Knight News Innovation Lab launches at Northwestern

Today, Knight Foundation is announcing a new partnership with Northwestern University to create a news innovation lab. The project will bring journalists and computer scientists together to accelerate local media innovation and build partnerships with Chicago news orgs to help them use new technologies.

The first of its kind in the country, the Knight Lab is a joint initiative of Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism and the Robert R. McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science at Northwestern.

‘To advance journalism excellence in the digital age, we must use the tools of the digital age,’ said Eric Newton, vice president of the journalism program at Knight Foundation. ‘We hope this pioneering partnership between a school of journalism and a school of engineering will demonstrate how a major university can speed up media innovation in its surrounding community.’

Eric Newton introduces the Knight Lab in a video today.

One of the lab’s goals is to work with open-source software created by Knight News Challenge projects and other grantees, in order to improve it so that it can easily be used by more outlets.

Knight, which is supporting the lab with $4.2 million, and Northwestern will host an online Q and A at 5 p.m. EST at