Knight Blog

The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

What do you want in the revamped Knight electronic newsletter?

June 30, 2008, 5:01 p.m., Posted by Knight Foundation

Editor's note: Bud Meyer is Senior Communications Officer and Secretary of Knight Foundation. He asks below what you, our readers, want from a Knight newsletter.

Heads up, folks.

We're sending out Knight News ' our revamped electronic newsletter ' this week, and we want to know what you think. It will make a monthly appearance and goes out to some 6,000 recipients.

We intend to offer a mix of stories and multimedia features. If you have ideas for future stories, send 'em my way: meyer at knightfoundation dot org.

KnightBlog readers know there's an opportunity to check in frequently there to see what we're up to. The newsletter links to the blog with some new features, including a 5 Questions interview by Lee Oglesby, communications intern, with News Challenge/Young Creator David Cohn about his novel approach to funding investigative journalism.

Knight News is also different because it responds to our readers. We surveyed a sample of newsletter readers and asked them what they wanted to see. They said: News about upcoming funding opportunities. So you'll see Opportunities in the upper right corner detailing things in the pipeline.

We're seeking comments, too, to make sure we're connecting to readers and they to us.

No need to wait, though. What do you think?

Singapore Journal: Dispatch From the Future.

June 28, 2008, 9:19 a.m., Posted by Knight Foundation

Editor's note: Paula Ellis is Knight Foundation's vice president of strategic initiatives. She is currently traveling in Singapore. Below is a dispatch she sent in last night.

Singapore, one of the world's most admired economies and a leader in Asia, has identified digital media as an emerging economic sector that could propel its continued growth. I met Friday with Sng Cheng Hong Dennis and Ngiam Shing Shian of the Media Development Authority. They oversee the Interactive and Digital Media Program. Like most Singaporeans I have met, they are imaginative about the future and pragmatic about the now.

Just imagine this. Early in my visit, I toured the Singapore Botanic Gardens to see if the varieties of orchids and ginger were similar to those back home in Miami. The walk was lovely, but it would have been so much nicer if I could have shared it with my husband. Today, I could call him while walking or send streaming video once home. What if, the cloth of my garments was woven with fiber that allowed me to transmit the sights, sounds and smells of my stroll through the lush gardens? What if, I could touch the bark of a tree and it would send back home a piece of the experience?

What if? What if?

That doesn't seem far off when visiting with Shing and Dennis. Shing is excited about the developments in language mediation and it is one of the several areas of focus for which they are bringing some of the best universities from around the world together in Singapore. If you've played Gambit, then you've benefited from their boundary-spanning approach to creative collaboration. Gambit was developed here with Massachusetts Institute of Technology. There are six other games here on path to be commercialized. And they've just announced a contest for games that can be played across platforms: on the computer, the game console and mobile phone. This grant program is intended to popularize games outside the current hardcore user market.

And who could go shopping in Second Life without their gold card from FirstMeta bank, invented here. As anyone who has scoured Orchard Road for bargains knows, Singapore is first in all things shopping. So it's no wonder it was invented here first.

This is just a taste of what's in the works here. Later this year, the digital media initiative, will move into new digs at the Innovation and Research Hub where Biopolis now pursues biomedical research. This new research cluster for infocomms, media and sciences will be known as Fusionopolis. These entrepreneurial, idea hubs are located in a planned community known locally as One North in Buona Vista. The education department is located nearby as is Wessex Estate, a residential community filled with parks, cafes and other amenities. Here Singapore is building a work, live and play community to attract creative, knowledge economy workers. I checked it out earlier in the week as part of the World Cities Summit for Liveable and Vibrant Cities.

Why call it One North? Singapore is one degree north of the equator.

What do you think of Singapore?

Primer on new Knight Foundation media innovation initiatives

June 27, 2008, 11:07 a.m., Posted by Knight Foundation

In a recent speech, Knight CEO and president Alberto Ibarügen announced a new media innovation strategy and four projects that are part of this strategy.

You can read the entire speech here; abbreviated descriptions of the four projects (they share similar names) are below.

Knight News Challenge (newschallenge.org)

The Knight News Challenge funds ideas that use digital media to deliver news and information to geographically defined communities.

