Knight Blog

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

Queens University of Charlotte to Become Digital and Media Literacy Leader

Sept. 12, 2010, 8:30 p.m., Posted by Michele McLellan and Eric Newton

James L. Knight

A year ago, a high level Knight Commission spelled out 15 recommendations for ensuring Americans get the information they need on important issues. Front and center: making sure digital and media literacy are built into education at all levels, from kindergarten through college.

Today, we're pleased'to announce that Queens University of Charlotte will become a national leader in this area.

With Knight Foundation's support, the newly renamed James L. Knight School of Communication will teach digital and media literacy to its students, and create outreach programs that will help these students spread digital and media literacy in the community at large.' As part of this service, Queens students could, for example, become literacy volunteers at libraries, teaching digital skills to seniors or leading workshops for parents on age-appropriate uses for social media.

In addition, Queens will teach digital and media literacy to all of its students, through core classes - helping to ensure they have the skills to evaluate ever-exploding content for accuracy and bias, and understand new technologies and their impact on our lives.

As Knight Foundation President and CEO Alberto Ibargüen, who announced the grant tonight in Charlotte said: 'It's pioneering for a university to take responsibility for teaching digital and media literacy not only to its own students, but in the community at large. In the 21st century, successful communities will be those who can best connect with each other and the world using digital media. Queens is uniquely positioned to help Charlotte do that.

We're proud the School of Communication will bear the name of James L. Knight, founder of the national newspaper chain that became Knight Ridder, a former Charlotte Observer publisher, and a firm believer in community prosperity. His daughter Marjorie Knight Crane, a Knight Foundation trustee and Charlotte resident, was integral to making this happen.

We look forward to Queens University tackling this challenge, and finding ways to replicate their success in other communities.

Eric Newton

Vice President for Journalism

Susan Patterson

Program Director, Charlotte