Twitter had erupted after Nidhi Razdan revealed that she had fallen for a phishing attack and that Harvard University had not really offered her a job. Now, Joshua Benton, senior director and former Director of the Nieman Journalism Lab of the Nieman Foundation at Harvard University, has had his say on the Nidhi Razdan phishing attack. He has clarified that Harvard University does not have a school of journalism or department of journalism and has no professors either.
Wow — this is awful.— Joshua Benton (@jbenton) January 15, 2021
For the record, @Harvard has no school of journalism, no department of journalism, and no professors of journalism.
(It does have @niemanfdn! But we have no faculty and no classes. And it does have @ShorensteinCtr, but no journalism-specific faculty.) https://t.co/AiMYkcrB6Q
The Nieman Foundation, which Joshua Benton has referred to in his tweet, offers fellowships related to journalism. According to its website, the fellowship is for “individuals with a specific project to enhance journalism who would like to spend up to 12 weeks at Harvard advancing their idea.” “Following their work on campus, our fellows have gone on to assume senior leadership positions in newsrooms, produce groundbreaking journalism in every medium, launch entrepreneurial projects, and win the industry’s top honors,” it adds.
The Nieman Foundation has three initiatives: Nieman Lab, Nieman Reports and Nieman Storyboard. Nieman is located at Harvard’s Lippman House which “is the convening center every year for dozens of seminars, master classes, conferences and awards ceremonies. These bring together not only our fellows but the broadest-possible array of those practicing, celebrating, challenging and advancing journalism.”
Joshua Benton also pointed out that the Harvard Extension School only offers a Masters of Liberal Arts degree with a focus on journalism. Furthermore, it does not have full-time professors of its own. All the courses are taught by adjuncts and working journalists, he said.
And you don't get an actual degree in journalism — you get a "master's of liberal arts" with a journalism focus— Joshua Benton (@jbenton) January 15, 2021
According to the website of the Harvard Extension School, “The Master of Liberal Arts, Journalism degree field consists of 12 courses (48 credits), with one required on-campus course.” The course is customizable and includes Proseminar, Feature Writing, News Reporting among others.
It is pertinent to mention here that as early as September 2020, a Twitter user had pointed out that the course does not appear on Harvard’s course list.