The New York Times has chosen Amanda Hess, Greg Howard and John Herrman as the first recipients of the David Carr fellowship. More than 600 people applied for the two-year fellowship, according to a press release. The fellowship was originally going to just one person.
“We found these three candidates so compelling that we decided to select all of them,” said Dean Baquet, executive editor, The New York Times. “They are thoughtful, deep reporters. We will learn as much from them as they will from us.”
Hess, winner of a 2015 Mirror Award, comes from Slate and will write for the culture desk. Howard comes from Deadspin and will write for the Magazine. Herrman, co-editor of The Awl, will write for the business and media desks.
The fellowship was established in memory of the late David Carr and “was created to bring diverse voices into The Times and to nurture a new generation of Times journalists. Fellows will build on Mr. Carr’s commitment to holding those in power accountable and telling deeply reported stories.”
The fellows start on March 15.
Here’s a bit from each of their essays:
“It’s easy … to write the story of progress and disruption, or to lament in the face of sudden change. But these are only reactions, and therefore inadequate – they seek to rationalize or dismiss subjects and their actions, and little more. Carr demonstrated, as a reporter and a critic, a more powerful third way: to approach change as something to be understood and explained before it is resisted or endorsed; to relentlessly demystify. He was resistant to tech’s most intoxicating evangelism and the media’s most appealing protectionism. Above all, his was a rare approach that actually took the future seriously.” – John Herrman
“Saying that ISIS beheading videos spread through social media makes the behavior seem transactional. Carr made it visceral: “frictionless media dynamics carry darker cargo.” The idea that drives much of my current reporting and analysis – that the Internet is real life – sounds simple, but it’s effective. Sometimes all it takes to challenge the institutions that shape the virtual world is to remind readers that real people fight and fawn and flirt in these places, and that real people are deciding how everybody else does all those things, and that they’re making real money along the way.” – Amanda Hess
“I expect that if I were selected for the David Carr Fellowship, I’d be an odd fit at The New York Times … Carr’s columns were so good and his opinions so valuable because he was at bottom a great reporter, and his reporting informed his opinions. My ultimate ambition and goal is to report and write arresting stories both short and long along the axes of sports, race, our nation’s justice system, politics, music, and media, and the places where any and all of those intersect.” – Greg Howard