U.S. Knight Fellows for 2014-15 announced

Twelve U.S. journalists and innovators have won John S. Knight Journalism Fellowships at Stanford University for the 2014-15 academic year.

The Knight Fellowships program champions innovation, entrepreneurship and leadership in journalism, by helping fellows pursue their ideas – known in the program as “journalism challenges” – to improve the quality of news and information reaching the public. Fellows collaborate with each other, with Stanford faculty and students and with Silicon Valley engineers and entrepreneurs to advance their ideas.

“The selection of fellows from so many ‘legacy’ news organizations shows that innovation is highly valued in those organizations,” said Knight Fellowships Director James Bettinger. “We’re pleased that we will be working with journalists who can have an immediate impact as well as being effective far into the future.”

The U.S. fellows join eight international fellows who were announced earlier this month. Fellows participate fully in the intellectual life of the university, through classes, lectures and symposiums, and individual research.

The 2014-15 U.S. Knight Fellows

Zena Barakat ('15)

Zena Barakat, senior producer, video, The New York Times, New York
Journalism Challenge: A desktop dashboard and mobile application that can search across social media platforms to help journalists find and verify sources during breaking news.

Charla Bear ('15)

Charla Bear, reporter/anchor, KQED radio, San Francisco
Journalism Challenge: Free, interactive massive online training modules (MOOCs) to help journalists become better multiplatform storytellers.

Donna Borak ('15)

Donna Borak, Federal Reserve reporter, American Banker, Washington, D.C.
Journalism Challenge: Tools to increase reader concentration and improve engagement with online news stories.

Lope Gutiérrez-Ruiz ('15)

Lope Gutiérrez-Ruiz, co-editor and co-founder, Gopher Magazine/In-House Int’l, Austin, Texas
Journalism Challenge: An open platform to collect, process and distribute performance data about cities.

Louis Hansen ('15)

Louis Hansen, tablet reporter, The Virginian-Pilot, Norfolk, Virginia
Journalism Challenge: A model for newspapers to produce engaging, profitable afternoon tablet publications with exclusive content.

Jeremy Hay ('15)

Jeremy Hay, staff writer, The Press Democrat, Santa Rosa, California
Journalism Challenge: A digital dashboard that will facilitate data-based poverty reporting, making it more intuitive and driving increased coverage.

Anne Kornblut ('15)

Anne Kornblut, deputy AME for national news, The Washington Post
Journalism Challenge: Strategies for transforming newsrooms with print roots into digital-first operations, and growing online audiences.

Yvonne Leow ('15)

Yvonne Leow, senior associate, North Base Media, New York
Journalism Challenge: A tool that visualizes a newspaper’s historical data to help journalists better cover their communities.

Michael Morisy ('15)

Michael Morisy, editor, Beta Boston for The Boston Globe; founder, MuckRock
Journalism Challenge: Refining and documenting sustainable models for crowdsourcing, crowdfunding and discrete news tools that delight users.

Beatrice Motamedi ('15)

Beatrice Motamedi, freelance journalist, Oakland, California
Journalism Challenge: A collaborative digital platform and open-source, cross-cultural journalism toolkit for a student-run global news wire.

Akoto Ofori-Atta ('15)

Akoto Ofori-Atta, senior editor, Essencefestival.com, Brooklyn, New York
Journalism Challenge: A model for creating an online news publication rooted in African American experiences, dedicated to shareability and free from the task of uplifting the black community.

Christina Passariello ('15)

Christina Passariello, senior reporter, The Wall Street Journal, Paris, France
Journalism Challenge: A crowd-sourced website mapping the global garment industry to connect readers to the factory floor.

The program received 139 applications for U.S. fellowships in the class of 2014-15. This will mark the 49th year that Stanford has offered journalism fellowships. Financial support for the U.S. fellows comes primarily from an endowment provided by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

The U.S. fellows were chosen by the Knight Fellowships Program Committee: James Bettinger, director, Knight Fellowships; Sarah Stein Greenberg, managing director, Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford; George Haj, regional editor-in-chief for Florida, Georgia and Texas for American Legal Media; James Hamilton, Hearst Professor of Communication and director of the Journalism Program at Stanford; Bruno Lopez, executive vice president of operations, Hola Doctor Inc.; Abbas Milani, director of the Iranian Studies Program at Stanford and research fellow, Hoover Institution; Marcia Parker, editorial programming and audience development director, State.com.