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The fellowship experience

People often ask, what do fellows do during their time at Stanford? There is not one answer that defines a JSK Fellowship, which is an individual experience intertwined with twice-weekly cohort gatherings. Our fellows come to Stanford pursuing solutions to journalism’s greatest problems. The year is structured to include an openness that allows the journalists to use their time as they see fit: exploring solutions, experiencing personal growth and recharging. The information on this page offers an overview of the key components of the JSK Fellowship experience. For more insights into the fellowship experience, check out the individual updates fellows publish periodically during their time at Stanford.


Fellows spend time on the journalism projects that brought them to Stanford. This is often not a straight line. Sometimes what fellows discover through the JSK experience puts them on a new path to solve a different challenge. 2023 Fellow Alex Goldmark came to explore the idea of interactive call-in podcasts and then pivoted to building an AI chatbot.  

In pursuit of solutions, fellows find collaborators on campus and off. You can read about how 2020 Fellow Michael Rain looked to combat misinformation in immigrant communities who rely on closed messaging apps for news; it’s work that had him reaching out to people in Silicon Valley. While 2023 Fellow Alicia Zuckerman found partners in Stanford professors and grad students as she explored how to make podcasting accessible to people who are d/Deaf and hard of hearing.


Arriving on the Stanford campus, fellows discover an abundance  of resources and opportunities at their disposal. Becoming a part of this world class community can make even the most accomplished journalist wonder whether they belong. Breaking through that imposter syndrome and adopting new mindsets is part of the fellowship transformation as 2023 Fellow Keiona Williamson discovered.  


As a JSK Fellow, you are part of a carefully selected cohort of journalists from around the world. The cohort meets multiple times a week. Together they take training in design thinking, negotiation, strategic communication and more. They hear from innovative journalism leaders. As a cohort, fellows also share their personal stories in journalism. JSK Affiliates, aka fellows’ partners, are welcome to attend most sessions. Friendships in the cohort are often instantaneous with fellows and their families getting together outside scheduled meetings. Read how the cohort experience transformed 2023 JSK Fellow Pia Ranada.


Each JSK Fellow is carefully matched with a JSK director who serves as their personal coach throughout the fellowship year. Our directors have expertise in leading news rooms, creating and navigating organizational change, nonprofit strategy and building and managing collaborations. For 2022 JSK Community Impact Fellow David Rodríguez Muñoz, the mentorship changed his mindset about what it means to serve his community and set him on a new path.