Knight Blog

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

22 students win scholarships in #FreetoTweet campaign for the First Amendment

March 16, 2012, 8:35 a.m., Posted by Elizabeth R. Miller


Today, find out which students have won a $5,000 scholarship for using social media creatively to celebrate the First Amendment through the #FreeToTweet scholarship competition.

More than 17,000 messages with the #FreetoTweet hashtag flooded Twitter and other social media on Dec. 15, sent by people sharing how they enjoy their right to free expression. The competition was part of a celebration of the 220th anniversary of the Bill of Rights.

Students ages 14 to 22 who tweeted their appreciation for the First Amendment using the hashtag were automatically entered into the competition.

Here’s a sample of a winning tweet from 20-year old University of Albany student Nicholas Creegan:

News and tips as News Challenge on Networks draws to a close

March 15, 2012, 6:44 p.m., Posted by John Bracken

Note: To apply for the News Challenge, and read our FAQ, visit

As we enter the last 48 hours of the Knight News Challenge on Networks, I want to share some news and tips.

First, we’ve mentioned that one of the challenge’s criteria is the ability to leverage networks to generate interest in your proposed project. To make that more concrete, the five applications that receive the most likes and reblogs will automatically become semi-finalists. While we will close the contest for submissions at midnight (EST) on Saturday, you will still be able to drum up support for, and discussion about, your proposal.

Over the last week I’ve spoken with a lot of potential applicants. Some things I’ve heard, and how I’ve responded:


Video explores Google Books Library project

March 15, 2012, 9:44 a.m., Posted by Elizabeth R. Miller


Some 15 million books have been scanned and made at least partially available immediately to someone walking into a library or searching on the web, as a result of the Google Books Library Project.

“Libraries are no longer limited in what they can make available to their patrons by what can fit within the four walls of their libraries,” says James Crawford, engineering director at Google Books.

The project fits within Google’s larger mission of organizing the world’s information and making it universally accessible and useful.

In the video above, Crawford describes what he believes this at times controversial project brings to community libraries, and talks about what other Google products might benefit the library community, including Google Scholar and Google +.