The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
I'm here in New York City for the 6th Annual Games for Change Festival. This festival'brings together nonprofits, game designers, academics, journalists and foundations who'believe in the power'and potential of using digital games for social change. '
September 12th -- A Toy World received'a'lifetime achievement award.
Congratulations to the winners!
Claire Austin is a Journalism Program Intern at Knight Foundation.
Information is the electricity of the 21st century, underlying everything.
In an Aspen Institute report "Civic Engagement on the Move: How mobile media can serve the public good" (.pdf) J.D. Lasica writes "more than 80 percent of Americans ages 5 to 24 will use mobile digital media by next year."
In another of Lasica's Aspen Institute publications, "Identity in the Age of Cloud Computing: The next-generation Internet's impact on business, governance, and social interaction," (.pdf) William T. Coleman explores how mobile media will make civic'engagement much easier by providing the user with access to the cloud computing network at any place or time while still protecting the user's identity.'
And for journalists, Mark'Glaser at Media Shift is wondering lately if Twitter will change the world and Michele McLellan at the Knight Digital Media Center has blogged about ways for journalists to engage social media users.
Facebook can be used as a reporting tool too with the new NewsCloud'Facebook App,
which builds a youth audience through two publications with new approaches to outreach and marketing. One focuses on environmental issues and another is geared toward college students in Minnesota. ''
Other good examples of mobile digital media in journalism?
Knight Digital Media Center's News Entrepreneur Boot Camp brought together 15 journalists who are planning news news and information start ups. The center provided training and coaching in product development, social media engagement and the business of news.
Here are two blog posts on the center site that reflect on the sessions:
At the Online Journalism Review, Robert Niles, who helped plan the boot camp, says "Journalists must emerge from a culture of failure to survive."
Michele McLellan, who attended the session and will document the work of the entrepreneurs in the coming year, asks: "Can journalists be entrepreneurs?"
Claire Austin is a Journalism Program Intern at Knight Foundation
News economics debates are all over the web these days. Highlights:
Bob Picard, editor of the Journal of Media Business Studies, writes that journalists deserve low pay because they aren't providing real value. He says that value comes from access to sources, ability to determine the significance of information and present it clearly. More on Picard at his blog.
Penelope Muse Abernathy, current Knight Chair in Journalism and Digital Media Economics at UNC, wonders about nonprofit models for the New York Times. A Miami Herald column by Ed Wasserman, Knight Chair in Journalism Ethics at Washington and Lee University, says digital media often follows an Op-Ed model, with content coming directly from topic experts rather than from journalists.
A new PricewaterhouseCoopers study says consumers are willing to pay for news online.
Jeff Jarvis, director of the Interactive Program at the City University of New York, talks about a 'new ecosystem of news' as the replacement for the old model on his blog. He is going to prepare several new digital media economic prototypes. Anyone interested in getting involved in the economics of journalism and digital media should contact him.
The Knight Digital Media Center's website has been given a facelift. KDMC believes this will make it easier for our visitors to find what they need -- from training opportunities, to blogs exploring the future of news and online journalism, to the latest tweets from some thoughtful folks.
This redesign reflects feedback from loyal and new users trying to access our timely blogs as well as our deep archives of past seminars.
Check it out: KnightDigitalMediaCenter.org
In the below video from May 14th, Knight Foundation consultant Matthew Bohrer asks S. Derek Turner (Research Director, Free Press), Leonard Downie (former Executive Editor, Washington Post), Michael R. Nelson (former Director for Technology Policy, FCC), and Bernie Lunzer (President, Newspaper Guild) their thoughts on news consumption, business models, and the future of news at this Free Press Summit, sponsored by Knight Foundation.
Find more video of the event, including opening remarks by Knight Foundation president and CEO Alberto Ibarügen, in the Free Press Summit archive.
Do you agree with Michael R. Nelson that "governments almost never pick the right technology and they very rarely pick the right business model"?