This is a yearly contest about the future of local news delivery (and includes projects in a range of media areas such as mobile, video, and microfunding).
Knight Commission on Information Needs (knightcomm.org)

The Knight Commission on the Information Needs of Communities in a Democracy, in partnership with the Aspen Institute, will propose public policy that will facilitate meeting those needs.

This is a new group with fifteen members that will make recommendations in 2009 about core community information needs.
Knight Center of Digital Excellence (knightcenter.info)

The Knight Center of Digital Excellence is a not-for-profit consultancy to help communities across the United States ensure digital access to every citizen.

This is sometimes called "universal access," and the goal is to accelerate digital access projects across the U.S.
Knight Community Information Challenge (informationneeds.org)

Community Foundation initiatives to meet the information needs of their communities are matched by funds from Knight Foundation.

This is to help community foundations use media and technology to deliver information to their communities.

Questions? Leave a comment below.

First Amendment and my high school newspaper

June 26, 2008, 12:21 p.m., Posted by Knight Foundation

Editor's note: Lee Oglesby is interning in Knight Communications department this summer. Below, she shares her thoughts about the first amendment and her high school newspaper. Look for a few more posts from Lee in coming weeks.

This week I've been reading up on the Future of the First Amendment survey - a Knight-sponsored survey that reveals how little high school students know about the first amendment - and the High School Journalism Initiative, a program that hopes to fix this problem while encouraging students to love journalism.

I graduated from Dr. Michael M. Krop Senior High (a public-magnet school in north Dade) a year ago and, frankly, I'm not surprised that kids my age don't know about the Bill of Rights. Sure, they'll use 'free speech' as an excuse for just about anything. But actual knowledge is limited and few kids think it actually applies to them as students. If you told an average student from my high school that the rights of the First Amendment had been extended to secondary students in 1943, they'd be shocked.

With that said, first amendment awareness at Krop wasn't all bad. The school newspaper, The Lightning Strike, is pretty good. Actually, it's really good. Readership went up dramatically in the span of a few years and several of the students I knew who took the journalism classes will go on to be great journalists.

screenshot of the Lightning Strike home page

As I was writing this and browsing the newspaper's online site, I spotted the Knight Foundation logo in the corner. Turns out my high school paper had some help from the High School Journalism Initiatives. Go figure.

What was your high school newspaper like?

Knight Center of Digital Excellence round table in Miami

June 25, 2008, 12:30 p.m., Posted by Knight Foundation

On Monday, the first round table for the new Knight Center of Digital Excellence, was held in Miami. The new center was formed to accelerate digital access projects across the U.S.

The Miami round table group included representatives from local nonprofits, Knight Foundation staff, and members of new Knight Center team, which is staffed and operated by OneCommunity. (Details on the KCDE's creation in the April press release.) Round table events in other cities will introduce the new center and its goals to those areas.

Lorenzo Lebrija, Knight Foundation program director for Miami, shared how communities can start to be involved with the new center:

And lively questions from the audience followed a panel presentation:

Find out more about this media innovation initiative here, and look for more information on this blog in coming months.

What questions do you have about the new Knight Center? What needs do you think it should address first?

danah boyd on her role in the Knight Commission on Info Needs

June 24, 2008, 1:37 p.m., Posted by Knight Foundation

Youth digital culture scholar danah boyd is one of the fifteen members of the new Knight Commission on the Information Needs of Communities in a Democracy.

Today, she is at the Newseum for the Commission's first meeting; below, she talks about her work and the information lifestyle she hopes to voice for the group:


Video by V.P. of Communications Marc Fest
You can watch the Commission's live webcast until 5 pm ET today here.

What questions do you have for danah and the other members of the Commission?

Knight Commission on Info Needs live webcast 10 am to 5 pm today

June 24, 2008, 7:21 a.m., Posted by Knight Foundation

Today, the fifteen members of the Knight Commission on Information Needs of a Community in a Democracy meet for the first time at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. to discuss democracy, economics, human behavior, and technology.

