Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, has been honored with a Man Who Changed the World Award for his 'contribution to the development of global civilization.' ' The award was given to three 'world changers' in celebration of Mikhail Gorbachev's 80th birthday. ' Berners-Lee now oversees the World Wide Web Foundation, which received a Knight grant to establish an endowment and further its goal of increasing the availability of news and information through the Web. 'On April 6, Alberto Ibarügen, president and CEO of Knight Foundation, will join Berners-Lee and former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown'by moderating a'panel'in Geneva on the future of the Internet and its relation to international development.
The blog of the John S. & James L. Knight Foundation
Earlier this month, Knight's Media Learning Seminar brought together community foundation leaders with top tech and media experts like Arianna Huffington and Chris Hughes for a rich discussion on local information needs.
If you missed it, you can get a feel for the two-day event through this new video:
The seminar is part of the Knight Community Information Challenge, which encourages community and place-based foundations to fund news and information projects. Find out more at www.informationneeds.org. Find links to more session videos here.
Earlier this month, Knight's Media Learning Seminar brought together foundation leaders with top tech and media experts like Arianna Huffington and Chris Hughes for a rich discussion on community information needs.
If you missed it, you can get a feel for the two-day event through this new video:
The seminar is part of the Knight Community Information Challenge, which encourages community and place-based foundations to fund news and information projects. Find out more at www.informationneeds.org. Find links to more session videos here.
Arizona Republic picks up major'News21 transportation safety story over the weekend, starting it on'the front page, with two full pages of coverage inside the newspaper.' Chilling story of a tour bus operator'who avoids fallout from a'crash that killed passengers and'failed inspections'by'"reincarnating"'under different company names and continuing to'obtain federal permits to operate. News21, a national university student-reporting project based at Arizona State University and funded by the Carnegie Knight Initiative on the Future of Journalism Education,'highlighted the issue as part of'a major investigation of U.S. transportation safety.
The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) has selected 22 finalists from its public contest to create an anthem honoring journalists murdered in Latin America.' The contest is part of IAPA's Impunity Project, which aims to combat violence against journalists and lessen the impunity surrounding the majority of those crimes.
Named 'Lend your Voice to the Voiceless,' the competition set out to allow anyone to post videos, songs or lyrics for approval by a network of online peers and has received support from well-known artists like Emilio Estefan.' So far, the content has garnered the attention of over 57,000 votes from thousands of registered online voters.
One such artist to make it to the finals is Armando Elonga of Equatorial Guinea, who sings,
'I ask for justice for all the journalists killed in the line of duty all around the world.' He continues, 'I sing for the one who can no longer speak because a murdering bullet has silenced his voice.' I sing for the one who died for the truth' Until when will we watch this impunity?' Until when will we watch journalists die?'
Another is Richi Divasi from Guatemala, who chants,
'No more violence, no more impunity.'' He goes on to say, 'You are not in this fight alone, you will see that everything will be fine.' We have to fight for our freedom, you will see that together we can accomplish more.' I don't know who said no, who said we can't shout with faith'' A new world ' we want liberty.'
You can hear both their songs and more at www.donatuvoz.com.
Other finalists range from Argentina, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Paraguay, the U.S., Uruguay and Venezuela ' all of which have suffered losses of journalists killed with impunity.
Over the past 8 years, Knight Foundation has awarded the IAPA Impunity Project with almost $7 million to address and prevent crimes against journalists. A full report highlighting the project's successes in placing governments under pressure to provide justice, as well as its difficulties in implementing lasting deterrents is available on our website.
For more information on how Knight funds quality journalism in order to promote informed and engaged communities visit www.knightfoundation.org/programs/journalism.
The Notebook, an online source for news about schools and education in Philadelphia, has won second prize in the community blogging category of the Education Writers Association National Education Reporting Awards.
The winning entry was a collection of 10 blog posts by regular Notebook contributors and guest contributors.
"We chose a variety of pieces that had a high level of reader engagement and page traffic," Web editor Erika Owens wrote. "One focus was posts about Corrective Reading and Math because reader comments prompted the coverage, readers contributed to the coverage through guest blogs, and after the dialogue on the Notebook site, a group testified" at school hearings.
"It's exciting to receive this acknowledgment of our work and the many contributors who make our blog possible," Owens said.
The Notebook site, a digital community version of an established print newspaper, has steadily increased its traffic and community engagement since it was established. The site, a Community Information Challenge Winner in the first round, also is funded by the William Penn Foundation.
A new report released today offers some sobering statistics about gender inequality in newsrooms.
The first of its kind, the Global Report on the Status of Women in the News Media found that only 27% of top management jobs are occupied by women in the 500 companies surveyed in 60 countries. That's despite the fact that they hold 41% of all news-gathering, editing and writing positions. The report was produced by the International Women's Media Foundation (IWMF).
In the U.S., women account for 41% of the overall news media workforce reflecting only slight under-representation on the total scale. Yet their upward mobility appears limited. Women working in news media in America participate at a rate of 41.5% at the senior management level, just 23.3% at top-level management and 35.3% in governance. Compensation is also at disequilibrium. Information obtained about salaries suggests women are paid significantly less than men in low average and high average ranges throughout top-level management, senior professional and technical professional levels. Benefits, too, imply disparity, with only 38.9% of full-time positions being filled by women.
Leaders in the field are gathering to discuss the most effective ways to address these issues at the International Women Media Leaders Conference, co-organized by the IWMF and'The George Washington University Global Media Institute. The event is available on livestream from the Newseum in Washington D.C.
