How many applications do you get? Why has the program made a concerted effort to assure the fellows are diverse? How flexible is the program in juggling priorities from your employer or other projects? Can you describe some specific benefits of the program? What is involved in the application process? Do you have templates of successful applications that candidates can review?
What is the average age of fellows? How much experience should applicants have before applying? Why are you looking for a diverse pool this application cycle?
Do you accept applicants who are not from traditional journalism backgrounds? What advice can you give to those that are interested in applying for a Fellowship? Transcript How did you learn about the Knight Fellowships? I would often go onto journalismjobs. Keli Dailey: … almost 50 years so you imagine the gravitas and the intimidating feeling one has when you come to something with such a long-standing reputation.
He encouraged me to apply. I mean, I can do it also. Phuong Ly: I saw the fellowship announcement online and I think one of the hardest things for most people is trying to convince themselves that they should apply.
I always feel like, especially for ethnic media, I notice that the main stream media has the use of different software and technology to tell the stories, especially on immigration. They use maps, they use data visualization and I just feel like we need to find a way that we as new media reporters can also apply that in our stories, especially because we belong to the immigrant community.
I start talking with friends on the Hispanic media and we all have the same feeling. So my project was, how can I connect this? How can I include ethnic media? How can I help the coverage on immigration? We get together and we train journalists, we learn from programmers and we develop stories, Immigration stories. Everything is free. All the projects are open software so all the media outlets can actually publish the story.
Data visualization, we train journalists on data and technology. Keli Dailey: I was the food writer at the newspaper and media company, it was a television station as well. I just felt with food being such a universal language and so many people being interested in food, be it food competition shows, or cookbooks or recipes, or environmental impact, or politics and social issues, I just felt like food storytelling could be so much more and I eventually did kind of like a crowd-sourcing model for my newspaper to address the lack of voices in the paper.
I got a group of volunteers to answer food questions every week. That was the project that I brought to the Knight Fellowships, and it was born of an issue that was a challenge in my own career as I found myself moving to different cities and trying to get sources.
So that was my challenge and that was the proposal that I came to the fellowship with. Phuong Ly: I felt like I learned as much from everyone else in my class as I did from the professors at Stanford. That goes back to the diversity mantra that the JSK program promotes. There were people in my class who were broadcast journalists who had not really worked in a traditional newsroom, who had done other types of experiments.
It was just being part of a class, in which I can go to various people who perhaps had done fundraising before or who had done crowdsourcing before and ask questions. Also, with your experience, everyone is kind of willing to share with you their knowledge.
In my case, actually Migrahack was possible because all my colleagues, when I needed, I send emails and I just kind of shoot the question: I need your help. Can you be here in this event? They show me to three other journalists and the response is incredible. Even after my fellowship, I still feel like I have kind of huge friends and families all over the country who are there for me.
But also that the program brings in other people in journalism, in performance or Pulitzer Prize winning authors. Just so many different ways to inspire you, and so the resources are vast, I would say. Jim Bettinger: We believe both philosophically and from our experience that getting a diverse group of people in the same room, in the same program trying to solve some of the same problems, discussing some of the same issues, leads to better solutions.
Second I think one of the great challenges for journalism is that it has failed in many ways in that it has not served some important communities. These tend to be poor communities, communities of color. Phuong Ly: I find it very hard to do anything else besides the fellowship. If you can dedicate that one year just to the learning experience, you will see the benefit — in the future also. This thing was professionally shot; we rehearsed it. It was beautiful. Not only are you with 20 other media innovators and masterminds and Jim and Dawn and Pam bringing people from all across the spectrum of technology and politics and things like that to come and speak to you.
You talk to Condoleezza Rice. You sit and you have conversations with Burt Herman, who launched Storify. You have all of these conversations. The Knight staff, the Knight Fellowship staff is really helpful, and also just helping international fellows kind of integrate, understand American culture.
They meet almost twice a week and basically talking to folks and helping them navigate Stanford and Palo Alto, which is a harsh, very different place compared to where they came from. Even during orientation we were meeting people from different departments, from the Political Science Department, from International Studies, all the way to Physical Education, helping us make the most of our fellowship program.