A joint project of Knight Foundation and the Aspen Institute Communications and Society Program, the meeting will be webcast live from 10 am to 5 pm ET from the Commission Web site. Go to the webcast >

Yesterday, Michelle P B Ferrier of MyTopiaCafe wrote a post for Poynter Online's E-Media Tidbits about social capital and research she hopes the Commission will build on:

I hope that this commission examines the groundwork already done by the Saguaro Seminar folks, as well as research by the Pew Internet & American Life Project. The Saguaro short-form survey instruments could be adapted to be deployed on hyperlocal online communities and blogs to test whether the content, functions, design, architecture and personalities create a rich exchange -- and growth -- of social capital.

What do you think the Commission should discuss today on the topics of democracy, economics, human behavior, and technology?
(The next meeting, August 9th, will focus on journalism.)

Knight Community Information Challenge announced

June 23, 2008, 6:22 p.m., Posted by Knight Foundation

Today, Knight Foundation announced at $24 million initiative for community foundations to use media and technology to better inform their communities.

To apply for the grant-making challenge, submit a project idea in no more than 200 words between June 30th and September 15th on the initiative site, InformationNeeds.org (you can sign up to be reminded when the application process opens).

The FAQ is here.

What core community information needs do you think should be addressed first?

Job: News Challenge seeks a social marketing ninja

June 20, 2008, 3:46 p.m., Posted by Knight Foundation

One of the really exciting Knight Foundation projects is the News Challenge, a yearly contest to fund ideas about the future of local news delivery.

On May 14th, we announced the 2008 winners; for the 2009 round, we're seeking a social media marketing ninja to increase visibility, manage deliverables with media partners, track metrics and encourage community growth, conduct e-mail and blog outreach campaigns, and help plan amazing events.

The right person will have a developed network of contacts and expertise in promoting through social media channels.

The contact job is 25 hours a week from July 1 to September 30, 2008, and the search begins today.

For all the details, the job description is here.

To apply, e-mail Marc Fest (fest {at} knightfoundation {dot} org).

Printcasting, WiredJournalists, BeatBlogging, Spot.Us, OffTheBus, Copy Editors, Newspaper Jobs

June 20, 2008, 8:51 a.m., Posted by Knight Foundation

Below, links to projects and news around some of the Knight News Challenge winners, their local news delivery projects, and other journalism posts from this week:

News Challenge winner Dan Pacheco asks for feedback on the Printcasting (a project to “make it possible for anyone to create a local print newspaper, magazine or newsletter with local ads”) interface:

Does the drag-and-drop interface work for you? Let Dan know here.

————-

Fellow News Challenge winner Ryan Sholin (whose project Reporting On is “the backchannel for your beat”) reports that WiredJournalists.com and BeatBlogging.org are merging now exploring "cross-promotion" (per Ryan's comment below).

Pat Thorton is taking BeatBlogging editorial reins from David Cohn, who has started working on his News Challenge project, Spot.us; find out how Cohn addresses his early Spot.us critics in this IdeaLab blog post.

BeatBlogging.org is part of News Challenge winner Jay Rosen’s distributed reporting project NewAssignment.net, and he talks about Beatblogging progress here.

(Recent buzz on Rosen has been around an OffTheBus experiment with Huffington Post; you can join the OffTheBus Special Ops team.)

————-

Earlier this week, New York Times writer Lawrences Downes bemoaned the lack of copy editor presence at the Newseum; journalist David Sullivan offered an answer.

And this list of current newspaper jobs was posted (and pointed to from Ryan Sholin’s Twitter (a microblogging service) stream).

posts to add? Leave a comment below.

Knight Drupal Initiative

June 18, 2008, 1:38 p.m., Posted by Knight Foundation

Knight Foundation is working with the Drupal community to fund new projects in Drupal, an open source framework and content management system. Called the Knight Drupal Initiative, new proposals are reviewed by the Drupal community and then recommended to Knight for possible funding.

The initiative's goals:

 


* To enable more people to enter the digital conversation by lowering the technical barriers to entry.
* To provide powerful tools for digital publication, free and open to all.
* To encourage people to improve their communities by supporting the free exchange of information and ideas.

 

For details, check the tips section and the comment threads at the bottom of the FAQ (including answers from Knight Foundation journalism program associate Jose Zamora) before submitting a proposal. Proposals are being accepted on a rolling basis.