Knight Foundation sponsors the IWMF and the conference to strengthen journalistic excellence. For more information visit www.knightfoundation.org/programs/journalism/.
Cross-posted from newschallenge.org Today is both exciting and melancholy for those of us working on the Knight News Challenge. After weeks spent with 364 full applications, we've settled on 75 semi-finalists. We will pare that group down to a smaller number of finalists over the next couple of weeks. Winners will be announced in late June.
It's an exciting day, as we get to dive deeper into 75 promising ideas from 75 talented (in many cases proven) journalists, developers and entrepreneurs. Less exciting is the fact that we are declining dozens of good ideas. In addition to the 75 we'll be examining in greater detail, there were at least 100 other proposals that we would have liked to explore further. Many of them came from people or organizations with track records in media innovation. As it is, 75 is more than we had planned to bring into a third round. The hard part will be narrowing that down to a group of finalists. We realize there is value among the projects we're declining today. In coming weeks, we hope to come back to at least some of you with ways to help strengthen your ideas.
Thanks to everyone for sharing their ideas, to the commenters who have participated and to the readers who have lent us their expertise over the last few months.
This year's SXSW Accelerator Competition included a new Knight sponsored track focused on news-related technologies.' Over 400 submissions were received, but only the eight following news start-ups made it to the finals Monday in Austin.
Crowdmap ' A Web-based service that allows anyone to create live maps using information pulled from SMS, Twitter and other social media sources. Crowdmap operators categorize and visualize this data on an interactive map and timeline. Crowdmap is a service supported by the non-profit tech company Ushahidi.
DocumentCloud ' A catalog of primary source documents and a tool for annotating, organizing and publishing them on the web. Documents are contributed by journalists, researchers and archivists. DocumentCloud is helping reporters get more out of documents and helping newsrooms make their online presence more engaging.
Localocracy ' An online town commons, where registered voters using real names can vote, comment on and learn about their local issues. Localocracy partners with media organizations and helps them improve local coverage and engagement. The project is currently being used by the Boston Globe.
MuckRock ' A reporting tool that helps anyone legally get, share and analyze government documents, from internal e-mails and police reports to local statistics and reports. The project has helped break stories on immigration and governmental spending and is powered by a community of professional and amateur journalists.
Participatory Politics Foundation ' Open-source software platforms for transparency and civic engagement. Its flagship projects are OpenCongress.org and OpenGovernment.org, two efforts to bring transparency to state, city, local and international governments.
YAPPER-Your APP maker ' A Web based service that enables media organizations to build quick and affordable interactive mobile applications for iOS, Android and Blackberry devices, allowing them to sell their content via mobile technologies without writing a single line of code.
Each of the eight contestants presented their project to a panel of judges. Only three of the eight startups ' DocumentCloud, Storify and Opengovernment.org ' moved to the second and final round of judging. On Tuesday, after another round of fast-paced presentations to a panel of venture capitalists, entrepreneurs and media innovators, Storify was announced as the winner of the 2011 SXSW Accelerator Competition in the news startup category.
Congratulations to all the finalists and to the grand prize winner!
Check out the eight projects and tell us what you think. If you have a great idea to speed media innovation and inform and engage communities, please visit www.knightfoundation.org and learn about the different ways Knight can help you launch your project.
Information Graphic by Bill Pitzer (Adobe PDF)
A recent report on how technology aided Haitian earthquake recovery may be useful for relief efforts in Japan.
In the weeks after the crisis, Haiti became a real world laboratory for several new applications, such as interactive maps and SMS texting platforms. There, these tools were used for first time on a large scale to help citizens and relief workers communicate,' guide search-and-rescue teams and find people in need of critical supplies.
The report also recommends ways to improve the effectiveness of using media in future disaster relief efforts.
Already some of the same technologies are being used to help in Japan. MIT's Technology Review reports:
Within two hours of the Japanese earthquake, a version of Ushahidi, Web software that helps people share information during a crisis, had been created by Japanese volunteers working with the Fletcher School at Tufts University. Ushahidi consists of a Web server and other software that lets anyone send in information'via a cell phone and the Web'that is then displayed on a map. The site dedicated to Japan, sinsai.info/ushahidi, is being used to pinpoint locations where people may be trapped, dangerous areas that should be avoided, and supplies of food and clean water.
Hey there folks, Knight Foundation has been enjoying the company of so many amazing individuals gathered here in Austin for SXSWi. If you're as lucky we are to be here, please stop by our booth at the trade show to see some demos from SXSW News Accelerator Finalists, Knight News Challenge winners and other Knight grantees on Monday and Tuesday, March 14-15 (Booths 907, 909, 1006, 1009).
Monday, March 14
12 pm: Stroome, collaborative video editing
1 pm: Stamen Design's Dotspotting, dots+maps
2 pm: Crowdmap, crowdsourced maps+timelines
3 pm: OWNI, news innovation services
4 pm: Storify, social media storytelling
5 pm: Spot.us's engaged sponsorships
Tuesday, March 15
11 am: NowSpots, social media ads
12 pm: OpenGovernment, local government data
1 pm: Yapper, self-serve mobile app maker
2 pm: Localocracy, online town commons
3 pm: DocumentCloud, documents into data
4 pm: Muckrock, crowdsourced FOIAs
5 pm: HearSay, news+gaming app
At 85, Rev. Harry Hawkins is learning to use a computer for the first time. Everyday, he heads to Heavenly Halls Gospel Church, one of four community centers where the Free Library of Philadelphia has set up computer labs to expand digital literacy training and broadband availability.
