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JSK names U.S. journalism fellows for 2024-2025

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Headshots of the 2025 class of JSK Journalism Fellows

The John S. Knight Journalism Fellowships today named seven new U.S. Fellows to join the six international fellows previously announced for the class of 2024-2025.

The U.S. fellows are veteran and emerging journalism leaders from big and small newsrooms across the country; they are entrepreneurs and nonprofit innovators; visual journalists and executives of news organizations. They will come to Stanford University for nine months to explore and test practical solutions to urgent and systemic problems facing journalism.

“We live in an era where so many factors – from AI to misinformation, broken business models and broken trust with communities – are transforming the journalism industry, some of them threatening democracy,” said JSK Director Dawn Garcia. “We’re eagerly announcing this group of journalism change agents who want to use their experience and enterprising spirit to do something about it.”

Before coming to Stanford, these journalists have taken the initiative to begin efforts to address news and information gaps in underserved communities; help ameliorate the deterioration of legacy local news outlets; combat misinformation in Spanish-speaking communities; connect visual commentary with wider audiences, support peer knowledge sharing among news technologists, reporters, designers and editors and more. 

Journalists in this year’s fellowship cohort include leaders working for Outlier Media, City Bureau, CBS News, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, OpenNews and Factchequeado.

“We look forward to building on the talents and enhancing the leadership skills of these fellows as they join a cohort of U.S. and international journalism leaders.”

Dawn Garcia, JSK director

The fellowship runs from September 2024 to May 2025. The fellows will document their work publicly throughout the year, highlighting key strategies and lessons learned.

The U.S. fellows will join six international journalism fellows already selected for the 2024-2025 academic year. The international fellows are journalists from Colombia, Germany, India, Malawi, Malaysia and Russia. These international 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.

JSK provides fellows with several benefits, including a stipend of $125,000 and Stanford health insurance for fellows, spouses and children. As part of this cohort of innovative journalism leaders, fellows receive individual coaching from the program directors, participate in leadership workshops and can sit in on Stanford classes. They also have access to the world-class faculty and other resources of the university.

The Class of 2024-2025 joins a thriving JSK community. More than 1,000 people from over 80 countries have participated in journalism fellowships at Stanford since the program first began in 1966.

The U.S. Fellows were selected by the JSK Selection Committee, a group of Stanford faculty, staff and journalists, following initial screening and review by a group of JSK alumni and the fellowship directors. The selection committee members are: Adam Banks, professor, faculty director, Program in Writing and Rhetoric and the Institute for Diversity in the Arts, Stanford University; Sara Catania, chief program and operating officer, Solutions Journalism Network; Dawn Garcia, JSK director, Stanford University; Tonya Mosley, co-host, Fresh Air and host and executive producer, Truth Be Told; Marcia Parker, vice president, philanthropic partnerships, The New York Times; Cheryl Phillips, Hearst Professional in Residence, director, Big Local News, Stanford University and Ricardo Sandoval-Palos, public editor, Public Broadcasting Service.

U.S. fellows, JSK Class of 2024-2025

Tamoa Calzadilla headshot
Tamoa Calzadilla – Miami, FL
editor-in-chief
Factchequeado
JSK Journalism Fellow

Tamoa Calzadilla is editor-in-chief of Factchequeado, a collaborative initiative to fight misinformation and disinformation in Latino and Spanish-speaking communities in the United States. She manages partnerships and collaborative projects with more than 60 news organizations. She’s the former director of Univision’s elDetector, the first Spanish-language fact-checking platform in the United States. Calzadilla was part of a team that was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize for FinCEN Files, an International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and BuzzFeed News collaborative investigation that revealed the role of some of the world’s biggest banks in money laundering. She also worked on the Panama Papers project. In 2022, Forbes.es included Calzadilla on a list of the 100 most creative people in the business world. As a 2024 RJI Fellow at the University of Missouri, she developed a bilingual guide for journalists covering Latino and Spanish-speaking communities. 

David Carson headshot
David Carson – St. Louis, MO
staff photojournalist
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
JSK Journalism Fellow

David Carson is a staff photojournalist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch where he has worked for more than two decades photographing news, sports and as an on-site editor for big news events, coordinating coverage of two World Series, a Super Bowl and U.S. presidential debates. He was a member of the Post-Dispatch’s team that was awarded the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Photography for their coverage of the social unrest in Ferguson, Missouri following the police shooting of Michael Brown. He also was a member of the newspaper’s staff that was a 2009 Pulitzer Prize finalist for its coverage of a mass-shooting during a suburban city council meeting. Previously Carson worked at the Naples Daily News in Florida, The Providence Journal-Bulletin in Rhode Island, and as a freelance photographer in New England where he worked on assignments for The New York Times, USA Today and the Associated Press, among others.

