The Sun News’ Bailey named Nieman Fellow

From staff reportMay 16, 2013 

Issac Bailey, The Sun News Photo by Steve Jessmore


— One of the most prestigious and oldest journalism fellowships has tapped The Sun News’ Issac Bailey as one of 24 journalists from across the world to make up its next class.

Bailey, an award-winning journalist who has worked at The Sun News for nearly 16 years, has been selected as a Nieman Fellow in Journalism at Harvard University for the 2013-14 academic year.

He will be studying the intersection of literacy, football, race and the economy in the South, particularly in Georgetown and Horry counties, with a goal of using the research to understand efforts to battle illiteracy and improve cross-racial understanding in the region.

“At Harvard, I’ll be able to use the university’s resources and experts to broaden and deepen my knowledge to make me a better journalist and community member when I return next summer,” Bailey said.

Bailey was awarded the 2014 Donald W. Reynolds Nieman Fellow in Community Journalism. His fellowship begins in August and will last for a year. Bailey’s columns in The Sun News and regular blog posts on will be on hiatus until he returns from the fellowship in August 2014.

Bailey was one of 12 U.S. and 12 international journalists selected to make up the 2014 Nieman class. The Nieman Foundation, which administers the oldest fellowship program for journalists in the world, aims to promote and elevate the standards of journalism and educate those specially qualified for the field.

“It’s an honor and I want to fully take advantage of my time there,” said Bailey, who will move to Cambridge, Mass., with his wife and two kids for the next year.

Bailey is part of a class that includes reporters, editors, digital media leaders and broadcasters with resumes that include The Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker, National Public Radio and The Chronicle of Higher Education, among others.

The Nieman Foundation announced the 76th class of Nieman Fellows at Harvard on Thursday.

“They are extraordinary journalists who have much to offer each other and the broader Harvard community interested in the future of journalism,” Nieman Foundation Curator Ann Marie Lipinski said in a news release. “As Nieman celebrates its 75th year, it is exciting to witness the ways in which these fellows are working to uphold journalism’s highest standards while focused on innovations for radically shifting audiences, technologies and business models. We look forward to working with them all.”

Bailey has spent the bulk of his journalism career at The Sun News in various roles including reporter, business editor and currently as metro columnist and senior writer. He also has taught a journalism course at Coastal Carolina University.

He was a freelancer for The Charlotte Observer while he worked in the college relations department at Davidson College, where he graduated in 1995.

Bailey also has attended classes at The Poynter Institute, which offers training to journalists, learning how to more accurately write about and report on race and related issues and narrative writing. He has won statewide and national awards for his column writing and investigative stories.

Carolyn Murray, editor and vice president of The Sun News, said she wasn’t surprised that Bailey was selected as a Nieman Fellow.

“We are thrilled that Issac has been chosen for this exclusive and prestigious honor,” she said. “We also look forward to seeing how the experience at Harvard deepens his work for The Sun News when he returns in August 2014.”

Bailey said he is looking forward to taking time away from the daily journalistic pressures to focus on learning.

“I hope to know more, to be smarter, better educated,” he said. “But maybe just as importantly, I hope to have fresh batteries when I return.”

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