These "Hot Spots," funded by Knight Foundation's Library Initiative, help patrons in underserved areas where it's often hard to reach the local branch. The Hot Spots also address the gap in Web connectivity in a city where more than 49 percent of residents are living without home broadband Internet access.
Hawkins has a computer at home. But he prefers to head to Heavenly Halls because he says the teachers there make him feel more comfortable learning how to type and because he can do research using the Internet. In fact, Hawkins was recently able to reconnect with a former employer and friend as a result of his newfound skills.
"It's amazing," Hawkins said, referencing the attention he's gotten from his instructors. "The personality, the character it gives us more insight to learn."
Wittily, Hawkins says the instructors remind him that, 'We learn all we can and we can all learn.'
(Video Credit: Asil Lawrence, Village of Arts and Humanities)
The innovative new program has also helped many others.
Vimul Ros, a computer technician working with the program, spoke of another Philadelphia native who went from typing three words per minute at a 30% accuracy rate to typing 10 words per minute at 95% accuracy with just one lesson. He also described a young woman who has visited Heavenly Hall three times a week since it opened for help updating her resume and looking for jobs.
The success unfolding around the Hot Spots project reflects points made during Knight's Library Conference. For more information on how Knight Foundation is helping libraries become digital community centers visit www.knightfoundation.org/library.
The recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan has only emphasized the intense need for strong public policy planning for our most populated regions of the US. Back in 2009, The Silicon Valley Community Foundation applied to The Knight Community Information Challenge for support to help answer the questions of what the San Francisco Bay area should and could look like by 2035, when there could be 1.2 million new jobs and 900,000 new households.
The question the SVFoundation team wanted to answer was would it be possible to build an online planning tool that could be a focal point to help both regional planned and the informed public explore and answer regional planning and land use questions such as:
- Where will all of these people live?
- Where will the new housing be built? How will people get around?
- Will the air we breathe and the water we drink be clean?
- Will we still be able to enjoy extensive and accessible open spaces?
With the support of a $302,000 grant from Knight, the SV Foundation, in partnership with Greenbelt Alliance, TransFormCA and others, created a new tool--YouChoose Bay Area--that takes the questions of the Envision Bay Area project and turns them into an interactive online visualization tools. Working within a clear and easy to use interface, the website allows users to make choices that show them the impact of different policy choose and how they dictate future growth in the region. Participants get an understanding of...
Despite a presidential order to be more open, nearly half of federal agencies have not shown concrete action in handling Freedom of Information Act requests, the 2011 Knight Open Government Survey discovered.
Last year, the Knight Open Government Survey found that only 13 out of 90 agencies made concrete changes, making national headlines, and prompting the White House to require improvements from agencies.' The number is up to 49 this year, but clearly there is still much progress still to be made on the order the president issued at the beginning of his term.
'At this rate, the president's first term in office may be over by the time federal agencies do what he asked them to do on his first day in office,' said Eric Newton, senior adviser to the president at Knight Foundation, which funded the study conducted by the National Archive. .
The Knight Commission on the Information Needs of Communities concluded that public information belongs to the public, and the government must be more open. 'The purpose of the Knight Open Government Survey is to determine how well the federal government follows its own freedom of information rules.' The survey uses systematic Freedom of Information Act requests to require agencies reveal their own performance under the law.
These results have been released as part of this year's Sunshine Week, a series of events designed to promote government openness and freedom of information.
Patchwork Nation aims to explore what is happening in the United States by examining different kinds of communities over time. Last year, the organization received its second Knight Foundation grant to extend its system of county-by-county demographic breakdowns to individual congressional districts.
"We analyzed reams of demographic, economic, cultural, and political data to break the nation's 3,141 counties into 12 statistically distinct 'types of places,'' said Dante Chinni and James Gimpel, the project's founders and authors of Our Patchwork Nation. "When we look at family income over the past 30 years through that prism, the full picture of the income divide becomes clearer'and much starker."
The mapping project presents the data in a captivating and digestible way, and also allows journalists to report more accurately on political events like the upcoming 2012 presidential election.
Said Eric Newton, Senior Adviser to the President at Knight, "There's no doubt there are serious implications to this information, we'll just have to wait and see who takes notice."
For more on how Knight Foundation advances quality journalism to promote informed and engaged communities visit www.knightfoundation.org.
The crisis in the news industry has resulted in numerous attempts to create new platforms and approaches for informing, and engaging'
audiences "the people formerly known as the audience." Knight Foundation has'supported a number of nonprofit news start-ups focused on local news. Our latest grant in that area was announced earlier this morning: we've made a $975,000 grant to the Bay Citizen and the Texas Tribune to support 'their work to build, and share, a free'open source publishing platform.
In developing the grant, I found that I kept over-estimating the age of these two publishers - I find it hard to believe that the Bay Citizen has only been publishing for nine months and the Texas Tribune for 16 months. They have quickly become important news sources in their communities and models for their effective use of the Internet. We hope this grant will help them to maintain their technological nimbleness and benefit other publishers-- existing ones as well as those yet to come.
A couple of additional points:
- Collaboration is a term that gets used a lot these days, but the Citizen and the Tribune actually are doing it. The money will be split by the two organizations, and Brian Kelly and'Higinio Maycotte, the head geeks at the Bay Citizen and Texas Tribune respectively, and their teams will work closely together.