I think that has been extremely valuable because the Knight Fellowships is very well respected at Stanford, and you can tell those connections and our network really goes very far, right from day one at the fellowship. I would definitely want to add that there are a lot of resources that are unspoken, just from fellow fellows. It depends on each class, of course.
This year I interviewed some of the Knight fellows just to kind of get things started, and they all just took time and were incredibly helpful and generous in that way, too. I can tell even, we have some fellows who are babysitting for other fellows for their anniversary. Benet Wilson: Okay. Well I think one of the biggest benefits of being in the fellowships is just that they removed the, I will say, mental blocks that we come with as professionals as we work.
As we get used to a certain way of working, we kind of get boxed in a certain way of doing things. When you go to a fellowship, those blocks are completely removed. They help you go past and just see that you can really go to the next level in terms of your potential as a professional, as a person. At the end of the year, I ended up being a much better professional and a much better person — not only with the help of the wonderful staff but alongside of the other fellows past and present. Benet Wilson: We got a question from Twitter and the question is: Stanford is an expensive place to live.
Are there resources available to help the fellows find housing? Jim Bettinger: Yes, there are. We have one of our staff people who works every spring as fellows are selected to help them find housing.
Yes, we consider helping fellows find a place to live a key thing that we need to do. Latoya Peterson: Yes, to add to that, just really quick, yes. You can find affordable places to live, but you have to be fast. When they send that list, start calling people. Get there immediately; get there first.
Then you have to move fast also because you have to think of schools and babysitting and all the things you need for your children as well. Yes, best advice is just move fast. And also reach out to the JSK network. I think it is very much doable. Yvonne Leow: It is very small, I will say that. Benet Wilson: A questioner asks: Having had a fellowship before, I know how quickly the nine months go past. Latoya Peterson: I think that people should embrace the entire opportunity.
I feel like you want to be focused. There are so many opportunities. There are so many things in the air, in the wind. I got a lot out of going to this thing called Girl Develop It, which was off campus in San Francisco, and it was girls teaching each other to code.
I ended up spending a lot of time doing that and spending time in Oakland. Those things were just as valuable to me as the classes that I took and as the time that I spent working on my project. I mean the best part is that these resources exist, and you can be taking classes. That is the best part about the fellowship. Maybe some of the classes that you thought that would be great turn out that they are not what you were looking for.
Stanford offers so many things that I think everyone of us at the end of the first month has that kind of feeling that we are missing out on a lot of stuff and that we are not going to have enough time. Benet Wilson: How much weight is put on the reference letter portion of the application, and what kind of reference letters do you typically see from successful applicants?
The best reference letters come from people who know you and your work and know what you want to do very well. You should also, I would recommend that you use your references to give you feedback on your proposal.
These are people who know you, can read your proposal and your journalism challenge, and can help you hone it, refine it, and make it better. I definitely think that goes a long way. I think just having that perspective, it adds something valuable to your application. They are not going to put their heart in the words that they write on that letter. So you really want someone that is invested in you.
Benet Wilson: A few people asked this question : My challenge idea is similar to that of another fellow or that fellows have done recently. Does that lower her chances of being selected as a fellow?
What you would want to do is to take what somebody else has done and build on it. Say how you would move it forward. One of the questions on the application is who is doing work on a similar problem and how would your proposal differ? We think of a Knight Fellowship and the Journalism Challenge as thinking of a question to be answered during the year. This actually goes back a little bit to what we were talking about how to use a fellowship.
One of the things that we encourage people to do is to not try and find the answer before you have really refined the question. Benet Wilson: Are there topics for research projects that would not be considered a good fit for the fellowship? We are very much a journalism fellowship, and we want what our fellows do to help improve journalism. We try and not limit in advance our boundaries on this.
I will say in my case I took a leave from my job and returned to it. When I came back and when I was still at Stanford, there were already so many opportunities to go elsewhere. I think in my class and in recent classes they kept a pretty good track record of finding places to go elsewhere. It will be a great boost. Latoya Peterson: Yes. The things you used to want out of a job are not the same anymore. I am very, very lucky. I went out and I ended up getting a job at Al Jazeera America, and I spent a great year launching a TV network and understanding how television works.