Knight Foundation's Director of Evaluation Mayur Patel spoke with Stanford Knight Fellow Andrew Haeg about networks, philanthropy, and assets:
Do you agree that networks of people are as valuable as traditional financial assets?
How do you think philanthropies and nonprofits could best nurture these assets if so?
On Monday night, ICFJ (International Center for Journalists) hosted an event at Hearst Tower on the future of news. Below, video from the panel discussion moderated by Harry Smith, who anchors "The Early Show" on CBS News.
Editor of Time International Michael Elliott feels that we are "in the middle of a revolution" in news; "some of it will be paid for in ways that we haven't yet figured out."
Dean of the LSU Manship School of Mass Communications John Hamilton reminded the room the idea of professional journalists is about a century old; "what we're moving into now...is a world in which we have multiple models of what constitutes reporting."
Founder and Editor-at-Large of Public Affairs Peter Osnos argued that "there will be newspapers because communities will figure out a way to support them...traditional media will have a place--humbler, smaller. It's painful, it's not over, but somehow it will endure."
Webbmedia Group Digital Media Consultant Amy Webb feels the current situation is not a revolution, but "an inevitable continuation of the way that we interact with each other...much more dependent on platform."
Thoughts on the panelists' arguments? Do you think the current state of journalism is part of a revolution? A "natural continuation"?
At the end of this video from the White House Correspondents' Dinner last Saturday, the President talks about the current state of journalism and its importance (starts around 12:19):
Thoughts on the speech?
The political site Scoop 44 will expand youth journalists' coverage of the current U.S. administration, generational politics, and international stories with a new $242,800 grant from Knight.
From the press release:
Bolstered by Knight's investment, Scoop44 is creating a new nonprofit news bureau and online model run entirely by young journalists. The grant will enable the operation to staff correspondents and editors in order to increase the quality and quantity of news stories focusing on the next generation and drive interactive exchange between the new administration and young people.
Expanding a network of student journalists stationed in Washington, D.C. and nationwide, Scoop44's editorial team, staffed correspondents and contributors will deliver nonpartisan coverage through multiple? mediums and platforms, such as feature-length articles, blog posts, multimedia reports, podcasts, email alerts and live online chats.
Thoughts? Things you'd like to see Scoop 44 cover? Let us know in the comments.
Jose Zamora is a Journalism Program Associate at Knight Foundation
The free PDF version of the book Journalism 2.0 passed the 100,000 download mark today.
The book was written by Mark Briggs, assistant managing editor for interactive news at The News Tribune in Tacoma, Washington.
Journalism 2.0 is a great resource. It is a useful guide that helps professional and amateur news producers understand and implement digital tools to enhance their reporting.
Journalism 2.0 can be downloaded as a PDF at J-Lab's Knight Citizen News Network. The Spanish and Portuguese versions can be downloaded at the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas. Around 20,000 additional copies have been downloaded in these two other languages.
Have you downloaded your copy yet?
Gary Kebbel is the Journalism Program Director at Knight Foundation.
During a panel at last week's Interactive Media Conference, I realized that many of the projects funded by the Knight News Challenge have the potential to work with one another to create a project that none of us has yet imagined.
For instance, Tish Grier was explaining how people can use Placeblogger.com, a site that organizes the blogs about place, to learn more about their own communities or ones they wish to visit. And David Cohn was talking about how his Spot.us project used microfunding and crowd-sourcing to pay for local investigative reports. (So far, in 24 weeks of operation, 23 reports have been funded.) Dan Pacheco demonstrated how easy it is to create a "Printcast," or personalized niche publication, at printcasting.com. (About 10 minutes from creation to printout.)
But while they were talking, the thought occurred to me: How cool would it be if a blogger indexed in Placeblogger.com submits a proposal to Spot.us that gets funded, and then he or she prints and distributes it via Printcasting?
On June 17 Knight Foundation will announce the 2009 winners of the Knight News Challenge. Each year, as more winners are announced, we increase the chances of a new project emerging from the discussion and cooperation of all the winning projects. Knight Foundation hopes that a project none of us has imagined will ultimately be the result of the ones we have funded.
