Knight Blog

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

Getting Local II: Terms of engagement

Oct. 24, 2011, 11:37 a.m., Posted by Michele McLellan

The newspaper on the Web is not a sustainable model, and nonprofit news start ups are placing more and more emphasis on engaging their users with content and conversation, and perhaps, as members or donors. A new report from the Knight Foundation details emerging engagement practices at several of the larger nonprofit news sites.

Along with trying to create to revenue streams, larger nonprofit news sites are experimenting with engagement as well.

A new report, “Getting Local: How Nonprofit News Ventures Seek Sustainability,” explores the role that userengagement plays in their sustainability strategies.

Public forum for school board candidates engages Charlotte community

Oct. 21, 2011, 3:41 p.m., Posted by Susan Patterson

Charlotte got a taste of a new kind of candidate forum this week and it went down well.

Mecklenburg Citizens for Public Education is a nonprofit organization that provides information and opportunities for the community to learn about and get engaged with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.

Tuesday night, it hosted, along with WFAE public radio, a public forum for 12 at-large school board candidates with an important interactive twist. For one thing, it was live-streamed, with an audience of about 50 outside the auditorium. Those inside the hall and elsewhere got to vote on the topics to be addressed by the candidates, and those at home could submit questions to be asked since they couldn't walk up to a microphone.

Effort to crowdsource radiation information in Japan to expand

Oct. 21, 2011, 2:56 p.m., Posted by Elizabeth R. Miller

Safecast Talk by Joi Ito at MIT Media Lab autumn event from Safecast Japan on Vimeo.

Following Japan’s earthquake and tsunami in March 2011 and the subsequent Fukushima Daiichi power plant meltdown, information about the affected areas and levels of nuclear contamination has been difficult to find.

Today, Knight Foundation announced that citizen scientists and researchers would receive an increased supply of sensors and measurement devices in an effort to increase crowdsourced information about radiation levels. With the new funding, Safecast will also revamp the software used to process and store the data collected.