. The 14-member board, comprised of acclaimed journalists and accomplished University of Michigan faculty, will play an active role in leading the organization through a period of growth and expanded vision to support the careers of journalists and uphold the role of a free press in a functional democracy.

“Among the many things that make Wallace House truly special is the caliber of experts who help us steer our programs,” said Lynette Clemetson, director of Wallace House. “This group of distinguished leaders brings expertise in both transforming long-standing institutions and creating vibrant, new organizations. I look forward to them pushing us toward new possibilities.”

Wallace House will continue to build on the success of its renowned flagship programs, the Knight-Wallace Fellowships and the Livingston Awards, with ambitious new directives, like Wallace House Presents, aimed at increasing public engagement with journalism. The cross-section of board members – all change-agents in their own work – will also help Wallace House think creatively about addressing industry challenges in the midst of continuing technological and social change, and cultivating financial support from individual and institutional donors to help the organization fulfill its mission.

The Executive Board is comprised of ten members newly introduced to the work of Wallace House and four members of the previous Knight-Wallace board, which advised the Knight-Wallace Fellowship for Journalists. The broader programmatic mandate of the new advisory body will enable Wallace House to think ambitiously about the full scope of its programs, reach and influence at a time when active support for the work of journalists is of vital importance.

Wallace House is pleased to welcome Executive Board members:

  • Daniel Alarcón, author, co-founder and executive producer, Radio Ambulante
  • Kainaz Amaria, visuals editor, Vox
  • Michael S. Barr, dean, Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan
  • Liz Barry, special counsel to the president, University of Michigan
  • Alex Blumberg, CEO and co-founder, Gimlet Media
  • Ferhat Boratav, CNN TÜRK and lecturer, Bilgi University, Istanbul
  • Jim Burnstein, screenwriter and director of screenwriting, University of Michigan
  • Tabbye Chavous, director, National Center for Institutional Diversity and professor of education and psychology, University of Michigan
  • Anne Curzan, professor of English and Associate Dean for Humanities, University of Michigan
  • Louise Kiernan, editor-in-chief, ProPublica Illinois
  • Margaret Low, president, AtlanticLIVE and vice-president, The Atlantic
  • Kevin Merida, editor-in-chief, The Undefeated
  • Paul Resnick, professor and associate dean, School of Information, University of Michigan
  • Ann Silvio, correspondent, “60 Minutes Overtime” and managing editor, 60 Minutes online

Lynette Clemetson, director of Wallace House, will chair the board.

Read more on the Executive Board members and their bios.

Q & A with Wallace House Director Lynette Clemetson and Hovey Speaker Bernice Yeung

Bernice Yeung arrived as a Knight-Wallace Fellow in 2015, following an intense period of collaborative reporting that produced two award-winning investigations, Rape in the Fields and Rape on the Night Shift. Since the Fellowship, she has published a book, “In a Day’s Work: The Fight to End Sexual Violence Against America’s Most Vulnerable Workers.” Bernice returned to Wallace House in September to give the 33rd annual Graham Hovey Lecture. Prior to the lecture, Lynette and Bernice had a conversation discussing the relevance of her reporting in the context of the #MeToo Movement.



Clemetson: You first started writing about sexual abuse of low-wage workers in 2012. How do you view the cultural change in our recognition of and conversation around the issue?

Yeung: There has been a complete transformation of the public dialogue. When we started in 2012, the campus sexual assault conversation was ongoing and robust. Simultaneously, the military sexual assault investigations were happening. There was a slow drumbeat of looking at sexual violence in different corners of society. But now, post-#MeToo, it is part of the daily headlines. The conversation is almost inescapable. There is a completely different resonance now.


Clemetson: And yet, much of the current conversation is around prominent figures. Do you think that the people that you focused on are being represented enough?

Yeung: There is a part of the movement that is about understanding the prevalence of sexual violence. And then there is a fascination with the comeuppance aspect of the story, an interest in famous people and the fall of power. I think more attention ought to be paid to those who are less powerful in terms of their professional and financial positions.