- The grant builds on Seeking Sustainability, a meeting Knight Foundation hosted last April in Austin with'Texas Tribune, Voice of San Diego and the Knight Chair in Journalism at The University of Texas at Austin. We convened'nonprofit local and regional news organizations to talk about their work in the new news landscape.
- Over the next few days Knight Foundation will be present at the South by Southwest Interactive festival-- a summary of our activities is here. On Saturday morning, we're sponsoring a panel on Changing News Rooms and News Consumers--among the presenters will be Lisa Frazier, the founding CEO of the Bay Citizen.
The project of the Arkansas Community Foundation has funded about a dozen reporters to work for small newspapers around the state. Their work is published by the local news organization and on a central site so that Arkansas residents can see news from all over the state.
The Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism officially opened this week at the Graduate School of Journalism of the City University of New York.
Knight Foundation President Alberto Ibargüensaid the foundation’s support for the Tow-Knight Center was driven by a concern for the health of media that informs democratic practice where people are less aware of civic life at the local level. In recent years, Knight Foundation has supported hundreds of experiments in journalism, he said, and the next big thing is to find the business models to make it all sustainable.
In a recent panel discussion hosted by Philanthropy New York on philanthropic support for local journalism, Tow Foundation Executive Director Emily Tow Jackson said, “We recognized that the changing economics of journalism could negatively impact the health of our democracy.”
Describing the Tow Foundation’s support for the new center at CUNY, Jackson said, “With the transition to the digital age, newspapers large and small were laying off staff, cutting back on coverage, some even closing. We were concerned and wanted to contribute to finding solutions.”
The purpose of the center will be to:
- Educate students and mid-career journalists, focusing on innovative business management;
- Research new business models for news;
- Incubate development of new journalistic enterprises.
Already, the Tow-Knight Center has selected its inaugural slate of 11 entrepreneurial journalists from all around the world, including from Brazil, Cameroon, Denmark, Rwanda and the United States. In addition, $40,000 in grants have already been made to support new enterprises being proposed by several CUNY graduates from previous entrepreneurial journalism classes. For example, Jeanne Pinder, a former New York Times editor, received $20,000 to create ClearHealthCosts, an online information hub designed to deliver information about health care costs.
The launch event centered around a discussion, led by center director Jeff Jarvis, with Google Vice President Marissa Mayer and AOL Chairman and CEO Tim Armstrong on their current business strategies and the future of news.
In his inimitable rapid-fire way, Jarvis drilled the two executives for the better part of an hour, focusing in particular on their plans for delivering local news content. At Google, Mayer suggested that mobile devices will be a critical delivery system. Being able to present news on a device, “that says I am here,” Mayer noted, will be a huge business advantage, given that 70 per cent of expendable income is spent within five miles of a person’s home.
For Armstong, the commitment to AOL’s Patch, a fast-growing local news service now available in hundreds of communities, was born of his own frustration in not being able to find highly relevant information about his own small community.
Jarvis offered an ambitious charge for the Tow-Knight Center, to be a center for entrepreneurial innovation that will propel journalism forward. “What Stanford and MIT do for technology, nobody does for journalism.”
- Vincent Stehle, Knight Foundation consultant
In 1990, Knight Foundation started a Knight Chair in Journalism program, saying 'The purpose of a Knight Chair is to strengthen American journalism education by bolstering core curricular values and encouraging innovation ' to improve standards and effectiveness ' to assure a large number of journalists in the next century experience quality training.'
Today, news professionals at 22 universities help Knight achieve that mission by teaching innovative classes to thousands of students, developing groundbreaking programs and centers, and speaking out for quality journalism values.
Recently 17 of these endowed, tenured Knight Chairs met in Austin, Texas to discuss the state of journalism education, and to answer the following questions:' 'Is journalism education rising to the challenges of the digital age?' and 'Should students be taught not just to inform, but also to engage communities?'
On whether journalism education is rising to the challenges of the digital age, Knight Chairs were divided.' Here are excerpts of some of their comments:
'Through greater collaborations with mainstream media and the new nonprofit investigative centers the academy will ensure that it stays current.' - Brant Houston, Illinois.
'Journalism educators need to do much more to educate students about the challenges of changing technology and economic models in the digital age.' ' Jim Detjen, Michigan.
'We must continue to be flexible and nimble while at the same time retaining the bedrock values that define journalism ' on any platform it appears.' - Malcolm Moran, Pennsylvania.
'The journalism landscape is much different than it was five years ago, but most journalism schools are not.' - Rich Beckman, Miami.
They also discussed whether students should be taught not just to inform communities, but to engage them.' Here are a couple of their thoughts:
'For the first time in the history of mass communication, the devices we use to receive the news are also able to distribute news, and to talk back. Passive audiences are increasingly being replaced by active networks of engaged people,' Rosental Alves, Texas.
'Journalists should not be removed from their communities, but learn how to be a vital part of them with journalistic purpose ' which is to find and share the information those communities, writ small or large, need to know and govern themselves.' ' Jacqui Banaszynski, Missouri.
The group was joined by guest speakers Dan Gillmor, author and director of Knight Center for Digital Media Entrepreneurship at Arizona State University, Evan Smith, Texas Tribune CEO and Editor, Roderick Hart, dean, UT Austin College of Communication, Glenn Frankel Director, University of Texas at Austin School of Journalism, Knight Foundation's CEO and President Alberto Ibarügen, and Senior Advisor to the President at Knight Eric Newton.
