The honor is given annually to individuals or organizations that “have made a profound impact on the media landscape or have captured the public's imagination about the potential or importance of the media in a unique way.”
Knight’s President and CEO Alberto Ibargüen received the award on behalf of the foundation at the sixth annual Mirror Awards ceremony in New York.
Knight Foundation was “chosen as this year's recipient for redefining the role philanthropy can play in media innovation.” Over the past decade, Knight has invested more than $300 million in journalism and media innovation projects, including through the Knight News Challenge, which accelerates breakthrough ideas that inform and engage communities.
“As much as we appreciate the recognition, we also think our best innovations are still ahead of us. If the cutting edge is good, the bleeding edge is better. That’s where we want to be. To get there we must keep moving,” Ibargüen said.
He noted that last year, the foundation added three new trustees to help guide and push it into the media future: Joi Ito, director of MIT's Media Lab; John Palfrey of the Harvard Law School and Berkman Center; and Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes, who recently purchased and is now publisher of The New Republic. Ibargüen also shared details of the Knight News Challenge, which in an effort to stay closer to the real cycle of innovation, is offering funding three times this year.
While accepting the award, Ibargüen also thanked the foundation’s many partners whose innovations are advancing the future of news and information, and Knight’s Senior Adviser to the President, Eric Newton, for his dedication to Knight’s mission.
Established in 2006, the Mirror Awards honors reporters, editors and teams of writers who hold a “mirror” to their own industry for the public benefit. The award for impact, innovation and influence (i-3) is also awarded yearly.
Past recipients of the i-3 award include: Dennis Crowley and Naveen Selvadurai, co-founders of Foursquare (2011); Twitter (2010); Obama for America New Media Department/Blue State Digital (2009); and CNN/YouTube (2008).