I recently reported a story where I talked to women truck drivers, public health workers, government workers, and hospital techs. They were excited to see the way #MeToo has opened up a space to have these conversations. But a lot of them still wonder whether that opening has reached them yet. They were impressed by the famous women who had come forward, amazed and grateful that they had spoken up, but they also really wondered why when they themselves had spoken up, why they weren’t heard in the same way.


Clemetson: What drew you to this particular corner of the issue?

Yeung: There was an element of it that I was inclined to be curious about because of my own family’s immigrant background to the United States. I had done some stories on domestic violence and immigrant women and had seen the holes and gaps in policy and law when it comes to assisting immigrant women, and how seeking any kind of recourse or help was so formidable for those women.


Clemetson: How did approaching the issue for a book lead you to new insights?

Yeung: We tend to think of sexual harassment as a problem between two individuals, as a behavioral problem by a bad apple. The book helped me look at policies, how companies operate, how industries function and how they create environments that make certain workers more vulnerable. So much of our labor law enforcement is predicated on the worker making a complaint. And when you have a population who are low wage, immigrant, perhaps with tenuous immigration status, living on the edge of poverty, expecting them to come forward is not realistic. We don’t have a realistic way for them to engage with the resources that would enable them to put an end to labor abuses.


Clemetson: There seems to be a greater appetite and more space now across platforms for journalism that explores issues systemically.

Yeung: Yes. I am lucky be a journalist in this moment where there is space for investigative journalism about systemic issues. I have always been interested in melding sociological strategies with journalism. My study plan was looking at how social science research strategies could be applied to journalism. I think there is something about what sociology provides, a systems-based orientation, plus an attempt to quantify, along with qualitative human interviews, that makes sociology a kindred spirit to journalism.


Clemetson: How did the fellowship inform how you approached the book?

Yeung: I don’t think I would be the same journalist I am now if I had not done the fellowship. I don’t think my book would exist. The mental and emotional space that the fellowship provided made it possible to do this book. I was coming off several years of looking at this issue when I arrived, and the mental fatigue was real. It was really important to give myself some time to stop, regroup and fortify myself so I could job back into it.

And there were so many resources at the university that I drew from. For instance, Catherine MacKinnon in the University of Michigan Law School, is THE person, THE scholar, who defined what sexual harassment is. Having the opportunity to learn from her and others like her left me astonished. What I was able to bring to the book in terms of a contextual and systemic look, that was possible because of the time I had at the university.


Clemetson: As this issue has exploded, it has also caused turmoil in many news organizations.

Yeung: I have been so heartened and impressed by the incredible reporting that has been done by the dogged and sensitive journalists working on this issue, the amount of vetting and checking, and deep research and reporting. I don’t know if the general public appreciates how serious and rigorous the reporters have been on these stories. And then you have journalists who are raising this issue, even as they are having to report on their own organizations and call into question the authority of their own employers. I just have so much respect for the work that is being done, and I appreciate those who are doing the work.


Clemetson: Do you feel that we truly are in a moment of change, a substantive shift?

Yeung: I see parallels to the Anita Hill/Clarence Thomas moment. I am sure we’ll look back on #MeToo and see it as a watershed moment and a shift in the cultural consciousness. But I think the question is, now what? There is work being done around prevention and solutions, and those are harder stories to cover. As reporters, we want things to be concrete and evidence-based, something we can measure. The slow culture change that seems critical to shifting the way we deal with sexual harassment is harder to document. But I think that is where we need to be paying more attention now.


Clemetson: So you intend to keep going.

Yeung: As much as I can, yes. I intend to. I am in that space now where I want to know that it is all going to lead to something, some tangible example of change. I am definitely watching and tracking. It is important to tell those stories about how change can happen, how reform can happen.

Wallace House Presents María Elena Salinas with journalists Ginger Thompson and Aaron Nelsen, and policy expert Ann Lin


María Elena Salinas, Ann Lin, Aaron Nelsen and Ginger Thompson to discuss the border crisis
María Elena Salinas, Ann Lin, Aaron Nelsen and Ginger Thompson (clockwise) 

Spanish language translation available here

“Crisis at the Border: Shifting Policy in a Country of Immigrants”

October 9, 2018 | 4:30 p.m.
The Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy
Annenberg Auditorium

Free and open to the public.
View video »



Join the conversation
From zero tolerance and separation of families to harsh rhetoric likening some immigrants to “animals,” America’s current approach to immigration has sent shock waves through both sides of the Rio Grande. Now a country built on the shoulders of immigrants is deeply divided on how to stem the current crisis. Join acclaimed journalist María Elena Salinas as she talks with a Ford School policy expert and reporters who have covered both sides of the U.S.- Mexico border and the complex web of issues driving the immigration debate.