What projects would you like to see funded?

Noted Elsewhere: Chi-Town Daily News, Online Community role

June 17, 2008, 10:01 a.m., Posted by Knight Foundation

On the heels of the recent stir over the Associated Press filing DMCA notices on the community site Drudge Retort, a timely article in the Washington Post quotes Knight News Challenge winner Geoff Dougherty of Chi-TownDailyNews.org on his vision for the site and professional training models for online journalists.

The article details how bloggers can protect themselves from lawsuits for defamation and libel; Dougherty provides online training for Chi-Town Daily News writers, which will become increasingly important as the author pool and audience share for the Chicago news site grows.

"I see us in five years as the go-to source for Chicago news," said Dougherty. "It's a big goal."

-----------

Editor Brad Petit of the Convergence Newsletter at the University of South Carolina recently interviewed Marc Fest, V.P. of Communications at Knight Foundation, about the new online community manager role at Knight Foundation.

Fest describes how an online community manager differs from an editor below:

TCN: How does the online community manager differ from other Web-centric positions? How does it differ from we might traditionally call 'editors'?

Fest: Online community manager is much more about interacting and communicating with an online community, whereas a traditional position as a webmaster or an editor is more about editing text or maintaining a Web site and running a content-management system. This is very much about interacting with people, it's about conversation, it's about two-way interaction and bringing people together and connecting with people.

Read the entire interview here.

Knight's media innovation strategy

June 16, 2008, 7:54 p.m., Posted by Marc Fest

Editor's note: Marc Fest is V.P. of Communications at Knight Foundation. Below, he frames a recent speech by CEO and president Alberto Ibarügen that outlines Knight Foundation's current media innovation strategy.

Our media innovation strategy shapes various Knight projects that address the information needs of communities in a democracy.

Knight's CEO and president Alberto Ibarügen recently explained the strategy, and initiatives and projects that flow from it, in a speech at the Boston Foundation. You can read it here.

Dave Mills on the new Common Good Collaborative in Silicon Valley

June 13, 2008, 10:40 a.m., Posted by Knight Foundation

As acronyms go, ALF is pretty good, and it denotes (an alien life form that landed on an NBC sitcom a few decades ago and) the American Leadership Forum, a national organization with local chapters, including an active one in Silicon Valley.

On Wednesday, Knight Foundation announced a partnership with the Silicon Valley ALF chapter and a new $1.5 million grant to begin a new initiative called the Common Good Collaborative.

Dave Mills, the Knight Foundation Program Director of San Jose, talks about what we'll see in the coming year (speaker series, forums, matching scholarship funds) of this three-year grant:

What do you think should be part of this new initiative?

Knight Commission announces fifteen members and first meeting

June 13, 2008, 9:12 a.m., Posted by Knight Foundation

Yesterday, fifteen members of the new Knight Commission on Information Needs of Community in Democracy were announced.

Focused on information flows, the Commission is a joint project of Knight Foundation and the Aspen Institute Communications and Society Program, led by co-chairs Ted Olson, former Solicitor General of the United States, and Marissa Mayer, Vice President of Search Product and User Experience at Google. Peter Shane, a distinguished law professor at Ohio State University Law School, is the executive director. The other Commission members are listed here.

From the press release:

 

"Information is a core community need," said Walter Isaacson, president and CEO, The Aspen Institute. "We are fortunate to have such a diverse, open-minded and innovative group of individuals assembled to address this topic which is so important to our democracy going forward. We believe we can put the power of technology to use in strengthening community information, and through that information, communities themselves."

 

"The charge of the Commission is straightforward," says Alberto Ibarügen, president and CEO of Knight Foundation. "Articulate the information needs of communities in this democracy; determine where we are today; and propose public policy that will encourage market solutions."

 

On June 24th, the Commission will meet in the Knight Conference Center at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. to discuss "the integration of technology and the future of community information, economic sustainability, and the changing media landscape."

The meeting will be web cast live on the Commission's Web site: www.knightcomm.org

What questions do you have for the Commission?