More about the Knight Chairs in Journalism can be found on this website on the following pages:
Knight Chair in Computer-Assisted Journalism at Arizona State University, Steve Doig
Knight Chair in Business Journalism at Columbia University, Sylvia Nasar
Knight Chair in Computational Journalism at Duke University, Sarah Cohen
Knight Chair for Journalism Student Enhancement at Florida A&M University, Joe Ritchie
Knight Chair in Scholastic Journalism at Kent State University, Mark Goodman
Knight Chair in Environmental Journalism at Michigan State University, Jim Detjen
Knight Chair in Digital Media Strategy at Northwestern University, Owen Youngman
Knight Chair in Sports Journalism and Society at Pennsylvania State University, Malcolm Moran
Knight Chair in Political Reporting at Syracuse University, Charlotte Grimes
Knight Chair in Science and Technology Reporting at University of California Berkeley, Michael Pollan
Knight Chair in Journalism Technologies and the Democratic Process at University of Florida,'Melinda McAdams
Knight Chair in Health and Medical Journalism at University of Georgia, Patricia Thomas
Knight Chair in Investigative and Enterprise Reporting at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Brant Houston
Knight Chair in News, Leadership and Community at University of Kansas, Pam Fine
Knight Chair in Public Affairs Journalism at University of Maryland, Haynes Johnson
Knight Chair in Visual Journalism at University of Miami, Rich Beckman
Knight Chair in Cross-Cultural Communication at University of Miami, Joseph Treaster
Knight Chair in Editing at University of Missouri at Columbia, Jacqui Banaszynski
Lee Hills Chair in Free-Press Studies at University of Missouri at Columbia, Amy McCombs
Knight Chair in Journalism and Digital Media Economics at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Penny Muse Abernathy
Knight Chair in Digital Advertising and Marketing at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, currently vacant - see'http://jobs.unc.edu/1002531
Knight Chair in Media and Religion at University of Southern California, Diane Winston
Knight Chair in International Journalism at University of Texas at Austin, Rosental Alves
Knight Chair in Journalism Ethics at Washington & Lee University, Edward Wasserman
Knight Professorship in Constitutional Law and First Amendment at Yale University, Jack Balkin.
Knight Foundation recently hosted the members of CTOs for Good, Chief Technology Officers from leading nonprofits, to share their experiences in leveraging digital innovation to build lasting civic engagement.
Housed at Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN), CTOs for Good includes George Weiner from DoSomething.org, Nathan R. Yergler of Creative Commons, Oliver Hurst-Hiller of Donorschoose.org, Steve Rogers of GlobalGiving, Sam Mankiewicz of Kiva, Steve Turner of Network for Good and Todd Huss of VolunteerMatch.' Together with Sarah Janczak Corona, who helped facilitate and capture the conversations, they discussed what works and what doesn't ' touching on everything from open-source impact technology to long-term measurement tools and cloud-services.
Here's a look at what they had to say:
Look for more on NTEN.org, following their upcoming Nonprofit Technology Conference 2011.
And check out Technology for Engagement to see how Knight is using technology as a tool to inspire on-the-ground action, part of the foundation's focus on promoted informed and engaged communities.
(Photo: George Weiner of DoSomething.org shares his point of view)
Knight Foundation is excited to participate in South by Southwest Interactive and sponsor the SXSW Accelerator Competition, in which we are supporting the new track for News Related Technologies. At Knight we are committed to seeing journalism to its best possible future in the digital age. Over the past four years, Knight Foundation has invested more than $100 million in a Media Innovation Initiative, to ' among other things ' experiment with new media models for journalism. So far, our funding has helped launch more than 100 community news experiments.
If you are a current grantee or a media innovator who's passionate about using journalism and technology to inform and engage communities, we want to meet you. We are interested in meeting Hacks/Hackers with great ideas to spur media innovation. We are eager to discover interesting projects, meet potential grantees or Knight News Challenge winners and learn about new technologies. The idea for the Knight-Mozilla News Technology Partnership was hatched last year at SXSW and we hope to come back this year with more great projects, partnerships and ideas to speed and expand the field of media innovation.
We hope you can join Knight at one of the following events:
- Future of Journalism Panels Saturday, March 12 ' Sunday, March 13.
- Knight Foundation's main panel Changing News Rooms and News Consumers Saturday, March 12. Creekside East 11th St. Austin, TX 78701
- Knight Foundation's Media Innovation Party Saturday, March 12 at Palm Door. 401 Sabine Street Austin, TX 78701 http://mediainnovationparty.com
- SXSW Accelerator Competition Monday, March 14 - Tuesday, March 15.
- Media Innovation Meet-up Monday, March 14 - Tuesday, March 15.
- Trade show Monday, March 14 - Thursday, March 17.
Join Knight in embracing journalism and technology and using it in 'digitally native' ways to inform and engage communities.
Today, Knight Foundation is announcing two new arrivals, and an important new position.
Michael Maness will become vice president of the Journalism and Media Innovation program. Maness comes to Knight after more than three years as Gannett’s vice president of innovation and design. At Gannett, he launched multiple new brands, local websites and developed the industry's first daily video newscast on the Web done without a television partner. He was also named to the Newspaper Association of America's list of "20 under 40."
He will lead Knight's media innovation efforts - a $100 million initiative over the last five years - which include projects in national media policy, technology innovation, public media transformation and the evolution of the World Wide Web. Programs such as the Knight News Challenge, a media innovation contest, have to date spawned hundreds of community media experiments and other projects.