  • María Elena Salinas is a Livingston Awards national judge and the host of newsmagazine show, “The Real Story with María Elena Salinas,” on the Investigation Discovery network. She is the former co-anchor of Univision Network’s flagship daily newscast, “Noticiero Univision,” and weekly newsmagazine, “Aquí y Ahora.” Called the “Voice of Hispanic America” by The New York Times, Salinas is the most recognized Hispanic female journalist in the United States.


  • Ann Lin is an associate professor of public policy in the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan. She teaches courses on public policy implementation, gender and politics, qualitative research methods and immigration. Lin is currently studying potential immigration policies and the beliefs of American immigrants, with a special focus on Arab Americans.
  • Aaron Nelsen is a 2019 Knight-Wallace Fellow and the Rio Grande Valley Bureau Chief for the San Antonio Express-News. Previously, he was a Time correspondent and New York Times contributor in Chile. In the past year, he documented a small group of community activists in the Rio Grande Valley as they worked to save a wildlife preserve from the path of President Trump’s border wall. As a Knight-Wallace Fellow at the University of Michigan, Nelsen is studying the effect of militarization on communities along the U.S.-Mexico border.
  • Ginger Thompson is a senior reporter at ProPublica. A Pulitzer Prize winner, she spent fifteen years at The New York Times, where she served as an investigative reporter, Washington D.C. correspondent and Mexico City Bureau Chief. Thompson was part of a team of national reporters  that was awarded a 2000 Pulitzer Prize for the series “How Race is Lived in America.” Thompson’s 2018 investigation about the Drug Enforcement Administration’s role in a Mexican massacre was nominated for a National Magazine Award.


Co-sponsored by the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, the National Center for Institutional Diversity, the Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion and the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies.



Wallace House Welcomes Emilio Gutiérrez Soto and His Son to Ann Arbor


Emilio Gutierrez-Soto and son Oscar are freed from a U.S. detention center on July 26, 2018.
Photo credit: Julián Aguilar, The Texas Tribune

Read the announcement in Spanish.

Wallace House is pleased to welcome Mexican journalist Emilio Gutiérrez-Soto to Ann Arbor to join the 2018-2019 Knight-Wallace Fellowship class as a Senior Press Freedom Fellow. Gutiérrez and his son, Oscar, were freed on Thursday, July 26, 2018, from a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention facility in Texas, where they were held since December, 2017.

Their release came a day before a federal judge’s deadline for the Department of Homeland Security officials to produce documents to explain why it detained the journalist.


“With so many challenges to press freedom, and in the midst of a crisis around immigration policy, it is easy to feel powerless,” said fellowship director Lynette Clemetson, who met with Gutiérrez in April at the El Paso detention facility to invite him to join the Knight-Wallace Fellowship program. “Emilio’s release, due to the efforts of many, is a reminder that we all can do something to affect change.”


Gutiérrez is seeking asylum in the United States following death threats related to his reporting. Mexico is the most dangerous country in the world for journalists, after war-torn Syria. Wallace House joined numerous journalism organizations including The National Press Club, Reporters Without Borders and the American Society of News Editors to collaborate in support of Gutiérrez’s case.

Wallace House, the University of Michigan and the Ann Arbor community are eager to receive Gutiérrez and his son as the family works to resume their life in the U.S. and Gutiérrez has the opportunity to reconnect with journalism.  While at the university, Gutiérrez will study issues related to global press freedom and safety.

“Freedom was a big surprise for me. When it happened I was confused,” said Gutierrez, by phone from New Mexico, where he went following his release. “I feel nervous now, but so thankful. The fellowship, all of the supporters and friends who helped, they are our family here now. We are so thankful.”


