Innovation from many corners: 2013-14 U.S. Knight Fellows selected

Twelve U.S. journalists and innovators have been awarded John S. Knight Journalism Fellowships at Stanford University for the 2013-14 academic year.

“This group of U.S. Knight Fellows is easily the most diversified ever, with fellows coming from daily newspapers, online publications, tech companies and even an academic institution,” said Knight Fellowships Director James Bettinger. “This wide range of backgrounds and specialties reflects the variety and depth of expertise and commitment that journalism needs right now.”

They will join eight international fellows who were announced earlier this month. The Knight Fellowships champions innovation, entrepreneurship and leadership in journalism by helping the fellows pursue their ideas to improve the quality of news and information reaching the public. Fellows also participate fully in the intellectual life of the university, through academic classes, lectures and symposiums, and individual research.

The 2013-14 fellows will explore proposals that touch on many aspects of journalism: improving accuracy in reporting on Islam, raising the profile of indigenous perspectives on the news, engaging citizens in local food coverage, helping the public better understand data visualization and getting news quickly to communities hit by disaster. They also will be developing tools to help journalists create high-quality animated editorial cartoons, blog live on mobile platforms, gain relevant coding and data skills, and better connect with millennials and the changing U.S. demographic.

The U.S. Knight Fellows are:

Umbreen Bhatti ('14)

Umbreen Bhatti, co-founder, islawmix, Oakland, California.
Innovation proposal: A model for drawing on legal academic expertise to produce informed, relevant reporting.

Keli Dailey ('14)

Keli Dailey, staff writer, U-T San Diego, San Diego, California.
Innovation proposal: A platform to amplify the food beat using user-generated content.

Gus D'Angelo ('14)

Gus D’Angelo, game animator, TinyCo, San Francisco.
Innovation proposal: An open-source toolkit for producing and distributing interactive editorial cartoons for smartphones and tablets.

Tran Ha ('14)

Tran Ha, editor, RedEye/MetroMix, Chicago Tribune Media Group, Chicago.
Innovation proposal: A digital pilot and toolkit to connect news organizations and millennials, the next generation of media consumers.

Andrew Losowsky ('14)

Andrew Losowsky, senior books editor, Huffington Post, New York.
Innovation proposal: A platform to create pop-up, need-based publications in crisis situations.

Shazna Nessa ('14)

Shazna Nessa, former deputy managing editor, editorial products and innovations, Associated Press, New York.
Innovation proposal: Tools to help the public understand data visualizations and heighten visual literacy in news and media outlets.

Eric Ortiz ('14)

Eric Ortiz, senior editor, new media, New England Sports Network, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Innovation proposal: A free, live-blog platform optimized for smartphones and tablets.

Martin Quiroga ('14)

Martin Quiroga, systems architect, Jana Inc., San Francisco.
Innovation proposal: A content-ranking platform that delivers highly relevant, personalized news content based on an algorithmic notion of authority.

Cindy Royal ('14)

Cindy Royal, associate professor, School of Journalism and Mass Communication, Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.
Innovation proposal: An open-source, online training platform for teaching coding and data skills to journalists.

Alexa Schirtzinger ('14)

Alexa Schirtzinger, editor, Santa Fe Reporter, Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Innovation proposal: To use the innovative strengths and contemporary challenges of the modern alternative weekly newspaper as a platform for exploring new revenue models in local journalism.

Camille Seaman ('14)

Camille Seaman, photographer, Emeryville, California.
Innovation proposal: A website that applies indigenous perspectives and wisdom to current environmental stories and issues.

Danyel Smith ('14)

Danyel Smith, author and journalist, Brooklyn, New York.
Innovation proposal: A teaching platform that provides tools for journalists as they serve America’s new “normal” demographic.

The program received 100 applications for U.S. fellowships in the class of 2013-14. This will mark the 48th year that Stanford has offered journalism fellowships. Financial support for the U.S. fellows comes primarily from an endowment provided by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

The U.S. fellows were chosen by the Knight Fellowships Program Committee: James Bettinger, director, Knight Fellowships; Eavan Boland, Stanford professor of English and director of the Creative Writing Program; Theodore Glasser, Stanford professor of communication; Sarah Stein Greenberg, managing director, Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford; George Haj, senior editor, local news, the Houston Chronicle; Bruno Lopez, digital advisor to the news division, Univision Interactive Media; Abbas Milani, director of the Iranian Studies Program at Stanford and research fellow, Hoover Institution; Marcia Parker, West Coast editorial director of Patch.com; and Raul Ramirez, executive director, news and public affairs, KQED.