“Michael Maness has led innovation at one of the largest media companies in the country. He has a sense of what’s next and what innovations can survive in the marketplace. He has made a career of both being open to innovation and tough-minded about learning, the perfect combination for our program.”
Also joining Knight today is Rishi S. Jaitly, a former Google executive and social entrepreneur who will be Knight's Detroit program director. Knight's strategy there is focused on harnessing the community's creative energy to spur its transformation. Success will require partnerships, and Jaitly has experience bringing partners to the table. As founder of Michigan Corps, a local and global network of leaders advancing education and entrepreneurship in Michigan, he assembled a group of “founding corps members” that included Google CEO Dr. Eric Schmidt; CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta; Skoll Global Threats Fund President Dr. Larry Brilliant; and Sun Microsystems Founder Scott McNealy.
Prior to that, as head of government affairs and public-private partnerships for Google in India, he successfully convinced the government of Pakistan to end its nationwide block of Blogger and YouTube and the government of Bangladesh to end its nationwide block of YouTube.
Last but not least, we are announcing the creation of a new and important position at Knight: Eric Newton has been promoted to the new post of senior adviser to the president. In this role, Newton will help pursue strategic partnerships and serve as a magnet for new ideas across all foundation programs.
“Good foundations do more than make grants,” Newton said in today's release, “and I’m excited about helping Knight and journalism in new ways, through advising, strategic planning, writing, speaking, facilitating and partnering. I love to put great people together and help find new ideas that will make a difference.”
In his decade at Knight, Newton has developed some $300 million in grants to advance quality journalism, freedom of expression and media innovation worldwide.
"He has been a force in journalism, a craft he loves and has made better. His advice and counsel will continue to impact Knight Foundation’s work in these digital time."
Knight Foundation is proud to be a longtime supporter of the Miami International Film Festival and of sponsoring the grand jury prizes for the event, which is produced and presented by Miami Dade College.
We are also excited to co-sponsor the screening of PAGE ONE: A YEAR INSIDE THE NEW YORK TIMES.
Sixty years later, we are committed to seeing journalism to its best possible future in the digital age.
This film brings that challenge into focus, by following the New York Times newsroom during a time of massive change in the industry.
The director Andrew Rossi said he hoped the film would start a conversation... about how investigative journalism and objective news reporting can be economically viable in today's world.
At Knight Foundation, we're agnostic about the medium. But we are passionate about preserving journalism and the fair, accurate, contextual search for truth.
Over the past four years, Knight Foundation has invested more than $100 million in a Media Innovation Initiative, to ' among other things ' experiment with new media models for journalism. So far, our funding has helped launch more than 100 community news experiments.
You can find out more at www.knightfoundation.org
The future of accountability journalism is an important question for everyone who cares about the future of our democracy.
Knight Foundation's Eric Newton was recently quoted in the American Journalism Review on the future of news councils in the U.S.
At a news council, people who feel wronged by the media can file a complaint, get a public hearing and have the decision published. However, just'one council continues to operate on that classic model as people find new ways to air complaints on the Internet.
"The question is not whether people are interacting with media, but how. We still need to keep thinking of good ways to keep quality news and information about journalism on the table when complaints are discussed, but it looks like we need digital, real time ways to do it," he says. Newton points to research that indicates "media is becoming more personal, portable and participatory."'He adds, "It's logical to think that any person, group, tool or institution hoping to do what news councils once hoped to do would need to employ digital tools in that same way."
By Jeff Reifman
NewsCloud's open source platform is an ideal tool for community foundations wishing to help their communities and grantees become hosts of vibrant online communities. This post will present some resources and suggestions for approaching this kind of project.
Why Community Foundations Should Invest in Local Online Hubs
The Knight Commission recently released a must read report entitled Creating Local Online Hubs: Three Models for Action:
"Ensuring that every local community has at least one high-quality hub is one of 15 key recommendations made by the Knight Commission on the Information Needs of Communities in a Democracy."
This report is a great resource for understanding the role local online hubs in creating informed and engaged commnunities.
The report highlights three approaches often taken: 1) Hubs focused on community government information, 2) Community Connections: Local forums and Community E-mail Listserves and 3) Community News and Commentary. NewsCloud's platform excels at the latter and can also provide forums and help present directories to community and government resources.
Consider looking at the Knight Foundation's Community Information Challenge as a possible funding source - see #7 below. Current challenge deadline is March 7th. The Community Information Challenge FAQ states: "Knight is looking for projects that help fill community information needs, foster community engagement and help residents participate in the creation and sharing of news and information." This exactly describes what you and your grantees can accomplish with the NewsCloud platform.
As Head of Children's Services at Stow-Munroe Falls Public Library, Lydia Gamble is deeply involved in connecting her library with the residents of Akron, Ohio. Recently, she has gained attention for helping to inspire a new generation of library visitors by teaching digital literacy using touch-screen computer technology.
The new computers and classes benefiting children and adults alike have been made possible with support from Knight Foundation's Library Initiative.
Gamble spoke with us about her experience using the new tools.
"The touch-screens are very intuitive and therefore easy for the youngest child to use," Gamble said. "Children are using them from a very young age to learn to read and play and explore."
"Special needs children have also responded very well to the technology," Gamble added. "We have quite a few special needs patrons, and I am thrilled to be able to provide a special story time for them in which I can utilize the touch-screen technology."
Of course, access to the computers isn't just limited to story time. The classes are attracting a wide range of residents including seniors and the recently unemployed who are brushing up on their workplace skills.