Bettina Chang headshot
Bettina Chang – Chicago, IL
co-founder and Chicago programs lead
City Bureau
JSK Journalism Fellow

Bettina Chang is the co-founder and Chicago programs lead of City Bureau, a civic journalism lab focused on community engagement, participatory journalism and racial equity. City Bureau in 2022 won a $10 million Stronger Democracy Award for its Documenters Network, which trains and pays people to cover public meetings and build community around democratic participation. An editor by trade, Chang’s career has spanned roles and mediums, including trade magazines, traditional newspapers, digital audience strategy, product design, newsroom training, organizational development and non-profit executive leadership. Chang edited “Missing in Chicago,” an investigation by City Bureau and the Invisible Institute that was awarded the 2024 Pulitzer Prize in Local Reporting. She is passionate about working with journalists of color to help them effect the change they want to see in the world. Chang won the 2019 Rising Star Award from the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. In 2020 she presented a TEDx talk on “Maslow’s Pyramid, Fake News and the Future of Journalism.” 

Mark Fiore headshot
Mark Fiore – San Francisco, CA
visual journalist
self-syndicated
JSK Journalism Fellow

Mark Fiore is a visual journalist who turns complex issues into accessible cartoons, animation and biting satire. His work has appeared on the San Francisco Chronicle’s website, Politico, Slate.com, CBSNews.com, NPR.org and many other outlets across the globe. Fiore was staff cartoonist at KQED, where he created daily topical single-panel cartoons and collaborated with reporters and editors on longer pieces of graphic journalism and animation. Beginning his career drawing traditional editorial cartoons for newspapers like The Washington Post and Los Angeles Times, Fiore turned to animation in 2001, when he pioneered the new form of animated political cartoons. He won the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning for animated cartoons published in SFGate.com. He was also a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2018. Fiore is a two-time winner of the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award.

Candice Fortman headshot
Candice Fortman – Detroit, MI
executive director
Outlier Media
JSK Journalism Fellow

Candice Fortman is the executive director of Outlier Media, a non-profit newsroom that centers and responds to the needs of Detroit residents. In her role, she ensures the organization makes consistent and timely progress in achieving that mission while building a sustainable newsroom that challenges traditional models. Before joining Outlier, Fortman was the marketing and engagement manager at WDET 101.9, Detroit’s NPR station. She is the host of News Guest, a podcast that explores newsroom sustainability and leadership. Fortman sits on the board of Cityside, which operates Berkeleyside and The Oaklandside in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is an advisory board member for OpenNews. She also serves as an advisor to Baltimore Beat, a non-profit newsroom with a mission to honor the tradition of the Black press and the spirit of alt-weekly journalism. Fortman was a 2021 JSK Community Impact Fellow

Ryan Pitts headshot
Ryan Pitts – Spokane, WA
co-director
OpenNews
JSK Journalism Fellow

Ryan Pitts is co-director of OpenNews, a non-profit where he helps journalists build skills and relationships that transform their work. He develops programs for events like SRCCON, where peers explore the tech, techniques, and culture change to reimagine journalism. He is the editor of OpenNews’ publication Source; he helps journalists document data projects so other newsrooms can replicate them, and share personal stories and career reflections that raise important conversations in the field. Pitts began his career in local newsrooms, working as a reporter, editor, and designer before moving into online journalism after learning to code as a hobby. He was the senior editor for digital media at The Spokesman-Review. He is a board member and developer for Census Reporter, which makes census data easier to use, and on the advisory board for Range, a community newsroom in Spokane.

Joe Ruiz headshot
Joe Ruiz – San Antonio, TX
managing editor
CBS News
JSK Journalism Fellow

Joe Ruiz is a managing editor at CBS News where he oversees the network’s digital news platforms. Previously he was senior editor at CNN Politics, planning and coordinating weekend digital news teams, guiding live blogs on the Ukraine War, national politics and elections. He also worked at NPR, where he led most of its weekend digital news operation and social media while helping to establish NPR’s presence on emerging platforms. He also worked at NBC and ABC affiliates in Kansas City and San Antonio. In 2010, Ruiz was part of The Seattle Times team that was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Reporting for their work covering the shooting deaths of four police officers and the ensuing manhunt for the suspect. He serves on the board of directors at the San Antonio Report, a non-profit news organization.