We support passionate journalists, innovators, and entrepreneurs as they create the new models, tools and approaches that are redefining journalism. Through the years, one core mission of the Knight Fellowships remains the same: To improve the quality of news and information reaching the public.
Journalism fellowships at Stanford started in 1966 with a powerful idea: giving reporters and editors free run of the classrooms and libraries of a great university, which would pay off in superb journalism. We grew and evolved during the 1960s and ’70s, with widening support from journalism and journalists. A $4 million grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation put us on a permanently endowed basis in 1984, and renamed the program for John S. Knight.
The original model worked well for a long time — and then the huge disruptions to journalism spurred us to make big changes. We now work to serve the needs of journalism and journalists by focusing on innovation, entrepreneurship and leadership. We ask journalists to come to Stanford with a great idea to work on: They have launched journalism startups, created cross-border investigative reporting partnerships, and crafted tools to enhance reporting on immigrant communities, to cite a few examples.
Our fellows come from all over the world and from all types of journalism, including daily newspapers, radio and television, non-profit news startups, blogs and ethnic media. They explore and use Stanford, in addition to working on their innovation proposals. They take their cues from our partners and allies in Silicon Valley, as they prototype, refine and retest their ideas. And they don’t do it alone. Knight Fellows work closely with each other — and us — to develop their proposals and explore alternatives. That’s how we are transforming journalism.