Knight Blog

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

Code for America recruits for 2013 fellowship program

March 29, 2012, 11:29 a.m., Posted by Abhi Nemani

What can possums and fire hydrants teach us about government and citizenship? Ask Jennifer Pahlka, founder and executive director of Code for America, a Knight-supported organization working to bring the people and power of the Internet into government.

In her recent TED talk, featured below, Pahlka gave some insight into the Code for America fellowship program, which pairs startup-style teams of developers with cities throughout the country to help them engage with citizens. 

The first fellowship class built over 20 apps, hosted over 50 events and worked with hundreds of civic leaders. The fellowship is currently in its in its second year, with 26 fellows and eight cities, including three Knight communities: Detroit, Philadelphia and Macon. 

Two leading nonprofit news organizations agree to merge operations

March 29, 2012, 9:08 a.m., Posted by Elizabeth R. Miller


Jeff Ubben, chairman of The Bay Citizen’s board of directors, addresses Bay Citizen staff after a merger between The Bay Citizen and the Center for Investigative Reporting was approved. Photo Credit: The Bay Citizen 

Two leading nonprofit news organizations, the Center for Investigative Reporting and The Bay Citizen, have formally agreed to merge their operations, creating one of the largest nonprofit organizations in the country focused on watchdog and accountability journalism.

In a blog post about the planned merger, the Center for Investigative Reporting wrote:

“[We] are thrilled with the potential going forward to deliver high-caliber, high-impact journalism on all platforms – print, video, radio, data, multimedia and social media....We will be creating one of the largest newsroom tech teams in the country to build news apps around data, expanding our video and digital unit, and putting into place one of the most unique public engagement teams in the business.”

Measuring your work: puzzles, lessons & trends

March 28, 2012, 10:33 a.m., Posted by Mayur Patel

Last week, I was invited to speak to some of South Florida's top nonprofit leaders in education, community development, the arts and public health as part of the Philanthropy Miami conference.

The (impossible) task: to do an overview on measuring social impact - in 60 minutes. 

I think I've sat through workshops like that before.

First we learn about 'Theory of Change', review what goes into a 'Logic Model', and then debate the differences between short and long term outcomes, with a brief interlude to touch on contribution versus attribution.

All important stuff no doubt, but fairly dull material to have to present.


Instead, it seemed like more fun to talk about these topics:

·      Why measure in the first place?

·      What big lessons have we learned at Knight? (with a few stories drawn from others), and

·      What three emerging trends will affect how all of us measure and analyze our work in the future?

You can see the answers in the slides from my presentation, below.