Advancing journalism’s role in democracy with data, computation and collaboration

The JDI was founded in 2018 by leaders of Stanford University’s Journalism Program, John S. Knight Journalism Fellowships and Brown Institute for Media Innovation. Its goals are to foster collaborative work which advances public affairs reporting, fights against misinformation, and engages citizens on journalism’s role in a democratic society.

Big Local News

Data, tools and collaboration

Playbook for Newsrooms

Reporting responsibly on disinformation

JSK Impact Partnerships

Support to raise the quality of local news

Big Local News

Computational journalist Cheryl Phillips leads Big Local News, which collects, processes and shares governmental data that are hard to obtain and difficult to analyze; partners with local and national newsrooms on investigative projects across a range of topics, from police accountability to the impacts of climate change; and teaches best practices for finding stories within the data. The team of Stanford faculty, data journalists, students and researchers is also developing scraping tools such as Agenda Watch, which monitors public agendas and meeting minutes — and then alerts journalists to newsworthy items that might otherwise go unnoticed.
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Playbook for Newsrooms

Veteran journalist Janine Zacharia has partnered with cyber policy expert Andrew Grotto to create a step-by-step playbook of core principles and standards that news organizations can follow when faced with reporting on false, misleading and hacked information. Reporters and editors cannot ignore stolen information if it is newsworthy, but they need to make the provenance of the material an essential part of the coverage. The  playbook’s 10 guidelines are designed to help  journalists avoid being the unwitting accomplices of foreign or domestic propaganda operations.
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JSK Impact Partnerships

JSK Impact Partnerships, an initiative of the John S. Knight Journalism Fellowships, leverages JSK’s connections and alumni network to accelerate progress in the journalism industry and improve the quality of news and information reaching the public. It operates in parallel with the JSK Journalism Fellowships, which each year brings diverse leaders to Stanford to work on the industry’s most urgent problems. The work is based on JSK’s call-to-action themes, which include strengthening local news, challenging misinformation, and fighting bias, intolerance and injustice.
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Project-Based Course

In Exploring Computational Journalism, students use data, design and computation to build trust in news, invent better ways to discover information and experiment with new forms of storytelling.

Go Deeper

Computational Policy Lab

An interdisciplinary team of Stanford researchers, data scientists, and journalists is bringing a computational perspective to public policy. The lab use data science and technology, including algorithmic tools, to tackle pressing issues in criminal justice, education, voting rights, and beyond.

Be Inspired

JSK Journalism Fellowships

JSK’s 2022-23 cohort is comprised of eight U.S. Fellows and five international Fellows. These journalism leaders will work on practical solutions to address the industry’s neglect of underserved communities.

Apply for Funding

Brown Institute Magic Grants

The Brown Institute for Media Innovation provides yearlong funding awards to students, faculty and researchers at Stanford and Columbia universities. Here are the 2022-23 grant recipients.