News Challenge Winners Conference at MIT

June 12, 2008, 4:18 p.m., Posted by Knight Foundation

The 2007 and 2008 winners of the News Challenge (the Knight contest to fund projects about the future of local news delivery) are gathered this week at MIT to hear about each other's work, including the many projects at MIT.

Last night, there were twenty or so demonstrations of current work from MIT students. Below, video from Benjamin Mako Hill on Selectricity and Christina of the extrACT project.


This afternoon there were multiple options for locative gaming in Cambridge, a game workshop at MIT, and sessions around issues like finding technical developers for projects.

To follow along, MediaShift blogger Mark Glaser is liveblogging the conference.

More conference blog posts are on Idea Lab, the group blog for all News Challenge winners that began last year and is updated with entries daily.

Persephone Miel also liveblogged today's sessions here.

You can also join the Facebook group, look for images on Flickr (a popular online photo-sharing site) and Twitter (a microblogging site) with the tag #futurecivic (for Twitter #futurecivic tagging, try Summize). The Flickr pool of photos is here.

And, there's the conference wiki, site, and the back channel from last night's panel session.

Akron wins All-America City award for the third time

June 12, 2008, 9:38 a.m., Posted by Knight Foundation

On June 6th, Akron, Ohio was officially tapped as an All-American City for the third time.

Holding the Akron All-America City award

As Glorio Rubio-Cortes, president of the National Civic League says, "the All-America City Award is the 'Oscar' for communities of all sizes."

Mayor Don Plusquellic with Akron residents

Mayor Don Plusquellic (second from right) accepted the award on behalf of Akron.

"This award confirms what the citizens in Akron already know about their city," Knight Foundation Program Director Vivian Neal says. "Akron is an outstanding city to live, work and raise a family."

Congratulations to Vivian and the Akron community.

More on the Macon neighborhood revitalization

June 10, 2008, 10 a.m., Posted by Knight Foundation

Two external mentions of the new grant to revitalize Macon neighborhoods:

Charles E. Richardson of the Macon Telegraph contexts the new grant as part of a much larger effort to attract business partners to join Mercer, Macon Housing Authority, the city of Macon, NewTown and the Medical Center of Central Georgia on the College Hill Corridor Committee. In his article, he explores how Macon can model some of Akron's recent success in reshaping a downtown area.

Mercer.edu is streaming video and audio from the June 6th press conference here.

From the Mercer.edu press release:

 

'From my arrival in Macon two years ago, I have been struck by the opportunities for economic renewal in the historic neighborhoods around downtown,' [Mercer President William S.] Underwood said.

 

'Downtown redevelopment is gaining momentum, and the success of initiatives such as the Beall's Hill neighborhood redevelopment provide a solid foundation for further expansion of redevelopment efforts.

"I am deeply grateful to Knight Foundation for providing a major grant that will allow the partners to combine and more effectively coordinate their efforts, while attracting new partners and additional expertise, to make this endeavor a national success story.'

 

Knight Foundation Program Director of Macon Beverly Blake agrees, acknowledging that "enduring change happens when we work together-across real or perceived barriers-with others of good faith to create the future of Macon...for all of us."

What ideas do you have about the new direction for Macon? Please leave comments for Beverly below.

Neighborhood revitalization planned for Macon, Georgia

June 7, 2008, 10:14 p.m., Posted by Knight Foundation

Editor's note: Beverly Blake is the Program Director for the Knight Foundation community programs in Columbus, Macon, and Milledgeville. Below, she announces a new grant for Macon neighborhoods and invites your thoughts in the comments and by e-mail.

Yesterday, a $250,000 Knight grant was announced for a comprehensive revitalization planning effort in Macon, Georgia--a significant expression of Knight's confidence in the community to make Macon's neighborhoods vibrant and welcoming for all people to live, work, play and study.

From the announcement ceremony (video is 11:02):

Macon has eleven historic districts containing more structures of historic significance than either Savannah or Charleston. The successful revitalization of two distressed Macon neighborhoods in 2002 led to a push to reclaim the soul of the intown neighborhoods with beautiful architecture, great history, and forty years of decline.