Until Friday, May 8, 2009 at 11:59 p.m. EDT, you can let the Knight Commission on the Information Needs of Communities in a Democracy (KnightComm.org) know your information needs on the public input site.
Together with PBS Engage, the Knight Commission has created a place for you to answer five questions about your information needs, ask Google's Marissa Mayer (Co-chair of the Commission) questions, and comment on the draft version of the Commission's report.
Tell us your information needs and please help us spread the word--
You can also share their thoughts with the Commission by calling (202) 721-5599 or writing to: Knight Commission at The Aspen Institute, One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 700, Washington, DC 20036.
Below, some links we've gathered from yesterday's Senate Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and the Internet hearing on the future of journalism and a proposed bill from Senator Cardin that newspapers be nonprofits and, as AP writer Andrew Miga put it (printed in the Chicago Tribune), would
no longer be able to make political endorsements but could report on all issues including political campaigns. Advertising and subscription revenue would be tax-exempt and contributions to support coverage could be tax deductible.
Please tell us about articles, posts, tweets we missed in the comments.
Follow the Twitter stream through the hashtag #futurej.
Watch archived video of the session on the C-SPAN3 page or below (it begins at 60:00):
Read all the prepared remarks (.pdf format) from the second panel (following Senator Ben Cardin) of Marissa Mayer (VP Search and User Experience, Google), Alberto Ibarügen (President, Knight Foundation), David Simon (Author, TV producer, Former Newspaperman), Steve Coll (Former Managing Editor, Washington Post), James Moroney (Publisher/CEO, Dallas Morning News), and Arianna Huffington (Co-founder and Editor-in-Chief, Huffington Post).
Senator Kerry's prepared remarks (he moderated the hearing).
CJR (Columbia Journalism Review) live blogged the hearing. ("Never thought I'd hear John Kerry, a man who fell 60,000 votes short of the presidency, talking about The New York Times's nearly 500,000 Facebook friends.")
Amy Gahran (@gahran) tweeted throughout:
Michael Calderone on Politico: "Most of the tough questions from Senators, or raised by fellow panelists, were directed at Huffington and her business model of aggregating the content of newspapers."
Arianna Huffington blogged about the hearing: "I have to admit, my favorite moment of the hearing came when Sen. Maria Cantwell of Washington, during her questioning of the panel, said she likes reading HuffPost on her BlackBerry and held it up."
Joshua Zumbrun noted six ideas from the hearing in Forbes.com: "Will these six ideas save American journalism? Probably not. But at least it's a lot cheaper than the $700 billion forked over to the banks."
Leena Rao posted on TechCrunch that "Arianna Huffington Says Online Journalists May Have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder."
What did you think of the hearing?
Let us know in the comments below; you can also leave comments (and video comments) on Knight Pulse, our community site about the future of news here.
For Twitter responses to the Senate hearing, search for hashtag #futurej You can also leave a video comment on Knight Pulse. What did you think about the hearing on the future of journalism? Knight Foundation President and CEO Alberto Ibarügen testifies at Senate hearing
This afternoon, Senator Ben Cardin, Marissa Mayer (VP, Search Products & User, Google), Alberto Ibarügen (President and CEO, Knight Foundation), David Simon (Author, TV Producer, Former Newspaperman), Steve Coll (Former Managing Editor, Washington Post), James Moroney (Publisher/CEO, Dallas Morning News), Ariana Huffington (Co-founder and Editor-in-Chief, The Huffington Post) spoke to the Senate Subcommittee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation at a hearing on the future of journalism.
Full transcripts on the Senate page for the hearing.
Full transcript of Knight CEO and president Alberto Ibarügen's testimony below. _________________________________________________________________
SENATE COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, SCIENCE, AND TRANSPORTATION
Hearing on the Future of Journalism
Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and the Internet
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Testimony of Alberto Ibarügen
President, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
The text below represents an expanded version of live testimony, as submitted for the Congressional Record.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, for inviting me today.
