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JSK names international journalism fellows for 2024-2025

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Headshots of the 2025 International Fellows

The John S. Knight Journalism Fellowships will welcome six journalism leaders from Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America to Stanford University to be part of the JSK Class of 2024-25.

Beginning in September, these JSK Fellows will pursue a range of innovative ideas to improve journalism in a world where journalists and independent media are facing increasing challenges from authoritarian regimes, polarization, misinformation and financial pressures to sustainability.

“The urgent issues facing journalists around the globe are multiplying,” said Dawn Garcia, JSK Fellowships director. “We believe that with the support and attention of the JSK Fellowships and Stanford, this group of talented international journalists can be further empowered as leaders, to work toward solutions for their countries, and can serve as inspiration and models for others.” 

The next JSK Fellowships class will include journalists from Colombia, Germany, India, Malaysia, Malawi and Russia. Early next month, JSK will announce the U.S. fellows who will be joining them in the next fellowship cohort. The fellowship program has hosted journalists from more than 80 countries over more than 5 decades at Stanford. This class will include the first JSK fellows from Malaysia and Malawi.

Before coming to Stanford, these journalists have done pioneering – and often brave – work to improve journalism in their countries and provide access to news and information people need to create and sustain robust democratic communities. 

One is a journalist from Malawi, under pressure for uncovering corruption, who launched an investigative journalism center to hold the powerful accountable and to train a new generation of local journalists. Another founded two independent news startups that have positively contributed to the media ecosystem in Malaysia. One has led a pioneering project to better serve the news needs of the growing Turkish-speaking population in Germany, a country where at least one in five people are immigrants. 

A journalist from Colombia who is joining the class has built an award-winning, participatory journalism organization that could be a model for others in an increasingly polarized world. Another new fellow is an accomplished investigative journalist from Russia who is working in exile because the government declared his news organization “undesirable” and its staff “foreign agents,” which banned them from working inside their country. And yet another hosts one of the most popular video programs in India at an independent news site, devoted to the issues of people living on the margins of Indian democracy who are largely ignored by the big media.

Throughout their nine months at Stanford, the fellows will connect with Stanford resources and experts, participate in tailored workshops, individual coaching and peer-to-peer learning to grow as leaders and become more effective change agents.  

“We are eager to bring these terrific journalists to Stanford and have them make use of the vast resources available at one of the world’s top universities. Their work could not be more urgent or needed.”

Dawn Garcia, JSK director

These six international fellows will join a thriving JSK community. More than 1,000 people from around the world have participated in journalism fellowships at Stanford since the program began in 1966.

International fellows, JSK Class of 2024-2025

Gregory Gondwe headshot
Gregory Gondwe – Blantyre, Malawi
managing and editorial director
Platform for Investigative Journalism
Lyle and Corrine Nelson International Fellow

Gregory Gondwe is the founder, editor and managing director of the Platform for Investigative Journalism (PIJ) in Malawi. Gondwe’s journalism career began in 1993, coinciding with Malawi’s pivotal transition from a single-party state to a multi-party democracy. His dedication to exposing corruption has prompted harassment from authorities. In 2022, police detained him for several hours and confiscated his electronic devices after PIJ published an investigation of the attorney general. And earlier this year, Gondwe went into hiding temporarily after receiving a tip that authorities planned to arrest him over his reporting alleging financial improprieties by the military. Gondwe is also a media trainer, part-time lecturer at the University of Malawi and a freelance correspondent for the Associated Press and other international news outlets. JSK welcomes Gondwe as a Lyle and Corrine Nelson International Fellow.  

