Hamilton, Peterson and Wilson join JSK board

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James T. Hamilton (left), Latoya Peterson (center), and Kinsey Wilson (right)

John S. Knight Journalism Fellowships Director Dawn Garcia has announced the appointment of three new members to the program’s Board of Visitors.

The board sets policy and provides strategic guidance for the program. In collaboration with the directors, the board works to extend the reach of the fellowship at Stanford and in the worlds of journalism, innovation and technology.  

The JSK Board of Visitors members are appointed by the president of Stanford University, Marc Tessier-Lavigne, and report to him. The new members are:

  • James T. Hamilton is the director of the Journalism Program at Stanford University and a leader in the expanded use of computational journalism to lower the costs of story discovery. He is co-founder of the Stanford Computational Journalism Lab, and senior fellow at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, and affiliated faculty at the Brown Institute for Media Innovation. He has a Ph.D. in economics from Harvard and is the author of books on media markets and public affairs, including “Democracy’s Detectives: The Economics of Investigative Journalism.”
  • Latoya Peterson is deputy editor of digital innovation for ESPN’s The Undefeated, where she works across editorial, product and data teams to help implement trailblazing new forms of storytelling. One of Forbes Magazine’s 30 Under 30 rising stars in media for 2013, she is editor/owner of the award-winning blog Racialicious.com, covering the intersection of race and pop culture. She was a 2013 John S. Knight (JSK) Journalism Fellow, after which she was editor-at-large at Fusion, and senior digital producer for The Stream before joining ESPN. She produced a YouTube series on Girl Gamers and is a frequent speaker at journalism and tech conferences. She is currently working on 360 video, virtual, and augmented reality projects.
  • Kinsey Wilson is editor for innovation and strategy and executive vice president for product and technology at The New York Times, leading a team of more than 900 technologists, designers, product managers and editors responsible for guiding the company’s digital strategy and products. For more than two decades, he has served in senior executive roles in print, broadcast and digital news operations, including at Congressional Quarterly as managing editor, at usatoday.com as editor-in-chief and at USA TODAY as executive editor and at NPR as executive vice president and chief content officer.

The members are the first named since Dawn Garcia became director of the JSK Fellowships in September. Continuing on the JSK Board of Visitors as members are Krishna Bharat, former distinguished research scientist at Google and founder of Google News; Margaret Neale, the Adams Distinguished Professor at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business and Jason Seiken, CEO of QCatalyst.

The new appointments come as longtime Board of Visitors Chair Sandra Mims Rowe retires from the position, after serving 19 years on the board, 16 years as chair. Rowe is former editor of The Oregonian, which she led to five Pulitzer Prizes, and is chairman of the Committee to Protect Journalists.

Jason Seiken
Jason Seiken

Seiken succeeds her. He has been at the forefront of digital transformation since leaving Stanford as a JSK fellow in 1994. He was the founding editor-in-chief of washingtonpost.com, the first American editor-in-chief of a British daily newspaper, and head of digital at PBS. He is currently CEO of QCatalyst, a digital transformation company that works with some of the world’s leading media brands.

“I’m humbled and honored that Dawn has asked me to follow in the footsteps of Sandy Rowe, a legendary editor who did so much to help transform the JSK program,” Seiken said. “I’ve devoted two decades of my career to driving innovation and digital transformation at media companies, so I am passionate about the work Dawn and others at JSK are doing to seed innovation at news organizations.”

Garcia said that she valued Seiken’s deep experience across digital media, both in the U.S. and abroad, and his transformational mindset. She said she looked forward to seeking his strategic guidance for the JSK fellowships as the program entered a new era.

“Seiken’s strength comes from being a change agent and a leader in major newsrooms, which gives him a real-world view of the challenges facing journalism today as well as the opportunities,” Garcia said. “He’s also a creative thinker with a wry sense of humor.”

JSK Director Emeritus Jim Bettinger, who was deputy director in 1994-95 when Seiken was a fellow, recalled him as someone who recognized early on the impact digital was going to have on journalism. Bettinger retired last year as JSK director after 27 years with the program.

As such, Seiken will follow in the path of Rowe, whom Bettinger said played a key role in the 2007 decision to reinvent the program to focus on innovation, entrepreneurship and leadership. Rowe, Bettinger and Garcia decided to convene a strategic task force to carve a new path for the program in the face of disruptions that were beginning to hit the U.S. newspaper industry.

“She was convinced we needed to make changes in the program, and kept actively pushing for this,” Bettinger said. “Throughout the process, Sandy kept us focused and on track.”

Sandra Mims Rowe
Sandra Mims Rowe

Rowe has been widely recognized for her leadership and her contributions to journalism.

In 2010, she was honored with the American Society of Newspaper Editors’ National Leadership Award. The National Press Foundation named her editor of the year in 2003 and Editor & Publisher magazine named her editor of the year 2008. She was a Knight Fellow at Harvard University’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy in 2010-11, after her retirement from The Oregonian, where she had been editor since 1993.

Rowe transformed The Oregonian into one of the nation’s best regional papers, a regular contender and winner of major journalism awards, including five Pulitzer Prizes. Rowe hired top talent and inspired them to do their best work. Earlier in her career, Rowe was executive editor and vice president of The Virginian-Pilot, in Norfolk, Virginia, and The Ledger-Star in Virginia Beach.