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Djordje Padejski is the Impact Leader at Stanford University’s John S. Knight Journalism Fellowships, where he mentors and teaches JSK fellows and alumni pursuing innovative and entrepreneurial projects. Padejski runs strategic initiatives to extend the impact of the JSK program and fellows on journalism, including teaching design workshops for social entrepreneurship, ideation, innovation, how to pitch and get funding, and he also manages the Jim Bettinger News Innovation Fund. He focuses on the business of journalism, investigative journalism and data journalism, and teaches workshops and courses on these topics. His work at Stanford is about guiding an army of journalism innovators, entrepreneurs and leaders to tackle the biggest challenges facing journalism.
Before Stanford, Padejski was an award-winning investigative reporter and editor focused on exposing political corruption and crime, and he worked on developing tools for investigative journalists. He is the member of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, and with ICIJ’s team, he worked on Offshore Leaks investigation, which earned several journalism awards including IRE award in 2014, Scripps Howard and other.
Padejski also worked at the Center for Investigative Reporting in Berkeley, as projects director and the founding director of FOIA Machine, a public records platform for investigative journalists. He conceptualized the tool as a 2011/12 Knight Fellow at Stanford. In 2013, the platform received one of the most successful crowdfunding pledges for a journalism initiative on Kickstarter, when more than two thousand people supported the project. FOIA Machine is now hosted by Muckrock Foundation, a nonprofit that runs tools to keep governments transparent, and the most active FOIA community of journalists on Slack, while Padejski serves on the advisory board of the foundation.
Padejski entered journalism as a student during the Milosevic regime in Serbia, and has become one of the leading investigative journalists since. His stories about organized crime in 2005, earned him the Serbian Award for Investigative Reporting. In 2006, he co-founded the Center for Investigative Reporting in Serbia, and served as founding director, conducting trainings and overseeing award-winning projects on government corruption. In 2008, he joined the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project to work on cross-border investigative projects in the Balkans.