JSK director to leave after next year

Dear friends of the JSK Fellowships,

I have some news to share: I’ve decided that the 2015-16 academic year will be my last as director of the John S. Knight Journalism Fellowships program. 

The program is in great shape, better than it’s ever been, so the time is right. We’ve accomplished a lot. Now I want to seek new ways to shape journalism for the better. I’ll be glad to pass the torch to a new director.

If you ask me about what we have accomplished, I’ll happily hold forth on the achievements of our outstanding Fellows, and the staff that fueled their successes.  But I want to put a big bold frame around two highlights: our shift in emphasis to journalism innovation, entrepreneurship and leadership in 2009, and our continuing commitment to diversity in all aspects of our program. I think they’ve helped distinguish us immeasurably.

I’m retiring from this job — but not from journalism.  I’ve worked in journalism institutions and organizations for nearly 50 years — 20 years with the Riverside Press-Enterprise and the San Jose Mercury News, and 26 with this program. Now I want to work more independently and entrepreneurially. I intend to use what I’ve learned at JSK, and before that in daily newspapers, to help others. I’ll be eager to learn some new dance steps. Stay tuned.

Jim Bettinger

James Bettinger, 68, came to the JSK Journalism Fellowships Program as deputy director in 1989, and was named director in 2000. He was a Stanford Professional Journalism Fellow in 1982-83.