For the first time in the history of the Republic, news and information are being delivered on platforms far broader than the geographic boundaries of our democratic institutions. Until recently, the circulation area of a newspaper or the reach of a local television or radio signal roughly coincided with the physical boundaries of cities and counties. From these districts we elected mayors, school boards, and members of Congress. We sent our children to school, connected with our neighbors, worked, and shopped. But, times have changed.
We're already in an era where it is more likely that a high school student can more easily access information about swine flu or the crisis in Darfur than corruption in city government or decisions about education in his town.
Mine is not a lament for a past that excluded many in our society, especially women and minorities, from the main pages of a newspaper. Nor do I pine for the symbolic authority of three, broadcast television, white male anchors. I enthusiastically welcome the democratization of media and am thrilled by its possibilities.
At the same time, it's important to note that the information systems, print and broadcast, that helped define American communities, that helped give them individuality and character, have changed dramatically and continue to change rapidly. The end result may be a more informed national and international audience but I am concerned that it not be at the price of an insufficiently informed local electorate.
So the focus of our concern should be to meet the information needs of our communities. Our health, our security and our prosperity, depend on meeting the needs of a democracy built, as ours is, on the assumption of an informed electorate.
I commend you for taking on this issue.
This question is not, of course, how to save the newspaper and broadcast news industries. It is a matter of ensuring that the information needs of communities in a democracy are met to a sufficient degree that the people might, as Jack Knight put it, be informed so they might 'determine their own true interests.'
I confess to great qualms about the role of government in this arena.
The stunning clarity of the First Amendment, that Congress shall make no law abridging five basic freedoms, including free speech and free press, should inform every action you take. My own sense is that you have a role ' even a duty ' to protect free speech and free press, perhaps even as an enabler, as in the case of public broadcasting. But not as a participant or controller of information, not if we believe in the Jeffersonian idea of checks and balances that has served this nation well.
With respect, we at Knight Foundation believe that there are at least four areas where Congressional action might properly and significantly help our transition from paper and local broadcast to digital.
1. Nothing Congress can do is as important as providing universal digital access and adoption.
If the future of democracy's news and information is online ' then we must ensure everyone is online. Otherwise, we disenfranchise millions of our fellow citizens.
Even today, if you're not digital, you're a second class citizen in the United States. You're second class politically, economically and even socially. There are three great digital divides and they are economic, geographic and generational.
Poor people, by and large, do not have access today. As low as the price has gotten, it is still too high for too many Americans. In an age where application for an entry level job at McDonald's or Wal-Mart must be made online, the economic divide is real and there is a role for government in bridging it. The focus should be not just on universal access and lowering prices. It should also be on universal adoption by increasing the perceived value of Internet access by bringing technology training, digital literacy and higher quality networks to our local communities.
Rural areas are notoriously underserved and American citizens who live outside of urban regions do not have access to the same information as urban dwellers. They are simply being treated as second-class.
Age is the third great divide. The ever-changing digital world naturally appeals to the ever-changing young. That said, groups like the AARP are already focusing on this issue and would be willing partners in training and outreach.
These are daunting divides, but America possesses great institutions and innovations ' from libraries to wireless technologies ' that can help.
Already, universities like Texas, the City University of New York, Duke, UCLA, the Cronkite School at Arizona State, to name just a few, are studying the matter and sponsoring conferences. Knight Foundation was created to focus on these issues, so it's no surprise that we're active in the area and support many of these initiatives. But I'm glad to report that others, like MacArthur Foundation have seriously engaged in the field and more are joining, including a recent grant from Atlantic Philanthropies to support investigative journalism at the Huffington Post.
Groups like One Community in Cleveland, Ohio are actively assisting local and regional communities reach their broadband potential.
Next Thursday, the organization, Free Press, based here in Washington, will hold a seminar on this issue at the Newseum. They will gather more than 400 citizens from around the country to debate the issue and propose government policy and citizen action.
