Explore Harvard's Nieman network Nieman Fellowships Nieman Lab Nieman Reports Nieman Storyboard

Tag Archives: The Baltimore Sun

“What’s on your syllabus?”

Every narrative journalist can point to a story or a book, or two, that changed their lives, and that made them want to tell true stories. What story does it for you? Where was your love born? When we asked about influential writing via Twitter, answers came in a flurry. Wright Thompson said North Toward Home, [...]

Jaimee Rose on a personal mystery, guiding forces, the importance of fripperies and the meaning of life

In “Question of a Lifetime,” our latest Notable Narrative, Arizona Republic features writer Jaimee Rose tells a moving story about her grandfather’s search for answers regarding a top-secret mission he accepted as a World War II pilot. As a newspaper reporter, Rose has covered a range of topics, from rookie-era ribbon cuttings to the shooting of [...]

“Why’s this so good?” No. 36: Alice Steinbach and one boy’s vision

I wish I had come to this assignment when Alice Steinbach was still alive. I could have thanked her one last time for writing “A Boy of Unusual Vision,” a stunning immersion into the life, mind and vision of a 10-year-old blind boy. Now I commend it to those who haven’t yet discovered its deceptive [...]

Mandela’s Children

This series follows three young people in their quest to pass their matriculation exams, tests that in many ways will determine their future. It’s an engrossing read; the stakes are clear and the characters engaging. We did think the first section had a basic weakness: The chapter builds toward a sort of non-climax, the taking [...]

The Big Game

This series was written and reported by Kevin Van Valkenburg and Lem Satterfield. It follows a cast of characters through a football season, focusing on one central game. It explores the ways that football provides opportunities for the best players and improves the lives of many more. It’s built on strong scenes, character portrayal and [...]

Journeying into Jerusalem

This lovely, short narrative essay provides small and interesting details about a region we’re more likely to read about in news articles. The piece is also about how death creeped up on one man, in a land of religious stories.

Two Brothers Make a Family

Usually we want newspaper narratives with highly emotional content to connect with some larger public issue; otherwise they’re so often mawkish, sentimental. But there are also, of course, plenty of pieces so well written that they stand on their own. They’re worth reading in the way that good fiction is: they help us meaningfully connect [...]

End of the Race for Family Farm

This piece tells the poignant story of one farm. It’s also, peripherally, a story about baseball. It’s not fully narrative in terms of structure; it uses more quotes than dialogue and scene. But it does trace the rise and fall of a great horse farm. We liked that the piece ended with scene, the auctioning [...]

Offering an Education in Aging

This is a portrait of elderly nuns and the work of David Snowdon, a professor of neurology who has enrolled the nuns in a study on aging. Through several nuns, Dunkel makes clear the remarkable contribution that the women are making. They’re compelling characters: They are selfless and idiosyncratic, and they represent a dwindling devotional [...]

On Their Own

This moving series examines the development of a friendship between high school seniors Iven and Gary, which thrives not despite but because of the financial, legal, academic and family challenges they face.  Baltimore Sun reporter Liz Bowie delicately details the mutual loyalty that grows between her subjects, who stay connected during month after month of begged and borrowed housing, [...]