Knight-Wallace Journalism Fellowships invite a select group of accomplished, mid-career journalists to spend an academic year at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor pursuing individual research and collaborative learning through classes, seminars, training workshops and travel. Knight-Wallace Fellows receive a stipend of $75,000 for the eight-month academic year plus full tuition and health insurance. The program is funded through endowment gifts by foundations, news organizations and individuals committed to protecting the role of a free press.

Wallace House Presents ProPublica’s Bernice Yeung

The 33rd Graham Hovey Lecture

“Unheard Voices of the #MeToo Movement: Telling the Stories of America’s Most Vulnerable Workers” with Bernice Yeung ’16

September 18, 2018 | 5 p.m.

Wallace House Gardens
620 Oxford Road, Ann Arbor

Welcome remarks by Mark S. Schlissel, President, University of Michigan

View video »

Bernice Yeung, 2016 Knight-Wallace Fellow, will discuss the sexual harassment and assault that migrant farmworkers and night-shift janitors routinely face on the job and examine what these workers have done to fight back and seek justice.

Yeung is a reporter with ProPublica who covers labor and employment. Previously, she was a reporter with Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting, where she was part of the national Emmy-nominated “Rape in the Fields” reporting team, which investigated the sexual assault of immigrant farmworkers. The project won an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award and a Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award and was a finalist for the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting. Yeung also was the lead reporter for the national Emmy-nominated “Rape on the Night Shift” team, which examined sexual violence against female janitors. That work won an Investigative Reporters and Editors Award, the Society of Professional Journalists Sigma Delta Chi Award for investigative journalism, and the Third Coast/Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Competition. Those projects led to her first book, “In a Day’s Work: The Fight to End Sexual Violence Against America’s Most Vulnerable Workers.”

Yeung has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and a master’s degree from Fordham University, where she studied sociology with a focus on crime and justice. ​​As a 2015-2016 Knight-Wallace Fellow at the University of Michigan,​​ she explored how journalists can employ social science survey methods in their reporting.

The annual Graham Hovey Lecture recognizes a Knight-Wallace journalist whose career exemplifies the benefits of a fellowship at the University of Michigan and whose ensuing work is at the forefront of national conversation. The event is named for the late Graham Hovey, director of the fellowship program from 1980 to 1986 and a distinguished journalist for The New York Times.

Michigan Radio is a co-sponsor of the event.

Read the conversation between Wallace House Director Lynette Clemetson and Bernice Yeung ’16 regarding Yeung’s work in the context of the #MeToo Movement.

How to report and produce break-out work: Exploring Livingston Award winning investigations

Michael S. Schmidt, Christina Goldbaum, Chris Davis

Livingston Awards winners Michael S. Schmidt and Christina Goldbaum speak with Chris Davis at 2018 IRE Orlando

June 15 | 2:30 – 3:30 p.m.
Oceans 4
2018 IRE Orlando


Meet the 2018 winners of the Livingston Awards for Young Journalists. From landing their first journalism jobs to breaking investigative award-winning pieces, they will examine ways to get noticed, dig deeper and tell powerful stories.


  • Michael S. Schmidt, 2018 Livingston Award winner for national reporting. A full year before the #MeToo movement gained traction, Michael Schmidt and Emily Steel dug into a decade old lawsuit filed against Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly. What the Times’ team uncovered would lead to the discovery of $45 million in sexual harassment settlements involving O’Reilly and topple cable news’ biggest star.Schmidt is a Washington correspondent for The New York Times. For the past year, his coverage has focused on Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation into links between Donald J. Trump’s presidential campaign and Russia and whether the president obstructed justice.
  • Christina Goldbaum, 2018 Livingston Award winner for international reporting. Christina Goldbaum’s on-the-ground reporting on growing U.S. military engagement and counter-terrorism efforts in Africa has become essential reading. In her series for The Daily Beast, Goldbaum pieced together a military raid that is alleged to have resulted in the deaths of 10 Somali civilians, including at least one child.Goldbaum is an independent journalist based in Mogadishu. She has written for The New York Times, Foreign Policy, USA Today, The Daily Beast, VICE and The Wall Street Journal, and has produced TV segments for “PBS NewsHour,” Netflix and “VICE News Tonight” on HBO.


