Stanford's JSK Fellows on Liberation Technology

Stanford's JSK Fellows on Liberation Technology

Thursday, October 29, 2015
4:30 PM - 6:00 PM
Wallenberg Hall
450 Serra Mall, Building 160, Stanford, CA 94305-2055
  • Oleksandr Akymenko,
  • Subramaniam Vincent,
  • Jacob Fenton

The JSK Journalism Fellowships at Stanford ( each year brings 20 outstanding journalists and journalism innovators to pursue their ideas for improving journalism. JSK Fellowships focuses on journalism innovation, entrepreneurship and leadership, as JSK fellows create new models, tools and approaches that are redefining journalism. Each fellow comes to Stanford with a “journalism challenge”: a question they seek to answer, a problem they seek to solve, an opportunity they seek to explore. JSK Fellows collaborate with each other, with students, with faculty, researchers and Silicon Valley innovator and entrepreneurs.

They are a diverse group, representing traditional news organizations like The Washington Post and Southern California Public Radio, as well as newer ventures like Vox or Re/code. Seven of them are international fellows, some coming from countries where the news media is well established, and others from countries like Ukraine and Venezuela, where independent journalists often are under siege. This class marks the 50th year of journalism fellowships at Stanford and the seventh under the program’s heightened emphasis on journalism innovation, entrepreneurship and leadership.


Oleksandr Akymenko: From Yanukovych Leaks to Implementing New Business Models to Sustain Independent Media in Ukraine

Oleksandr Akymenko is a Ukrainian entrepreneur, journalist with experience in online, television and magazine reporting. Cofounder of, a media website aimed at the Creative Class. In 2014, Akymenko participated in YanukovychLeaks, a collaborative effort by journalists to salvage and publish the archives of former Ukranian president Viktor Yanukoyvch that had been dumped in a river. Akymenko had previously created and led the investigative department of Forbes Ukraine, where his reporting included a 2-year investigation of a young oligarch, Sergey Kurchenko. When Kurchenko bought the magazine’s parent company in mid-2013, Akymenko and several other staff members resigned in protest. Before joining Forbes, Akymenko had helped found Svidomo, which produces investigative projects and worked at an investigative program on one of Ukraine’s largest television channels. Twitter: @akymenko_o

Subramaniam Vincent: The Digital Public of Bangalore

Subramaniam Vincent is a software engineer turned journalist entrepreneur. He first came to the United States to pursue a master’s in computer engineering at the University of Southern California. After graduating, he worked at Cisco Systems in San Jose, California. He kept up with news of home by reading Indian newspapers online. When he and a friend became frustrated with their coverage of socio-economic issues, they decided in 1998 to start India Together, an e-journal focused on tracking campaigns for reform in India. Five years later, in Bangalore, they turned India Together into the country’s first reader-financed publication covering development. He later co-founded and is also editor-in-chief of Citizen Matters, a Bangalore-focused civic newsmagazine that uses the work of citizen and professional journalists. It is owned by Oorvani Media, of which he is CEO and co-founder. Currently, the journalism in both publications is funded by the non-profit Oorvani Foundation, where he is a trustee. Journalism in Citizen Matters and India Together has been awarded 10 times in 11 years. Twitter: @subbuvincent

Jacob Fenton: Open Data for Political Accountability in the U.S.

Jacob Fenton is a journalism and software developer who's worked in newsrooms and nonprofits the U.S. for the last decade. Most recently, Fenton was an editorial engineer for the Sunlight Foundation in Washington, D.C. where he worked extensively on campaign finance, TV ad disclosure, and congressional expenditure reporting. His responsibilities were split between developing new web sites and transparency tools, and using them as a journalist. He led the development of Sunlight’s real-time, federal campaign finance site, which was widely cited in the 2012 and 2014 election cycles. He previously has worked as a software developer in Palo Alto, California, a reporter in the Philadelphia suburbs and in a variety of roles that drew on his reporting and coding skills. He was database editor at The Morning Call newspaper, in Allentown, Pennsylvania, where he started the paper’s data center and wrote some of its first news applications. In 2010, he was selected as the first director of computer-assisted reporting at the Investigative Reporting Workshop, a nonprofit investigative news startup at American University’s School of Communications.