Knight Blog

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

Benefit concert celebrates historic Miami landmark and raises funds for Olympia Theater

April 26, 2012, 3:26 p.m., Posted by Elizabeth R. Miller

This weekend, a Miami landmark takes an important step into the digital future of film.

The Olympia Theater at the Gusman Center for the Performing Arts is hosting a benefit concert Saturday, bringing together local leaders and talent as part of  its new campaign to digitally upgrade the 86-year-old theater. The effort is part of an overall effort to upgrade the theater’s facilities and engage new audiences in the performing arts.

gusmanThe benefit concert, Renascentia, features Jon Secadathe Spam All-StarsRobert Elias & The RevengeEnrique SantosJencarlos Canela and more. It's scheduled for 8 p.m on Saturday, April 28. Tickets, which start at $20, are available online or by calling 305- 372-0925. With a VIP ticket, audiences are invited to attend a cocktail reception beforehand.

Funds raised will go toward acquiring a new digital film projector for the theater, which will give it the ability to show first run movies, participate in more film festivals and even host live events via satellite.

Pilhofer: Definition of news and journalism interpreted more broadly than before

April 26, 2012, 9:32 a.m., Posted by Aron Pilhofer

Aron Pilhofer, editor of interactive news at the New York Times, was one of the 19 readers for the 2012 Knight News Challenge projects moving on to the next round. Here, he provides his thoughts on the entries the committee considered.  

The folks at Knight asked me to jot down a few thoughts about some of the common themes and interesting trends that emerged from this year's crop of News Challenge applicants -- a task that ended up being a lot harder than I thought it would be.

aronGoing back over the 50-plus entries the committee considered to move forward in the challenge, it finally dawned on me that the one unifying theme of this year's challenge is that there was no unifying theme.

Applicants were entrepreneurs, academics and technologists, pitching projects that touched every imaginable form of digital communications I could have imagined. Remote sensors? Drones? Mesh networks? I can only hope jet pack journalism isn't far behind. As in the past, there were very few applications overall -- and only a handful of folks heading into the final round -- emanating from "traditional" newsrooms. And even those proposals were more about getting information directly into the hands of citizens than they were about improving the toolset available to working journalists.

Report offers funders ways to strengthen funding in mobile, tech

April 25, 2012, 11:13 a.m., Posted by Elizabeth R. Miller

Txt2Wrk, an Apps for Communities prize-winner which helps people with limited Internet access find jobs, is cited in a new report as an example of funding mobile projects for impact.

A new white paper on funding mobile projects seeks to ramp up the conversation among funders as to how they can best support non-profits using technology to achieve their missions. The focus is on mobile by and for underserved communities in the U.S. and suggests ways for funders to strengthen the quality and quantity of support for these efforts.

It features several Knight Foundation approaches to grantmaking, including its Community Information Challenge, which engages community and place-based foundations in playing leading roles in meeting the information needs of their communities.

Funding Mobile Strategies for Social Impact: The Future is Now” is released by ZeroDivide, which works to transform underserved communities through the use of technology. Its 2011 research found a lack of philanthropic investment in mobile strategies for community change. Despite examples of impact and the widespread availability of cell phones (it estimates 87% of the world’s population are now mobile phone users), most funders were unaware of mobile strategies or unclear about how to invest in them.

The paper highlights the “Circuit Rider” program of the Knight Community Information Challenge, which makes tech experts available to help community and place-based foundations think through their proposals to meet local information needs. According to the report, fostering strong ties with technologists is one of the keys to the success for projects.