Jonathan Foster is currently a researcher in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Sheffield after recently moving from the Department of Journalism Studies which he joined in 1995 from the staff of The Independent, where he was north of England correspondent. His current project is SENSEI, a Europe-wide investigation undertaken in collaboration with The Guardian and The Independent.
He was previously a principal investigator for the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), working with colleagues in computer science on artificial intelligence projects applicable to journalism.
After training, he began his career on the Morning Telegraph in Sheffield and worked at The Sunday Times before joining The Observer. He covered the 1984-85 miners' strike for the paper and reported extensively on Militant's influence in Liverpool politics. He filed major exclusive stories revealing the background to the suspension of John Stalker from command of the 'shoot-to-kill' investigation into the Royal Ulster Constabulary.
Jonathan joined The Independent sports staff at the paper's launch, contributing to coverage of major events including the World Cup, European football championship, the Open championship and Wimbledon. During 1990 he reported from South Africa in the months before and after the release from prison of Nelson Mandela and the collapse of apartheid.
Back in Britain, he broke stories about illegal UK arms sales to Iraq, including Supergun and the Matrix Churchill affair. Foster was in court throughout the trial for the murder of James Bulger of Robert Thompson and Jon Venables.