Being a Fellow

Our program is focused on journalism innovation, entrepreneurship and leadership. We select JSK Fellows who are passionate about finding ways to address challenges facing journalism and journalists. To that end, we ask applicants to identify a challenge they want to pursue and tell us a little bit about it. Those who are selected for a fellowship spend a significant portion of their time here working on that challenge.

But that’s just one aspect of the fellowship experience. Fellows have the opportunity to draw on the richness of knowledge and expertise at Stanford and Silicon Valley. They sit in on classes, attend events on campus, connect with experts in the university’s many research institutes and explore many avenues for connecting with innovative thinkers and doers in Silicon Valley. We support our fellows’ work in numerous ways — through coaching and skills workshops, seminar discussions with thought-leaders in technology, creativity, innovation and journalism. The most valuable asset we offer JSK Fellows, though, is other fellows. They collaborate with and learn from each other. They get advice and find mentors among former JSK Fellows. In addition to the regularly scheduled events we organize for the group, fellows seek out and organize additional shared professional and social activities.

JSK Fellows have a lot of freedom to decide how to spend their time and energy, but we do have a few expectations. Once selected, fellows must agree to:

  • Devote their energy during the year to the fellowship rather than to regular professional work
  • Spend the academic terms, September through June, in residence at Stanford 
  • Participate fully in weekly all-hands meetings and activities organized by the fellowship
  • Fellows who commit to return to their news organizations after the fellowship agree to honor that commitment.

Recent alumni describe their individual experiences and the lasting impact of being a JSK Fellow:

Michelle Holmes in the headquarters of the Alabama Media Group

Advice for innovating in established newsrooms: Get used to messy

2012 Knight Fellow Michelle Holmes shares insights about leading the digital transformation of long-established newsrooms.

Dan Archer sketching during a reporting trip

Dan Archer: Never underestimate the power of collaboration

Comics journalist Dan Archer discusses his project documenting human trafficking and the impact of his 2011 Knight Fellowship on his work.

2011 John S. Knight Fellow Sahar Ghazi Knight

Sahar Ghazi helps lead Global Voices, using lessons from Stanford

What happens when a journalist gets to step out of their usual environment and immerse themselves in a 10-month fellowship at Stanford with other journalists and news entrepreneurs from all around the world?