Next Wednesday, Aspen Institute will convene a further meeting of its Knight Commission on the Information Needs of Communities in a Democracy, a group of citizens ably co-chaired by my fellow panelist, Marissa Mayer and former Solicitor General, Ted Olson. The Knight Commission will issue its findings later this year but already has received hundreds of comments from the public, which we will be glad to share with the Committee's staff.
Greater use of federal stimulus money for universal digital access should be encouraged. Support should also be given to media literacy programs like the ones developed by State University of New York at Stony Brook, where thousands of their students emerge from an intensive course far more sophisticated media users.
2. This is a time for experimentation.
At Knight Foundation, we've decided to fund dozens of experiments seeking to find ways to use digital platforms to provide communities with information they want and need. Our work has ranged from funding experiments like Spot.us, Everyblock.com, and the Media Lab at MIT to supporting online dailies like the Voice of San Diego, ChiTown Daily News in Chicago, Gotham Gazette in New York, Village Soup in Maine and MinnPost in Minnesota. We've also funded World Wide Web inventor, Sir Tim Berners-Lee's efforts to bring fact-checking programs to the web and to start the WWWeb Foundation to support further experimentation with news on the web.
I cite these not as definitive examples but as illustrative of what one organization, small by comparison to government, can do to support the imagination of the people who will eventually figure out what will work'what will be the 'killer app' that will substitute for newspapers and local broadcast news. A worthy area of exploration is what role government can play in encouraging the experimentation that is so natural to American markets.
3. Newspapers and broadcast are not dead and there may be ways to support their extended usefulness.
With respect, Congress should review laws that prohibited the combination of print and broadcast operations. At the time those laws were passed, the people's interest lay in preventing the concentration of power and to encourage a democratic diversity of voices. One might question whether, given the trends accelerated by the current recession, this is still a valid concern and whether the bankruptcy of a news organization that is not allowed to merge to survive serves the democracy. I acknowledge the deep philosophical divide that has existed on this issue and question whether, with the decline of broadcast, it makes sense to combine two challenged businesses. But I think it is at least worth a fresh look under current circumstances to see if a resulting combination, perhaps combined with stronger use of new and social media, can help to survive traditional news operations that still have such great expertise in reporting and presenting news in ways that make sense to the American public.
Congress might also seek to make easier or more inviting the creation of not-for-profit local news organizations, or the conversion of for-profit news businesses into non-profit, community-based, mission-driven organizations. In that connection, the L3C proposals encouraging limited profit organizations might also help the transition. These will not solve overall revenue issues of traditional news operations but will almost certainly help them extend their useful life until we, as a society, figure out what will be next.
4. There is a role for public media.
The Obama transition team discussed a document called Public Media 2.0. An approach to public media that requires the rapid transition to a different kind of PBS and NPR, more inclusive and engaging of their audiences, should be encouraged. The challenges of changing those traditional organizations are great but the leadership is willing and able.
It is important to note that public media has the capacity to reach the entire nation. That has enormous security implications, in addition to its role as educator and news producer. Using new technologies to distribute information and to store vast repositories of searchable, public media content, the new generation of public journalism and education has enormous potential.
We're living a moment of extraordinary creativity. I liken the analogy of our time to the years just after Gutenberg invented the printing press. Before Gutenberg, the monks who copied illustrated manuscripts were the keepers of information and there was order. Long after Gutenberg, there was the Renaissance, when society more or less figured out how to handle information. But those crazy years in-between, when Gutenberg's technology allowed something new called literacy, are like the years we're living in today, when the World Wide Web allows a form and kind of communication we did not know even as recently as the 1980's.
The media that we're going to and that is going to be effective is not only digital but mobile and the object is going to be a media user, not a passive consumer. We will be a nation of media users, not consumers.
We're going from the information model of one-to-many, of 'I broadcast/You listen' to many-to-many and even many-to-one made possible by technology. We're moving from slower form print and film delivered through stationary furniture or transmission monitors to digital transmission of images on portable devices that are clear and allow interactivity.
