Life of a Fellow
Dispatches from current fellows about their Stanford experience.
When I moved to Palo Alto to join the 2017 JSK Fellowship cohort at Stanford University I didn’t quite expect that I would spend so much of my time being bad at things.
I thrive in an academic environment but beyond that I have a strong appreciation for competency in doing things.
Hearing them talk about their work, their dreams, their hurdles and how they faced them, I was reminded that #blackgirlmagic is not the stuff of fairy tale godmothers.
Unlike its physical world ancestor, online publishing fails to reward investments in production and content quality. We urgently need to reconsider the error.
Three weeks into my JSK Fellowship, I feel like I’m finally figuring it out. I am not usually a woman who measures her worth on others’ performance but this group of incredible people almost requires that comparison.
As long as digital publishing flattens the business value of content, there is little hope to improve the economics of news publishing. The problem needs to be addressed.
How public media stations in Alaska have made collaboration into business as usual.
I spent the first 18 years of my life being defined by the chaos of my circumstances. I spent the next ten figuring out what my identity outside of that world is. And now I’m finally reconciling how the two go together.
At Stanford, in the JSK Fellowship program, in the Graduate School of Business, in the d.school, in talks with thinkers and tinkerers, it was a new world.
What impressed me most about these exchanges was a sense of hope among the students — unlike journalists, who tend to be cynical, or government officials, who tend to be jaded.
It’s hard not to buy into the mythology that opportunity is like fog here. Most of the time it looks just like clouds, beautiful but stubbornly overhead.
The problem inside many news organizations is that they are so hyper-focused on trying to figure out who their existing users are that they totally ignore potential users.
As a JSK Fellow, everything you think about yourself, your work, your capacity to learn, to experiment — everything is disrupted.
Seeing the rise of “machine learning” techniques from the classroom isn’t just an amazing insight into possible software futures, it’s a window into how other disciplines are exploiting new technologies.
In the world today, writing that draw readers, writing con brio, is more critical than it has ever been to journalism.
It’s a little like summer camp, if summer camp were an international coterie of passionate, whip-smart super-achievers scrambling to milk as much as they can out of a year.
You can meet with startup founders and have coffee with venture capitalists. Yet having a child attend school here provides you with the best insights as to why this area is so successful.
Feeling comfortable with uncertainty, experimenting with new things, cross-pollinating between disciplines, prototyping, testing and iterating are some of the things I’ve learned at Stanford.
At one point during the process, I looked up at the other teams we were competing against, all of them as passionate and focused as we were — and I realized the importance of this mission.
The more you resist a compliment, the less you believe in yourself. And if you can’t believe in yourself, what organization would put you in charge?
The concept of “racial mobility” can advance and enrich research on race and inequality — and I’m convinced awareness of this concept and others like it could do the same for journalism.