Knight-Wallace Journalism Fellowship result announced

The Knight-Wallace Fellowship program at the University of Michigan has announced its 2024-2025 cohort, a diverse group of 17 mid-career journalists from around the world. This fellowship offers a unique opportunity for journalists to engage in intensive academic study and collaborative projects, aiming to enhance their skills and inspire innovative journalism.

This prestigious fellowship supports mid-career journalists, providing them with an opportunity to explore new projects and ideas in a nurturing environment. Among this year’s fellows are Zahra Nader from Afghanistan and Fatemeh Jamalpour from Iran, highlighting the program’s commitment to fostering journalism in challenging contexts.

Zahra Nader

Highlighting the Fellows from Afghanistan and Iran

Zahra Nader – Afghanistan
Zahra Nader is a courageous journalist from Afghanistan and the founding editor-in-chief of Zan Times, a nonprofit news outlet that covers human rights in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, with a focus on women and gender-based issues. Nader’s journalism journey began in Kabul, where she reported for local and international media, including The New York Times, on sensitive issues such as honor killings, virginity tests, single women-headed households, and the social stigma of being a divorcee or a widow. Her work has been featured in publications such as Time, Foreign Policy, The Guardian, The Daily Mail, and Deutsche Welle. Nader publishes Zan Times from Canada and works with a group of mostly women journalists and editors, both in Afghanistan and in exile. She has been recognized for her significant contributions to human rights reporting under the Taliban regime, focusing on the challenges faced by Afghan women and minorities, making her an essential voice in a region where press freedoms are severely restricted. The fellowship will provide her with a platform to further develop her impactful storytelling.

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Fatemeh Jamalpour – Iran
Fatemeh Jamalpour, a journalist from Iran, is known for her insightful coverage of social and political changes within her country. Her reporting offers a rare glimpse into the lives of Iranians amid ongoing political tension. Being a part of the Knight-Wallace Fellowship will allow her to expand her journalistic endeavors and bring more critical issues to light.

Other Notable Fellows

The 2024-2025 cohort includes journalists from various countries and backgrounds, reflecting a broad spectrum of experiences and expertise. Some of the distinguished fellows include:

  • Mazin Sidahmed (USA): Co-Executive Director of Documented, focusing on immigration issues.
  • Alissa Figueroa (USA): Senior editor and producer at Type Investigations, specializing in investigative journalism.
  • Bastian Obermayer (Germany): Head of Investigations at Süddeutsche Zeitung, known for his work on the Panama Papers.

The Importance of Such Opportunities

The Knight-Wallace Fellowship is more than just an academic retreat; it is a lifeline for journalists working in challenging environments. This fellowship provides:

  1. Academic and Professional Growth: Fellows engage in tailored academic courses at the University of Michigan, enhancing their knowledge and skills in various fields relevant to their work.
  2. Networking and Collaboration: The program fosters a global network of journalists, enabling cross-border collaborations and the sharing of best practices.
  3. Innovation in Journalism: By offering time and resources, the fellowship encourages journalists to pursue ambitious projects that they might not be able to undertake in their regular professional settings.
  4. Support for Press Freedom: The fellowship underscores the importance of a free press, particularly in regions where journalists face significant risks.


The Knight-Wallace Fellowship is a beacon of support and encouragement for journalists dedicated to uncovering the truth and making a difference in their societies. By empowering journalists like Zahra Nader and Fatemeh Jamalpour, the program not only enhances their careers but also contributes to the global fight for press freedom and democracy.

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For more details on the Knight-Wallace Fellows 2024-2025, visit the Wallace House.

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