Congressional action that will determine the news and information allowed to our citizens is certainly not the object of your inquiry and I agree with you. I hope this is the beginning of great and serious action by Congress to encourage experimentation, to enable markets to find their way, to promote the evolution of public media 2.0 and, most urgent of all, to provide digital access to every American.
Thank you for the opportunity to share these observations.
Jose Zamora is a Journalism Program Associate at Knight Foundation Stanford University announced today the 2009-2010 U.S. Knight Fellows. In response to the demands of the media landscape, the 44 year old fellowship program established a new focus for the program that seeks journalism innovation, entrepreneurship and leadership. The Knight Fellowships Program Committee selected 12 journalists out of 166 applicants. The new fellows will develop projects that seek to speed media innovation through the use of news, information, new business models and technology.
What do you think journalism programs should be focusing on?
Marc Fest is Vice President of Communications at Knight Foundation.
Knight Foundation's president and CEO, Alberto Ibarügen, gave a commencement speech at Miami Dade College today. Here is what someone tweeted about it:
Marc Fest is Vice President of Communications at Knight Foundation.
Knight Foundation vice chairman Robert W. Briggs today received the 2009 Sir Thomas More Award. The Catholic Diocese and St. Bernard Church in Akron sponsor this award each year to recognize a member of the legal profession who is concerned for the community and has provided outstanding service in furtherance of justice and humanity.
Find out more about the award here.
From macon.com, an article on WiMAX (strong wireless connectivity) and a new Knight digital training center in Milledgeville, Georgia quoting Knight Foundation Program Director Beverly Blake:
WiMax isn't the only Internet project under way in Milledgeville, which is seeking to remake its economic base in some ways as manufacturing jobs leave town.
Several groups in the area are working with a separate $1.5 million grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, which promotes journalism excellence worldwide and invests in the vitality of Macon and 25 other U.S. communities where the Knight brothers owned newspapers in their lifetimes.
The money will be used to set up a training center where people can learn how to use the Internet, said James Wolfgang, director of Georgia College's Georgia Digital Innovation Group. Small business owners, for example, could use the center's technology to produce brochures and videos, he said.
The goal is to turn the people of Milledgeville into 'a work force that is competitive in the knowledge economy,' Knight Foundation program director Beverly Blake said.
'If you don't have the knowledge of how to use the Internet in this day and age, you are a second-class citizen,' she said.
Mark Glaser of MediaShift blogged yesterday on the response so far to the Knight Commission (on the Information Needs of Communities in a Democracy)'s questions.
You can answer the questions here.
Below, an excerpt from the post:
Problem: Where can people find the local information they need, whether it's about a school board meeting, a new construction project or a nearby robbery? Solution: A community hub, with all the information aggregated in one online source and pushed out via libraries, in-person meetings, community radio, small run print publications and cable access TV.
That's my conclusion after studying all the input received by PBS Engage when it passed on the questions from the Knight Commission on the Information Needs of Communities in a Democracy. Those questions all sought to get to the heart of one issue: What are the information needs of people in local communities, and what can we do as a society to serve those needs? I also asked that question on a post at Idea Lab, which David Sasaki answered with an excellent view of how mapping applications can boost community involvement.
Read the rest of the post with his eight steps, and please leave comments on the MediaShift post.
Knight Pulse is looking for a blogger to write one post a week rounding up the most relevant articles, posts, tweets, comments, videos, and podcasts about the future of news. More details below the video.
Posts will be highlighted on the home page of Knight Pulse, the community site about the future of news from Knight Foundation, and will link to the original content.
We seek an experienced Web journalist who can identify salient, interesting topics of discussion in the community that cares about the future of news.
As an applicant, you must be active in online communities and understand online content flow.
To apply (deadline May 8th), please e-mail your r'sum' and why you are the perfect candidate to Kristen Taylor, taylor [at] knightfoundation [dot] org.
UPDATED: This is for a paid contractor to write posts. We are open to applicants worldwide, but posts must be in English.
Know someone you would recommend? Send Kristen an e-mail, leave a comment below, or tweet the recommendation @knightfdn.