  • Chris Davis, Vice-President for Investigative Journalism at Gannett and Livingston Awards judge. Davis oversees USA Today’s major investigative efforts at Gannett’s newspapers across the country, providing guidance to national, regional and local watchdog projects. Previously, he was the deputy editor for investigations and data at the Tampa Bay Times. As an I-team editor, he led investigations that earned three Pulitzer Prizes and two Livingston Awards.


Sponsored by the Knight Foundation

2018 Livingston Winners Announced

2018 Livingston Award winners (clockwise from top left): Riham Feshir, Tracy Mumford, Meg Martin, Ronan Farrow, Emily Steel, Michael S. Schmidt, Christina Goldbaum and Walt Mossberg, recipient of the Richard M. Clurman Award


The Livingston Awards for Young Journalists were awarded today to stories that exemplified the best in investigative reporting and narrative storytelling across platforms.  The winners included a podcast exploring a traffic stop that ended in a fatal police shooting streamed on social media, print exposés detailing explosive sexual assault allegations against Bill O’Reilly and Harvey Weinstein, and an investigation into a U.S. military operation that killed Somali civilians. The awards recognize the best journalism by professionals under age 35 across of all platforms, including text, visual and audio storytelling.


The $10,000 prizes honor outstanding achievement in local, national and international reporting. In this exceptional year, the Livingston judges awarded two winners in the national reporting category for stories that led to the #MeToo movement and a national shift in recognition of sexual harassment, assault and abuse of power.


The Livingston Awards also honored Walt Mossberg with the Richard M. Clurman Award for mentoring. The $5,000 prize is given each year to an experienced journalist who has played an active role in guiding and nurturing the careers of young reporters. The prize is named for the late Richard M. Clurman, former chief of correspondents for Time-Life News Service and architect of the Livingston Awards.


Livingston judges María Elena Salinas of Investigation Discovery, Ken Auletta of The New Yorker, Dean Baquet of The New York Times, John Harris of Politico and Kara Swisher of Recode introduced the winners today at a luncheon in New York City.


“These winners represent the power of fearless reporting across a range of journalistic forms,” said Livingston Awards Director Lynette Clemetson. “With reporting that catapulted issues to national prominence and unpacked complex topics through long-form exploration, this year’s winners demonstrate the social and political impact of ambitious journalism.”


The 2018 winners for work published in 2017 are:


Local Reporting

Riham Feshir, Meg Martin and Tracy Mumford of Minnesota Public Radio News, for the podcast series, “74 Seconds,” a deconstruction of the July 2016 shooting death of Philando Castile by police officer Jeronimo Yanez and coverage of the ensuing trial. Through meticulous and balanced reporting, the series put a human face on both the victim and the officer who pulled the trigger.


“Listeners told us that they came away with a better understanding of the criminal justice system, police training, gun rights and race,” said Feshir. “They said they were more empathetic and engaged citizens after listening to our stories.”


National Reporting

Ronan Farrow of The New Yorker, for “Investigation of Harvey Weinstein,” a groundbreaking exposé on the alleged assault and rape by Hollywood powerbroker, Harvey Weinstein, and the sprawling system of spies the producer employed to keep the stories silent. Farrow’s investigation unleashed the #MeToo movement and precipitated the criminal investigation and arrest of Weinstein.


“Helping to share the stories of survivors of sexual harassment and assault has been deeply rewarding. These women did a great service for survivors everywhere,” Farrow said. “What they did – and continue to do – is incredibly brave.”


National Reporting

Emily Steel and Michael S. Schmidt of The New York Times, for “O’Reilly Thrives, Then Falls, as Settlements Add Up,” an investigation uncovering $45 million in sexual harassment settlements involving Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly. Steel and Schmidt’s stories ignited media outlets everywhere to report on allegations of sexual misconduct and abuse against powerful men and emboldened a progression of women to come forward and tell their own stories of sexual abuse.


“It’s just been so amazing to see how much the world has started to change,” said Steel. “Article after article, woman after woman found the courage to share their stories and the world listened.”