Take a look at this video to see what we mean.
At Knight's Library Conference earlier this week, leaders in the field of information technology agreed that one of the best ways to maintain libraries' crucial role in the community is to provide a variety of digital services to a diverse range of people. Stow-Munroe Falls' programming is just one example of how libraries can transform themselves into interactive centers for digital information.
Visit www.knightfoundation.org/library for more.
This week, Knight brought together some of the top thinkers in the country at TED for a conversation about our Technology for Engagement Initiative. In a lively exchange, TED participants explored the idea of using technology to accelerate the 'engagement of residents in the most pressing challenges they face in their communities.
Issues raised include ways to:
- Reinvent participatory democracy
- Create meaningful participation between elections
- Use open data for citizens based solutions
- Engage citizens in applying their expertise to solve community challenges
- Launch games that engage citizens in real community challenges
- Make online engagement real in the physical world
Scribe Stuart Kennedy, of Knight Foundation, recorded the proceedings of a breakout session at the 2011 Media Learning Seminar in Miami facilitated by Raymond Santiago, Director, Miami-Dade Public Library System.
Scribe LuAnn Lovlin, The Winnipeg Foundation, recorded the proceedings of a breakout session at the 2011 Media Learning Seminar in Miami facilitated by FSG.
Evaluating the impact of information and media projects requires breaking down your evaluation process into four main areas:
- Describe your project and identify your target audience
- Identify the evaluation’s purpose and key questions
- Design your evaluation using effective methods
- Report/Communicate the evaluation findings
References and examples were provided from the new publication; IMPACT: A Practical Guide to Evaluating Community Information Projects and the 2011 Reports from the Field.
Scribe Megan Brownell, Arizona Community Foundation, recorded the proceedings of a breakout session at the 2011 Media Learning Seminar in Miami facilitated by Ron Shuffield, CEO, EWM Realtors.
The group discussed the challenge of persuading someone to give, emphasizing that we must meet their needs, tell compelling stories, focus on leaving a legacy and the permanence of their gift, and convincing the donor of how the community foundation provides value.
Community foundations are evolving, focusing on getting people to give where they live and to give while living, not only through bequests. Donors used to come to the community foundation and we responded to their interests. Today, we propose areas of interest, encourage collaboration with other donors and help donors feel impact and value. We’re encouraging more strategic giving rather than a sprinkling of grants to the donors’ favorite organizations. There are also significant generational differences to be accounted for, as younger generations give differently and consume information differently. Programs staff now interact with donors to bring subject-matter expertise.
Scribe Marika Lynch, consultant to Knight Foundation, recorded the proceedings of a breakout session led by President and CEO Alberto Ibargüen at the 2011 Media Learning Seminar in Miami.
During the session, community foundation board members identified common challenges to addressing information needs on several fronts.
Scribe Beth Probst, Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation, recorded the proceedings of a breakout session at the 2011 Media Learning Seminar in Miami facilitated by Jeff Reifman, Founder, NewsCloud.
NewsCloud, founded by session facilitator Jeff Reifman, is a Knight-funded Facebook application that helps engage readers in the news. On NewCloud, the comments tend to be very civil because people are using their real identities to post comments. One can see who is making the comments. All in all, it is a virtual community but it connects real people and real communities.
Scribe Roberta King, Grand Rapids Community Foundation, recorded the proceedings of a breakout session at the 2011 Media Learning Seminar in Miami facilitated by Kinsey Wilson, NPR Digital.
Our relationship with media is changing; there are many more competing entities. What do we pay attention to, what do we ignore or give something to or become involved with? People have to distinguish between types of media in different marketplaces. Two groups might be broadly described as: commercial business models like Yahoo and Google with reviews and aggregation reviews and the other side is news. At this point there is money on one side. Sides used to be bundled, in the newspaper model. When classifieds dropped out of newspapers it was the beginning of the end. The portals sites are are trying to put the bundle back together.
Scribe Susan Knudten, Rose Community Foundation, recorded the proceedings of a breakout session at the 2011 Media Learning Seminar in Miami facilitated by Charles Firestone, Aspen Institute.
Information is as important to a community’s health as safe streets, clean air, etc. How do you evaluate it? How do you improve it? Information serves many purposes:
Scribe Nancy Jones, of The Miami Foundation, recorded the proceedings of a breakout session at the 2011 Media Learning Seminar in Miami facilitated by Dirk Beveridge, 4th Generation Systems.
Knight President and CEO Alberto Ibargüen asked at this morning’s plenary: “What can we do to get donor advised funds focused on community engagement?” The group agreed that this is why we gathered for this session. What can we do tomorrow when we leave Miami to make a difference in our projects and in our community?
Scribe Christine Beddia, Coastal Community Foundation of S.C., recorded the proceedings of a breakout session at the 2011 Media Learning Seminar in Miami facilitated by Heidi Williamson, of Berks County Community Foundation.
Are community foundations (CF) responsible because they are unbiased brokers of local information or should CFs just serve as silent supporters? If the for-profit business model was broken, why would the nonprofit sector have a better model? Should CFs fund third-party entities or try to offer journalistic guidance?
One answer: CFs can help with the business model because civic engagement is a priority in CF agendas. Also, there are some obvious local community partners that can create opportunities including local universities, county governments and place-based foundations. There is also a layer of local sites ready to do more work to build revenue. They are ready to dive in deeper. Voice of San Diego is doing good work.
