Knight Blog

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

This Monday, find out the finalists in the community arts journalism challenge

Oct. 7, 2011, 8:49 a.m., Posted by Elizabeth R. Miller

This Monday, tune in for the announcement of the Knight/NEA Community Arts Journalism Challenge finalists from 1:00-2:30 pm EST.

Viewers can watch the announcement online via a live webcast, as well as the following discussion with the five winners.

Joan Shigekawa, senior deputy chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, and Dennis Scholl, vice president/arts at Knight Foundation, will announce the five finalists and the six Honorable Mentions at the Grantmakers in the Arts annual conference in San Francisco, Calif.

The five finalists will receive grants of up to $20,000 to develop their ideas into action plans. In addition, the finalists will be eligible for up to $80,000 to implement their projects.

Over 233 individuals and organizations submitted their solutions to informing and engaging audiences through local arts journalism. The challenge focused on the eight communities where Knight Foundation invests.

Follow @knightfdn on Twitter for updates during the session on Monday and join the conversation using the hashtag #artsjourn.

For more information, visit Videos of the finalists will be available next week.

News21 investigation into tainted seafood in the U.S. informs’s coverage of food safety

Oct. 6, 2011, 3:04 p.m., Posted by Elizabeth R. Miller

Organoleptic Specialist Steven Angold inspects seafood at the FDA's $40 million facility in Irvine, Calif. Photo: Kyle Bruggeman/News21

Earlier this week, Knight Foundation blogged about how the student-led News21 program published a major food safety investigation in The Washington Post and on’s coverage continued with a story on how tainted seafood reaches U.S households.

According to the article, an analysis done by News21 showed the U.S. imported more than 17.6 million tons of seafood over the last decade and that only 2 percent of it went through inspection. The investigation was based on import data from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

This is cause for serious concern because “80 percent of the seafood in America is imported.” Furthermore:

“[A] News21 analysis of FDA import-refusal data reveals an unappetizing portrait. In more than half of cases when seafood is rejected, the fish has been deemed filthy, meaning it was spoiled or contained physical abnormalities, or it was contaminated with a foodborne pathogen. About 20 percent of those cases involved salmonella.”


Rishi Jaitly featured as one of the best and brightest in Michigan

Oct. 6, 2011, 10:57 a.m., Posted by Elizabeth R. Miller

Rishi Jaitly, Detroit program director for Knight Foundation, is being featured in Crain’s Detroit Business’  2011 “40 under 40” awards.

Jaitly, who joined Knight Foundation in March, works with local leaders to find and invest in opportunities for fostering an informed and engaged Detroit.

“To call Rishi Jaitly’s résumé diverse is an understatement,” Crains writes.

Before joining Knight Foundation, Jaitly co-founded and led Michigan Corps, a social network for local and global Michiganders committed to advancing education and entrepreneurship in their home state. Michigan Corps, along with ACCION USA and Knight Foundation, were successful in launching Kiva Detroit, the first in-country branch of Kiva, which brings microloans to Detroit small businesses.

Jaitly also spent four years at Google, both as a speechwriter for Eric Schmidt and as a public affairs specialist in India, where he worked on a voter information project and persuaded the Pakistani and Bangladeshi governments to stop blocking various social media platforms.

In the profile, Jaitly says his goal is to see:

“More Detroiters acting, growing and seeing themselves as leaders — and I mean that across issues, across geographies, from big-business leaders to young people.”

Crain’s “40 under 40 awards” were launched 20 years ago, its goal is to honor the best and brightest in Southeast Michigan who have made their marks in business before age 40.