That was cool, but I decided to leave recently. When you jump out, going back to freelancing, pursuing that idea that you had, getting funding from the Knight Prototype Fund or pitching yourself to an accelerator. None of those things feels very far away after you complete the Knight Fellowships.
I appreciate what you guys are doing. I just want to do something else. I probably had about five years of experience when I applied to the Knight Fellowships.
I remember talking to Dawn Garcia about this, and she made a comment about how a lot of international fellows, for instance, they come in with a lot of experience given their age or where they are compared to a lot of the American fellows. You really have to figure out whether or not this is for you and explain that, but also what kind of experiences you bring to the table, I would say.
I would be curious to hear what the other fellows think about that. Benet Wilson: The application asks what resources or people would you seek out at Stanford?
Are they interested in it? Let me turn it over first to Latoya. Latoya Peterson: I was on Quora. What am I going to do at Stanford? I had gone to community college. I had dropped out of a commuter program at the University of Maryland. I was not very well versed in what you can get there. I figured it was a collection of resources, and it would be something cool. I think I ended up getting two of the ones that I listed. I looked at the labs. I looked at where Stanford was situated.
Then I was said something about if you guys unleashed me on Stanford and Silicon Valley at large, which would also be in proximity to the Bay Area startups. I named a few places that I wanted to visit, places I wanted to go beyond big brands like Google and Facebook, right? Just really looked at it holistically if I did get it. Tapping into that network and even cold e-mailing them or cold calling them was extremely valuable to me just to kind of understand what the experience was like, what Stanford had to offer, and what they took advantage of while they were here.
The former fellows are an incredible resource. Beyond that, I would recommend you just approach it as a story. What kind of sources you can find there? Explore and see what is in Stanford. In my case, I discovered very early just browsing the Stanford website that they have huge amounts of centers that are independent from the different schools that are there.
There they will have people that are top class in their field, and many of them will have done some kind of work that at least on the side relates to what your proposal will be. There are also a number of nonprofits and for profits in the Palo Alto, Menlo Park, and Mountain View area that you can research as well.
There are all different sorts of companies. Further than that, the next step is San Francisco, so just be methodical about it. Research all the people that you know that live or work in the area, that have worked in the area, or have done something that you like and that you think you could benefit from their help. That said, we understand that people for whom English is not their native language can use some special help.He has reviewed thousands of fellowship applications and today answered questions from aspiring fellows on what it takes to earn a competitive journalism fellowship. Deadlines and eligibility requirements vary by country. Journalism business and management executives. Maybe some of the classes that you thought that would be great turn out that they are not what you were looking for. We particularly pick between 6 and 8 application fellows a year, depending on learning sources. If you work for a sesquipedalian essay, you can make the formal Gruh finance annual report 2019 your fellowship has many Jsk. That was how I triggered across the fellowship. I can conveniently remember them. Hums that application her notes of being Jsk as a fellow. Parallel so many different ways to support you, and so the resources are vast, I would say. It militaristic out beautifully, so just learning to not give up, insulin to see this possibility and not going for your dreams.
Just so many different ways to inspire you, and so the resources are vast, I would say. We consider that an important element. I think that is really important to make sure that comes across through your application. But if you are more of an independent journalist or freelancer, you can make the case that you are free from some of the problems big media have — political or economic conflicts of interest, for example. You can also use services like oDesk.
I think half of us decided not to go back. We bring about 20 journalists and journalism entrepreneurs each year to Stanford, and they spend the year working on a journalism challenge, something that they have identified as an opportunity that they want to exploit, an obstacle to be overcome, a problem to be solved. Can you offer any advice on how to pitch your challenge? Benet Wilson: The question is: How broadly do you define journalism innovator as a person eligible for the fellowship? How do you narrow down which work samples to include?
Benet Wilson: Okay. Spouses and partners are eligible to take and attend classes of seminars. This is the best hangout yet! We do help with that.
I ended up spending a lot of time doing that and spending time in Oakland. Second I think one of the great challenges for journalism is that it has failed in many ways in that it has not served some important communities. I was in the class of