Knight Blog

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

Open data project adds transparency to African elections

March 30, 2015, 10:54 a.m., Posted by Jessica Weiss


GotToVote is helping voters in Ghana find their nearest registration center ahead of the country's 2016 elections. 
Image CC-licensed on Flickr via BBC World Service

This cross-post was originally published on ICFJ

An innovative tool developed to help people register to vote in Kenya is proving to be a valuable asset to voters across the African continent.

GotToVote was created in 2012 by two software developers under the guidance of ICFJ’s Knight International Journalism Fellow Justin Arenstein for use during Kenya’s general elections. In just 24 hours, the developers took voter registration information in a government PDF and turned it into a simple website with usable data that helped people locate the nearest voting center where they could register for elections. Kenyan media drove a large audience to the site, which resulted in a major boost in voter registrations.

New documentary features Detroit’s Knight Arts Challenge winners

March 30, 2015, 10:18 a.m., Posted by Katy Locker

“We gotta be the change, Detroit!”

–Invincible/Complex Movements, from Beware the Dandelions

I have just spent the last few weeks promoting the third year of the Knight Arts Challenge Detroit.  Each year, Knight Foundation reaches out and invites our Detroit community to tell us their best idea for the arts.  And the result?  Remarkable, inspiring, heartwarming, powerful, excellent ideas.  In the last two years, Knight Foundation has granted nearly $5 million to 114 arts projects in Detroit. They have represented all corners of Detroit, all kinds of people of Detroit, and all kinds of stories of Detroit.

At 7:30 p.m. on April 7, a wider audience will get to see a slice of what has inspired me about the challenge.  Detroit Public Television will premiere “Acres of Diamonds: The Story of the Knight Arts Challenge in Detroit.” The half hour documentary follows the projects of local artists after they receive challenge funding from Knight Foundation to make their ideas to reality.

Miami takes on future of tech + music

March 28, 2015, 10:58 a.m., Posted by Fernando González


Panel, 12 Months Later: How We Raised Millions. From left to right: deejay Guti Talavera, Steve Martocci from Splice, Justin Golshir, of JustGo, Bora Celik from Jukely and moderator Lilia Luciano. Photo by Luis Olazabal.

On the same day Miami Beach was celebrating its 100th birthday with major music concert, the Miami Music Summit 2015, a conference bringing together music, technology and entrepreneurship had an eye, and an ear, on South Florida’s next 100 years.

Held with the support of Knight Foundation at Miami Beach’s Colony Theater, the Summit offered hard numbers and eye-opening rags-to-riches stories;  long views and specific, how-to-ideas. And there was, of course, live music.

“This event is so important because it brings together people from different disciplines, “said Miami-based music and media producer José Tillán, a multiple Grammy and Latin Grammy winner. “You could be a tech entrepreneur, or you could be an artist and many times you’d be looking for the same thing but in different languages. And It´s important for Miami because this event is a place that unites the local community but also attracts people from the outside world: entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, people in technology and with them, many good ideas.