Mercer University anchors one end of both the downtown and intown historic districts: the downtown area with beautiful boulevards and architecture and the Ocmulgee River at the other end. This revitalization grant will specifically target an area between Mercer University and downtown Macon known as College Hill Corridor.

With a community alliance joining Mercer students, a new mayor, and a reinvigorated city council with existing Macon leaders and residents, we are on our way to transform the physical landscape of Macon's first neighborhoods and the way we feel about this place we call home.

I invite you to join us in this effort; please let me hear your thoughts by e-mail (blake {at} knightfoundation {dot} org) and in the comments below.

Related coverage: Macon.com, Fox 24, 13 WMAZ.

Knight Arts Partnership Finalists Announced

June 7, 2008, 10:25 a.m., Posted by Knight Foundation

Editor's note: Lorenzo Lebrija is the Program Director for the Knight Foundation community program in Miami and manages the Knight Arts Partnership, a new experimental art contest for South Florida, where the Knight Foundation is based.

The Knight Arts Partnership began with a simple premise: we don't know all the answers, and great ideas are in the community. So, let's ask for them. In the end, we received 1,643 applications with ideas for the arts in South Florida.

Yesterday, we announced to the community the 77 finalists for the Knight Arts Partnership. Our next step is to see whether the ideas, when explained further, are as good as the quick descriptions. Are the groups or individuals right to carry them out? Do they have a plan to raise the match of our funds? We're excited to find out.

Not all 77 finalists will secure grants (we only have $4 million!), but we have a good pool from which some ideas, when fully developed, will stand out.

It's going to be an interesting summer!

EveryBlock releases special "Operation Crooked Code" report

June 5, 2008, 3:35 p.m., Posted by Knight Foundation

EveryBlock is a Knight News Challenge project that filters local news down to the block and neighborhood levels in Chicago, New York, and San Francisco.

The EveryBlock team has just released its first "special report," a new category for information that is too unique for other site categories and deserving of special editorial insertion in the EveryBlock system.

The first report is on the recent Chicago FBI corruption probe "Operation Crooked Code"; the blog post introducing the special reports is here, and the report itself is here.

Pieces of this first special report are integrated into the rest of the Chicago EveryBlock site; EveryBlock leader Adrian Holovaty explains,

We've found that this really helps the news feel closer to home, so to speak. Hearing about these indictments in the news is one thing, but finding out a bribe allegedly took place at the Dunkin Donuts by your office puts things in a new perspective.

For more on EveryBlock, watch Holovaty's opening keynote at Where 2.0 (the O'Reilly conference on the geospatial web) below:And, find out how to make custom maps with free tools from EveryBlocker Paul Smith and slick, accessible charts from EveryBlocker Wilson Miner.

Wharton Advanced Management Program: Third Day

June 5, 2008, 9:44 a.m., Posted by Knight Foundation

Editor's note: Knight Foundation V.P. of Finance Juan Martinez is attending Wharton's Advanced Management Program at the University of Pennsylvania (where he has made Ben Franklin's acquaintance) for the next five weeks. Below is his second post with thoughts about assessing and mitigating risk (read his first post here). Juan Martinez, V.P. of Finance, at Wharton

Yesterday was an exciting and challenging day here at Wharton.

Some questions I'm wrestling with this week:

  • Who is Knight Foundation's ultimate customer? Are we adding value for that customer?
  • How can we measure every foundation activity (from the beginning of the development process) as a function of impact? Expected impact?
  • In making resource allocation decisions, is there a way to determine impact per unit of investment?
  • As we set allocation targets within a grant portfolio, how can we: back/generate high-risk innovative ideas, scale social innovations, and act as a community stabilizer while allowing other opportunities to take root?
  • How do the three targets above work as a guide for discovering the types of projects we seek?

What do you think?

Our first group project will be to apply business thinking to a social problem; more on that in my next post.

Announcing the BCBA and a grant to the Manatee Chamber Foundation

June 4, 2008, 3:32 p.m., Posted by Knight Foundation

Editor's note: Meredith Hector is the Program Director for the Knight Foundation community program in Bradenton and Assistant to the V.P. of Communities.

