Knight Blog

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

‘IowaWatch Connection’ radio program scores well with stations

Nov. 24, 2014, 6 a.m., Posted by Lyle Muller

Lyle Muller is executive director and editor of the Iowa Center for Public Affairs Journalism-Iowatch. Photo: IowaWatch reporter/digital analyst Lauren Mills (left) and co-founder Stephen Berry (rear, center) talk on the 'Your Town' program Aug. 19, 2014, with Jay Capron (right) on KXIC radio in Iowa City, IA, one of 21 radio stations airing the IowaWatch Connection program. In addition to airing the IowaWatch Connection on Sunday mornings, KXIC features IowaWatch on 'Your Town' the third Tuesday of every month. Credit: Lyle Muller/IowaWatch.

Iowa radio stations participating in a statewide, experimental Iowa Center for Public Affairs Journalism-IowaWatch weekly radio show say they like the show enough to tell others about it. That’s the indication from a recent survey to determine the show’s value to the stations.

“Well done,” one station program director wrote about the show, called “The IowaWatch Connection.” The show launched with the support of an INNovation Fund award from Knight Foundation and the Investigative News Network.

“I like having the show on air and would continue it as long as it’s produced,” wrote another.

The feedback is important as the almost 5-year-old Iowa Center, a nonprofit, nonpartisan investigative and explanatory news organization, tries to secure funding to continue the program.

“The IowaWatch Connection” launched on July 4, 2014, to spread the center’s in-depth reporting to a statewide radio audience. The show aired on 17 stations until Oct. 6, 2014, when an 18th station joined the network. By Nov. 20, 2014, 21 stations were airing the program – 20 in Iowa and one run by a high school radio station in suburban Chicago using the program for educational purposes. Fourteen of the 17 radio outlets airing the program during all or most of its duration responded to the survey.

Give Miami Day raises record $5.2 million for nonprofits

Nov. 21, 2014, 2:52 p.m., Posted by Jessica Hodder


Community Block Party attendees check out participating nonprofit organizations during the event. Photo courtesy of The Miami Foundation.

Once online donations passed last year’s record of $3.2 million, organizers at The Miami Foundation realized that Give Miami Day 2014 would be their most successful Giving Day yet.

Thursday’s Give Miami Day raised $5.2 million for 520 South Florida nonprofits, with a total of 19,245 gifts. This was the first year that The Miami Foundation promoted a funding goal for Give Miami Day, set at $5 million.

“As Miami continues to evolve, Give Miami Day acts as a gateway for new members of the community to learn more about local causes they are passionate about and contribute to the overall success of our city,” said Miami Foundation CEO Javier Alberto Soto.

Working with a cohort of local partners, including Knight Foundation, The Miami Foundation helped incentivize community giving by making a bonus gift for every online donation between $25 and $10,000 received on Give Miami Day. Twenty-four prizes were awarded to nonprofits that hit key milestones throughout the day, such as the first gift received and receiving gifts from the most countries.

My Brother’s Keeper hackathon supports black youth interested in tech careers

Nov. 21, 2014, 12:14 p.m., Posted by Monica Peters

Philly Hackathon: Kalimah Priforce, co-founder of Qeyno Labs and hackathon organizer, talks to youth Trailblazers about their pitches. Photos by Monica Peters.

Team Change Your Community worked feverishly in a computer lab at String Theory Charter School in Philadelphia last weekend to create an app for community good.

The youths tossed out problems, ideas for solving them, and narrowed down their options to one. Then, they got to work coding.  The result: an app that allows users to take pictures of abandoned buildings and nominate them for how they should be renovated or used.

Their project took first place during the event, the first hackathon for the White House initiative My Brother’s Keeper. Team members took home Samsung Galaxy tablets and a chance to participate in a Google Hangout with #YesWeCode founder Van Jones, the hackathon’s keynote speaker. The real prize, however, is that the hackathon, held Nov. 14-16, is a step toward guiding the 95 boys and girls who participated on a trajectory to careers in technology.

“Whenever young people start to break negative patterns and start a new positive pattern you have no idea what that’s going to mean for history,” Jones said.