‘N.Y. Times’ Columnist Dwyer Using Pulliam Fellowship to Study Internet, Human Rights

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By: E&P Staff

Thirty-year newspaper veteran and Pulitzer Prize winner Jim Dwyer, columnist for The New York Times, was awarded this year’s $75,000 Eugene C. Pulliam Fellowship for Editorial Writing, presented annually by the Society of Professional journalists’ Sigma Delta Chi Foundation.

Dwyer is the first columnist to win the award under its expanded guidelines. He will be recognized at the awards luncheon of the annual National Conference of Editorial Writers (NCEW), on Sept. 25.

Dwyer plans to use the funding to travel to the Middle East, Asia and Africa to observe countries that exercise tight control over Internet content and access, susing that research for a book about the relationship of human rights to the Internet. “The greatest invention of our age has given voice to the powerless, and also handed an unparalleled tool for suppression and surveillance to authoritarian regimes,” Dwyer wrote in his fellowship proposal.

Dwyer also will audit MIT courses on the development of Internet technology.

This marks the 30th time the fellowship has been awarded. It is named in honor of prominent publisher Eugene C. Pulliam, a founding member of SPJ.

Former SDX Foundation presidents Paul McMasters and Todd Gillman, NCEW member SDX board member Jay Evensen, and NCEW Vice President and Roanoke (Va.) Times Editorial Page Editor Dan Radmacher chose the fellowship recipient.

Of several worthwhile proposals, said McMasters, “Dwyer’s ultimately emerged as a favorite because of the relevance, impact and urgency of the project he proposes.” McMasters said.

The Pulliam Fellowship enables a mid-career editorial writer or columnist from a U.S. newspaper to have time away from daily responsibilities for study and research. The $75,000 award allows fellows to enrich their knowledge of public-interest issues.

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