Scribe Carolyn Torgersen, VP Marketing and Communications, Community Foundation of the Lowcountry, recorded the proceedings of a breakout session at the 2011 Media Learning Seminar in Miami facilitated by Joaquin Alvarado, Sr. Vice President, Digital Innovation, American Public Media
Scribe: Founded in 2003, American Public Media's Public Insight Network expands community input in local journalism, and reporters’ source bases. How it works: People sign up for the network and identify their areas of knowledge and expertise. Participating journalists then search the database for knowledgeable sources, query them to test hunches, identify trends and support production of major projects. The network has nearly 100,000 sources around the country engaged with more than two dozen media partners, including ProPublica, The Miami Herald, WNYC public radio in New York, and KQED public radio in San Francisco, among others.
The event is part of Knight Foundation's Library Initiative, which is led by Knight's Jorge Martinez and helps expand residents' digital access by boosting libraries' online capacity in 27 'communities.
As Knight Foundation President and CEO Alberto Ibarügen said in his welcome remarks:
Many Americans, easily a third of the country, still lack broadband access. Yet we are living in a world where the lack of digital access makes you a second class citizen socially, economically and even politically. But libraries, as you know, were sitting right there, right at the core of communities, right at the heart of knowledge dissemination and, perhaps most importantly, were trusted. Trusted by people to be neutral and interested only in the education of our communities. So, my colleague Jorge Martínez suggested we take up the challenge and have tried to form a digital alliance with library systems from around the country. This initiative is intended both to inform and engage citizens through the use of digital technology, and to provide libraries an opportunity for leadership in your communities.
Check back later this week for more on the conference.
- Introduction: Alberto Ibargüen
- A.C. Thompson, Reporter, ProPublica
- Video: WGBH Boston's Frontline 2009 report "Law and Disorder"
More from the 2011 Media Learning Seminar
The conversation about building stronger communities through information moves from breakfast to the day's opening panel. As the developers of Knight's Community Information Toolkit described a valuable resource to drive action, I finished coffee with a community leader who has started to put the tools to work.
The Black Hills Knowledge Network provides vital information about working, citizenship, schools, government and tourism in the Black Hills of South Dakota. The recipient of a $205,000 matching grant from Knight, the Knowledge Network is building a community information ecosystem similar to the one described in the session about assessing and empowering your community.
The Knowledge Network has tapped a traditional community resource ' the Rapid City Public Library ' to gather and organize news and information throughout the black Hills and South Dakota.
Arianna Huffington has been described as the most upwardly mobile Greek since Icarus. She closed a lively a day at the Media Learning Seminar by inspiring us to soar.
'Information is the way to awaken apathy,' said Ms. Huffington, invoking the Zeigeist of our digital moment. 'We have wind at our backs.'
Quoting John Knight, the Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, her mother, and herself (from her book, The Fourth Instinct), she encouraged attendees to engage with their communities, collaborate, unplug and recharge. Therein we find meaning in our lives, she said.
For her part, Ms. Huffington will now lead Patch, part of AOL's national effort to inform and engage underserved communities, as well as The Huffington Post, which she co-founded. Some believe the AOL-HuffPo marriage will reshape local journalism. Other believe there are consequences.
Either way, we fly in Arianna's shadow.
A post from the 2011 Media Learning Seminar. At Knight Foundation's Media Learning Seminar, community and place-based foundation leaders meet with journalism and technology experts to explore the topic of community information needs. Follow the event on Twitter at #infoneeds and @knightfdn.
- Moderator: Mayur Patel, Director, Strategic Assessment and Impact, Knight Foundation
- Speakers: Barbara Kibbe, Partner and Vice President of Client Services, Monitor Institute
- Lee Rainie, Director of the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project
- Dr. Tony Siesfeld, Partner, Monitor Institute
More from the Media Learning Seminar 2011 is here.
A good summary is in this bite from Lee Rainie:
A new study provides some interesting, and surprising, data about how residents feel about the availability of information in their communities. As it turns out, when governments share more information, their transparency may have a cascading effect, offering a civic payoff for the entire community.
People who believe their government shares information well are also more likely to feel good about their community, their local government and civic groups ' and the ability of the average person to make a difference.
What's surprising, too, is that the study found broadband users are sometimes less satisfied than others with community life. That raises the possibility that greater broadband access could create a more critical, activist public.
The research, presented today at a Knight Foundation conference, is part of Knight's continuing look at how information affects community life. In 2009, the Knight Commission on the Information Needs of Communities articulated that our democracy depends on people getting information on important issues, and being able to act on it.
But how does a community go about ensuring that people get the information they need? The commission also outlined eight key characteristics, a sort of checklist for a vibrant information system. They range from universal broadband access to robust libraries, digital literacy training and strong local journalism.
In addition to the study, over the past year Monitor and Knight also have looked at how communities could assess those factors ' to determine the strengths and weaknesses of a city's information system, and design ways to improve them.
The result is the Community Information Toolkit, an easy to use, relatively inexpensive way for community leaders to improve their local media ecology to advance their particular goals for a better community.
This morning, we're presenting the toolkit ' Version 1.0 ' at Knight's Media Learning Seminar, a gathering of 350 plus community foundation and civic leaders interested in supporting news and information projects that keep residents informed and engaged.
The toolkit is in early stages of development, and we're looking for more communities to help test it. Whether residents are intent on improving their education system, housing stock or the environment, information is a critical element of all community changes. Today's study's show too that information helps people feel empowered to step up and make a difference.