Like most Florida communities, Bradenton is struggling to weather the 'perfect storm' of property tax increases, rising insurance costs, housing market declines and budget cuts (the county just announced $44 million in cuts and the elimination of 88 positions). So it was nice to be at a press conference yesterday to help deliver a bit of good news on the economic front.

Along with Mayor Wayne Poston, Manatee Chamber of Commerce president Bob Bartz, and Bradenton's Downtown Development Authority executive director Mike Kennedy, I announced the newly formed Bradenton Cultural and Business Alliance (BCBA).

Meredith Hector, Program Director for Knight Foundation Bradenton Community

BCBA will work to strengthen the local economy and transform downtown Bradenton and Manatee County into an exciting cultural destination. The efforts of the thirteen BCBA members will build upon Bradenton's existing cultural assets, including the Manatee Players, the South Florida Museum, ArtCenter Manatee, and the Village of the Arts.

The grant monies made it possible to hire Bill Bulick - a noted arts consultant from Portland, Oregon who will lead the efforts to create a cultural plan in the coming year.

Bill Bulick at the announcement of the Bradenton Business and Cultural Alliance

Additionally, the grant enables the BCBA to visit another community that has a successful cultural plan, as well as providing operating and marketing support to the Arts Council of Manatee County and the key cultural organizations mentioned above.

At the same time we made the BCBA grant, Knight also made a $20,000 grant to the Manatee Chamber Foundation so the Foundation could hire Americans for the Arts to conduct an economic impact study that will gauge the financial scope of the arts and culture in Manatee County.

Results are expected in early 2009, and combined with the work of the BCBA and Bill Bulick, should provide critical knowledge and help leverage the talents of key business leaders, city officials and cultural institutions for the economic benefit of the community.

Wharton Advanced Management Program: First Day

June 3, 2008, 2:40 p.m., Posted by Knight Foundation

Editor's note: Knight Foundation V.P. of Finance Juan Martinez is attending Wharton's Advanced Management Program at the University of Pennsylvania for the next five weeks. He will be sharing some of his experiences learning more about social entrepreneurship and emerging economies in future posts.

Though today was my first full day at the Wharton Advanced Management Program, we actually began yesterday at 3:30pm until 9:30pm. The faculty didn't waste any time trying to create a learning community among the 54 participants.

There's a huge amount of diversity in the class, geographically (only 25% from the US and representation from Europe, India, Nigeria, the Mid-East, China and SE Asia) and industry (manufacturing, telecom, entrepreneurs, finance). I'm really looking forward to not only learning from the faculty but from my classmates.

Yesterday I was explaining what Knight Foundation does to a classmate, Juliet Anammah (an exec at Accenture in Nigeria). I told her that we try to find opportunities for investments within our communities that will positively affect and change systems.

Before I could finish, she said, 'oh, you're trying to create transformation.'

Smart lady.

Knight-Batten Award Deadline: June 11th

June 2, 2008, 11:49 a.m., Posted by Knight Foundation

Are you using new technologies on public issues?

The application deadline for the Knight-Batten award (given by J-Lab: The Institute for Interactive Journalism at the University of Maryland's Philip Merrill College of Journalism) is next Wednesday, June 11th.

There is a $10,000 grand prize, up to $5,000 in special distinction awards (including a wild card award), a $1,000 citizen media award.

The Knight-Batten awards are given for: online news experiences, news games, mobile news ideas, citizen media, creative use of cell phones, Webcams, vlogging, podcasting, social networks, computer kiosks, new applications of software, content management systems and other advances in interactive or participatory journalism.

Last year's winners included techPresident.com, the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR.org) crisis guides, the Reuters Second Life Virtual News bureau, and the Washington Post's citizen narration series On Being.

From the J-Lab site:

Honored are pioneering approaches to journalism that:

* Encourage new forms of information sharing.
* Spur non-traditional interactions that have an impact on community.
* Enable new and better two-way conversations between audiences and news providers.
* Foster new ways of imparting useful information.
* Create new definitions of news.

Entries from all news producers are eligible. Encouraged are both top-down and bottom-up innovations, those driven by news creators and those driven by news consumers.

The online application is here. Winners will be announced in the summer of 2008.

E-mail news {at} j-lab {dot} org with questions.