Tuesday, May 2, 2017


The trustees of the Martin Wise Goodman Trust announce that MICHAEL PETROU, freelance journalist and foreign correspondent who has reported from across Europe, the Middle East and Central Asia, has been awarded the twenty fourth Martin Wise Goodman Canadian Nieman Fellowship at Harvard University.

This fellowship is funded by a publicly subscribed permanent endowment in memory of Martin Wise Goodman, late President of Toronto Star Newspapers Limited.

Michael will join eleven other foreign journalists and twelve American journalists in the 80th class of Nieman Fellows at Harvard University.  The fellowship carries a stipend for living expenses and payment of fees to Harvard University.

I am honoured to have been selected for this fellowship, and I am deeply grateful to the Martin Wise Goodman Trust and to the Nieman Foundation for Journalism for making it possible. I’m looking forward to sharing ideas with my journalist peers from around the world, and to learning from the community of scholars at Harvard University. I know it will be a wonderful and stimulating year. I'm particularly excited to share the experience with my family, Mr. Petrou said after an eight member Selection Committee awarded him the biennial fellowship.   While at Harvard, Michael Petrou will study history and international relations. He will explore how media can shape accepted narratives in contested political spaces, authoritarian states and fragile democracies.

Michael Petrou is a foreign correspondent, author and historian. He’s won three National Magazine Awards, including for reportage from Haiti and Ukraine. Petrou is the recipient of the 2017 R. James Travers Foreign Corresponding Fellowship, which he has used to report on Syrian refugees in the Middle East. He’s also a fellow at the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies. Petrou spent ten years as a senior writer and foreign correspondent at Maclean’s magazine. He previously worked for the Ottawa Citizen, the National Post, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and BBC World Service in London. He has a doctorate in modern history from the University of Oxford, where he was a Chevening Scholar.

The Nieman Fellowships were established for American journalists in 1938 in memory of Lucius W. Nieman, founder of the Milwaukee Journal. It provides for a year of study for working journalists in any department of Harvard University as well as a seminar program. Previously, thirteen Canadian journalists had gone to Harvard on this program under other funding, including Martin Goodman (Nieman fellow class of '62).

The first twenty-three recipients of the Martin Wise Goodman Canadian Nieman Fellowships were as follows: Paul Knox of the Globe and Mail, Gregory Weston of the Ottawa Citizen, Mary Lou Finlay of CBC Radio Toronto, Jamie Lamb of the Vancouver Sun, Jonathon Ferguson of the Toronto Star, Jennifer Lewington of the Globe and Mail, Tom Regan of the Halifax Daily News, Joe Hall of the Toronto Star, Terry Gilbert of the Calgary Herald, Paul Carvalho of CBC TV News Montreal, Laura Eggerston of Canadian Press, Bonnie Lafave of CBC TV Toronto, Jim Meek of the Halifax Herald, Laura Lynch of CBC Radio Vancouver, Paule Robitaille of CBC Latin American Bureau, John Geddes of Maclean’s Magazine, Christian Rioux of Le Devoir, Bill Schiller of the Toronto Star, James Baxter of the Edmonton Journal, Jana Juginovic of CTV,  David Skok of globalnews.ca,  Laura-Julie Perreault of La Presse and Stephen Maher of Postmedia News.

This year’s Canadian Nieman Fellowship Selection committee consisted of Anne Marie Lipinski, Curator, The Nieman Fellowship at Harvard University; Mary Lou Finlay, formerly of the CBC; Malcolm Kirk, president of The Canadian Press; Douglas Knight, President of St. Joseph Media; David Skok, Digital Media Executive; Jonathan Goodman, Global Managing Partner of Monitor Deloitte and Chair of the Canadian Nieman Fellowship;  Lauren Goodman, Administrator of the Canadian Nieman Fellowship and Janis Goodman, wife of the late Martin Goodman.

The committee is very enthusiastic to have Michael represent Canada in the 2017-2018 Nieman program. We are impressed by Michael’s journalistic experience and are certain he will both benefit significantly from, but also contribute mightily, to this coming year’s Nieman class.