Journalists from Brazil and Venezuela selected as JSK international fellows

Journalists from Brazil and Venezuela are among the seven international media professionals selected to receive the John S. Knight (JSK) Journalism Fellowships at Stanford University in the U.S. for the 2019-2020 academic year.

Natalia Mazotte, executive director of the Open Knowledge Foundation in São Paulo, Brazil, is the Knight Latin American Fellow.

“I’m incredibly honored to join the JSK community. The program is a life-changing opportunity to connect with amazing people who are eager to tackle the most important issues in journalism from our time,” Mazotte told the Knight Center, with whom she also collaborates. “All the projects I know from JSK are at the intersection of different disciplines and at the frontier of knowledge on how journalism can evolve. In my project I want to explore new ways to use technology and digital methods to overcome lack of data, especially at the local level.”

Open Knowledge Brazil has worked to strengthen open data and civic tech in Brazil, Mazotte explained. Among their projects are the data science and artificial intelligence civic project Serenata de Amor and the School of Data, a global network dedicated to data literacy.

Joseph Poliszuk, editor and co-founder of investigative site Armando.info of Caracas, Venezuela, is the JSK Press Freedom Fellow.

Poliszuk left Venezuela in February 2018 along with three other journalists from Armando.info after they were criminally sued for continued aggravated defamation and aggravated injury. The journalists said there were a lack of judicial and procedural guarantees in the country. They had reported that a Colombian businessman linked to President Nicolás Maduro and his government had financial ties with a government program to combat hunger scarcity.

Poliszuk also was the recipient of the 2018 Knight International Journalism Award from the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ).

Mazotte and Poliszuk will spend 10 months at Stanford University in California working on projects “that address some of the most urgent issues in journalism,” according to JSK.

“We are fortunate to have this group of terrific international journalists join the JSK community,” said Dawn García, director of the JSK Fellowships. “They are bringing their tremendous drive and passion for journalism to Stanford University, which will welcome and celebrate their diverse perspectives and experiences. We are eager to have them make use of the vast resources available at one of the world’s top universities, and we look forward to seeing their ideas thrive.”

Other international fellows are from Nigeria, Israel, Zimbabwe, Poland and the United Kingdom. The U.S. members of the upcoming fellowship class will be announced on May 1.