International Reporting

Christina Goldbaum, of The Daily Beast, for “Strong Evidence that U.S. Special Operations Forces Massacred Civilians in Somalia,” an on-the-ground investigation of a botched U.S. military raid that is alleged to have resulted in the deaths of 10 Somali civilians, including at least one child. While stories of conflict in Africa fell off the radars of many American news outlets, Goldberg was there to shine a light on growing U.S. military engagement and counter-terrorism efforts in the region.


“Reporting this story demonstrated to me in real world terms how the perpetrators of violent crimes will take any measures to protect themselves, and that justice for victims of those crimes is both elusive and a feat worth striving towards, no matter how difficult attaining it can be,” said Goldbaum, whose work was supported by the Fund for Investigative Journalism.


Mentoring Award

Walt Mossberg was honored with the Richard M. Clurman Award for his commitment to fostering the careers of numerous technology reporters. Mossberg is the creator of the Personal Technology column in The Wall Street Journal and co-founder of AllThingsD, Recode and the Code Conference. In a video tribute at the luncheon, several technology reporters spoke about Mossberg’s influence on their careers.  View video>>


In addition to Salinas, Auletta, Baquet and Swisher, the Livingston judging panel includes Christiane Amanpour of CNNi and PBS; Clarence Page of the Chicago Tribune; Anna Quindlen, author; and Bret Stephens of The New York Times.


Funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the University of Michigan to support the vital role of a free and independent press, the awards bolster the work of young reporters, create the next generation of journalism leaders and advance civic engagement around powerful storytelling. Other sponsors include the Indian Trial Charitable Foundation, the Mollie Parnis Livingston Foundation, Christiane Amanpour and Dr. Gil Omenn and Martha Darling.

Wallace House Awards Press Freedom Fellowship to Emilio Gutiérrez Soto

Emilio Gutiérrez Soto accepting the National Press Club’s John Aubuchon
Freedom of the Press Award in October 2017. Photo credit: Noel St. John

Read the announcement in  Spanish

The Knight-Wallace Fellowships for Journalists at The University of Michigan has invited Emilio Gutiérrez Soto to join its 2018-19 Fellowship class as a Senior Press Freedom Fellow. Gutiérrez, a Mexican journalist who is currently seeking asylum in the United States following death threats related to his reporting, has been held in a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention facility near El Paso, Texas since December.

“On World Press Freedom Day, and every day, we must uphold the vital role of a free and independent press in the United States and around the world,” said Lynette Clemetson, director of the fellowship program. “Emilio Gutiérrez Soto’s accomplishments, experiences and commitment ensure that he will contribute much to the class of exceptional journalists selected as Knight-Wallace Fellows. It is our hope that U.S. Immigration officials will release Emilio so that he may accept this special honor.”

The University of Michigan named its Knight-Wallace Journalism Fellows for the 2018-2019 academic year on Monday, April 30. The program invites a select group of accomplished, mid-career journalists to spend an academic year at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor pursuing individual research and collaborative learning through classes, seminars, training workshops and travel. If released and permitted to stay in the United States while his asylum case is appealed, Gutiérrez will join the class to study issues related to global press freedom and safety.

Gutiérrez, a longtime journalist in Mexico, came to the United States as a legal asylum seeker in 2008 to escape death threats tied to his investigative reporting on drug cartels. Mexico is consistently ranked as one of the most dangerous countries for reporters. “Mexican authorities have failed to prosecute the killers of journalists. They have also failed to provide adequate protection for journalists under threat,” said Joel Simon, executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists, which tracks threats and violence against reporters.

In 2017, an immigration judge in El Paso denied Gutiérrez’s asylum request and he was scheduled for deportation. The deportation was halted after protest from numerous journalism organizations including The National Press Club, Reporters Without Borders and the American Society of News Editors. The Knight-Wallace Fellowships for Journalists is one of several organizations that signed amicus briefs organized by The National Press Club in support of Gutiérrez’s case.

Clemetson will discuss the fellowship award to Gutiérrez at a press conference at 1 p.m. on May 3 at The National Press Club in Washington, D.C. The event will be live streamed on the organization’s website.

Knight-Wallace Fellows receive a stipend of $75,000 for the eight-month academic year plus full tuition and health insurance. The program is funded through endowment gifts by foundations, news organizations and individuals committed to journalism’s role in fostering an informed and engaged public.

Read the announcement in Spanish