Darshini Kandasamy headshot
Darshini Kandasamy – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
CEO
Trident Media
JSK Journalism Fellow

Darshini Kandasamy is the CEO of Trident Media, a news and content writing consultancy in Malaysia. She has worked in multiple countries and written for Malaysiakini, Malaysia’s leading online news portal, CNN, and Foreign Policy. Kandasamy co-founded Between The Lines, a pioneering subscription newsletter that she led for four years, until 2023. The newsletter contextualized Malaysia’s daily top stories and produced long-form special reports. She also helped start Malaysia Information Literacy Education (MILE). MILE is a nonprofit organization focused on developing interactive syllabi and games addressing the influence of digital and social media in disseminating misinformation and disinformation and fostering responsible digital citizenship among Malaysian youth. 

Arfa Khanum headshot
Arfa Khanum – New Delhi, India
senior editor
The Wire
JSK Journalism Fellow

Arfa Khanum is a senior editor at The Wire, an independent news website published in Hindi, English, Urdu and Marathi. She leads the multimedia team and hosts one of the most popular online video programs in India, which is primarily devoted to the issues of people living on the margins of Indian democracy. In 2019, Khanum was one of the first journalists to visit the Kashmir Valley after the Indian government stripped Kashmir of its autonomy and imposed a complete security and communication lockdown. Her journalism is focused on covering politics and policy, with a special focus on social justice. Khanum previously worked for NDTV, one of the largest television news networks in India. She is a recipient of the Red Ink Award for Excellence in Journalism from the Mumbai Press Club and the Chameli Devi Jain Award for Outstanding Woman Journalist of the year from The Media Foundation.

Juan Camilo Maldonado Tovar headshot
Juan Camilo Maldonado Tovar – Bogotá, Colombia
director
Mutante
Knight Latin American Fellow

Juan Camilo Moldonado Tovar is the director and co-founder of Mutante, a not-for-profit foundation that reports, produces and analyzes public conversations for audiences in Colombia and Latin America. In early 2024, Mutante was awarded the King of Spain Award for Best Media Outlet in Ibero-America for a “new type of journalism that goes beyond the sole publishing of stories” that “interacts with the public.” Previously he was editor of local news at El Espectador, and co-founder and editorial director of VICE Colombia and ¡PACIFISTA!, a specialized platform that covered peace building processes in Colombia for young audiences. In 2019 he was a member of the jury of the Simón Bolivar Journalism Award, Colombia’s most important journalism prize. JSK welcomes him as a Knight Latin American Fellow.

Mikhail Rubin headshot
Mikhail Rubin – Washington, D.C. (in exile from Russia)
deputy editor-in-chief
Proekt
JSK Journalism Fellow

Mikhail Rubin is a Russian journalist living in exile. He is deputy editor-in-chief of Proekt. There he has spearheaded numerous investigations into Russian President Vladimir Putin and corruption of Russian authorities. Rubin’s investigative work earned him six laurels from the Zimin Foundation’s independent Redkollegiya award, which supports free and professional journalism in Russia. He and colleagues were selected for the 2020 European Press Prize shortlist for their investigation of Yevgeny Prigozhin, at the time a member of Putin’s inner circle. Then in 2021, the Kremlin declared Proekt an “undesirable organization” and Rubin and other staff members “foreign agents,’’ which banned them from working inside their country. Currently Rubin helps lead Proekt’s globally distributed team from Washington, D.C., where he is a fellow at the Institute for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies at George Washington University.

Nalan Sipar headshot
Nalan Sipar – Berlin, Germany
founder and CEO
MedyaN
JSK Journalism Fellow

Nalan Sipar is a journalist and founder and CEO of her non-profit media startup, MedyaN. In 2014, Sipar presented Germany’s first German-Turkish children’s radio show, which was awarded the German Radio Award. She later completed a traineeship at the international broadcaster Deutsche Welle, In 2020 Sipar produced and hosted Germany’s first immigrant “Late Night Show.” After identifying vast disinformation regarding the coronavirus among German-Turks, the largest migrant community in Germany, Sipar started making news about the pandemic in Turkish on her YouTube channel. Sipar has received a Media Startup Fellowship from Media Lab Bayern and  was also a participant to the European Journalism Center’s YouTube News Creator Accelerator Program.