Meet the 2013 Knight-Mozilla Fellows

Our 2013 Fellows are spread across the globe, building innovative new approaches to news at the New York Times, the BBC, the Guardian, Zeit Online, Spiegel Online, the Boston Globe, ProPublica and La Nacion. Not simply talented developers and technologists, they are also emerging as members the next generation of thought leaders in journalism.

  • Brian Abelson
  • Manuel Aristarán
  • Annabel Church
  • Stijn Debrouwere
  • Friedrich Lindenberg
  • Sonya Song
  • Mike Tigas
  • Noah Veltman </ul>

    Brian Abelson | New York Times

    Brian Abelson is a statistician, journalist, and hacker. He lives in New York and works as a data scientist at the Harmony Institute. He recently graduated with a MA in Applied Statistics from Columbia University where he focused on quantitative and computational approaches to social science. On the side, he edited a book for a prominent political scientist, won a hackathon, and worked on investigative news stories. In previous lives, Brian managed development projects in sub-Saharan Africa, reached number one on Hype Machine, and shared a stage with Spoon and Bob Dylan.

    Manuel Aristarán | La Nacion

    Manuel Aristarán is a coder-slash-musician. He's worked on big websites, recommendation engines, logistics and provisioning systems, public data tools and satellite ground station software...all while still trying to play bass and get good music gigs. In 2010, he independently developed, a tool to browse, visualize, and open the expenditure data published by the municipality of Bahía Blanca, Argentina, his hometown.

    Annabel Church | Zeit Online

    Annabel Church is a web developer who has worked in a variety of digital media agencies around London, before falling in love with news organisations from the inside out. She is currently working at the Guardian developing tools to aid and abet journalism through live blogging. Particularly, she is passionate about how information and news is represented and presented and what tools can be created to aid journalism. Originating from far away in New Zealand, she enjoys traveling and spends many weekends experiencing the good and the bad of European cuisine.

    Stijn Debrouwere | the Guardian

    Stijn Debrouwere is a technologist trying to figure out how we can innovate our way out of the news industry's crisis. In his work as a freelancer and media consultant, he thinks about how information gets created and stored, how it travels around, and how to meaningfully present all that information to users. His work fits somewhere in between UX design, software architecture, taxonomy, and process management. He writes a blog about the future of news at

    Friedrich Lindenberg | Spiegel Online

    Friedrich Lindenberg is a media scientist turned coder working on open government and transparency initiatives. As a developer and evangelist for the Open Knowledge Foundation, he works on OpenSpending, a platform that aims to make government finance more accessible to citizens around the world. He has also been involved in training journalists to use data and advocating for open government data. Before joining the OKF, Friedrich worked on Adhocracy, a collaborative policy drafting software, now used by a commission of the German parliament and several political organizations.

    Sonya Song | Boston Globe

    Sonya Song is a doctoral student in Media and Information Studies at Michigan State University. She has worked in both media and IT, taking various roles in newsrooms and Internet start-ups, including reporter, graphic designer, programmer, and product manager. Currently she concentrates on studying social sciences using computational approaches. Particularly, she is curious about Internet censorship and her research on China’s censorship of online news was awarded a Google Policy Fellowship in 2012. Sonya possesses a bachelor’s and master’s degree in computer science from Tsinghua University in Beijing and master of philosophy in journalism from The University of Hong Kong. Sonya is also an avid photographer and devotee of literature and films.

    Mike Tigas | ProPublica

    Mike Tigas is a web developer who currently works at the Spokesman-Review in Spokane, WA. His work runs the gamut of everything web-related, from CMS features to interactive data visualizations to assisting with computer-assisted reporting. On the side, he works on Onion Browser, an open source, privacy-enhancing iOS web browser which uses the Tor onion router network. He passes what little spare time he has dabbling in photography, following baseball and college football, and drinking good beer.

    Noah Veltman | BBC

    Noah Veltman created his first website when he was 12 years old; it had an animated background, a MIDI soundtrack, and lots of `````` tags. He's been creating visualizations, tools, and games for the web ever since, with a focus on making sense out of complex data. He has worked as a web developer, UI designer, and product manager for a variety of Silicon Valley startups, and previously worked with leading tech policy organizations on issues such as online privacy, free speech, and net neutrality.