The ICFJ Knight Fellowships are designed to instill a culture of news innovation and experimentation worldwide. Fellows primarily work with newsrooms to seed new ideas and services that deepen coverage, expand news delivery and engage citizens, with the ultimate goal to improve people’s lives. They work in countries where there is a good opportunity to create the news media of the future.
The program is funded by John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. With additional support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Fellows are empowering journalists in sub-Saharan Africa and India to use the latest digital tools to tell compelling stories and engage audiences on health, development and gender issues.
Our Fellows comprise a global network of digital entrepreneurs and visionaries who are transforming journalism and producing lasting, tangible change. They work in key areas of innovation such as newsroom transformation, entrepreneurship and business models, technology creation and adoption, data-driven investigations, new models of storytelling, audience engagement and digital security.
Each project is designed to ensure that the impacts and achievements last beyond the Fellowship. Fellowships are typically a minimum of one year, and may be extended by ICFJ depending on funding and the opportunity for greater impact.
Fellows lead projects in Asia, Eastern Europe/Eurasia, Latin America, Middle East/North Africa and/or Sub-Saharan African. Fellows are also bringing their innovations to U.S. newsrooms and journalists.
Fellows work on multiple, complementary projects. Examples of Fellowship projects have included:
- Forming a news organization’s first innovation team to produce major digital projects using new storytelling formats and tools such as 360-degree video
- Guiding the redesign of a newsroom to foster new forms of cross-team collaboration and workflows for greater efficiency and experimentation that delivers higher-quality content
- Launching an online school that offers business courses aimed at improving the sustainability of news startups
- Leading an innovation challenge that seeds disruptive digital ideas to improve the way that news is collected and disseminated using tools like bots, drones, sensors and mobile apps
- Creating a major newspaper’s first branded series that examines important societal issues like education, health and business through a gender perspective
ICFJ Knight Fellows also act as “thought leaders,” sharing their experiences and lessons learned on the Knight International Media Innovators page on IJNet.org, and speaking at top conferences focusing on media and information innovation.
For more information, see Our Impact page, our current Fellows page, and our Apply Now page, which offers detail on how we select Fellows and Fellowships. To request a Fellow to work with an organization, see our Partner With Us page.