Milestones of 2006

An Article from Knight Foundation’s 2006 Annual Report


  • The Immigration Funders Network, a group of national funders interested in the impact of immigration on children and families, gathers in Miami. Above, Ismael Ahmed, executive director of the Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services (ACCESS), a Knight grantee in Dearborn, Mich., speaks at the gathering.
  • The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press receives a $2.5 million challenge grant. The Reporters Committee provides legal defense and advocacy services to journalists working in the United States.
  • News in a New America, author Sally Lehrman’s thought-provoking analysis of the diversity of American news coverage and newsrooms, debuts.
  • The Knight Grand Jury Prizes are announced to honor the top filmmakers in the Miami International Film Festival, with cash awards honoring top work in dramatic features and documentary films.


  • Backed by a poll that shows Americans believe academics should be college athletes’ top priority, the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics hosts its first Summit on the Collegiate Athlete Experience in Washington, D.C. Below, Scottie Reynolds, now a freshman guard for the Villanova men’s basketball team (left), and former Notre Dame MVP Ruth Riley of the WNBA’s Detroit Shock spoke at the summit.
  • Community journalism practitioners gather in Anniston, Ala., for a national summit coinciding with the launch of the new Knight Community Journalism Fellows Program. The University of Alabama master’s program uses the resources of The Anniston Star as a teaching newspaper.
  • Up to 3,000 children in the Twin Cities hope to improve their dental care with help from a $1.1 million grant to Greater Twin Cities United Way through Bright Smiles and the Partnership for Improving Children’s Oral Health.


  • As Sunshine Week 2006 opens, a new poll says more than six in 10 Americans believe that “public access to government records is critical to the functioning of good government.” The campaign includes editorial cartoons like this one from Ben Sargent of the Austin American-Statesman.
  • Knight Ridder, the company founded by Jack and Jim Knight, is sold to The McClatchy Co. Knight Foundation, created with private money and legally separate from the newspaper company, remains committed to supporting journalism and free speech, and to building strong communities in the cities and towns where the Knight brothers published newspapers.
  • Grassroots organizations get $170,000 from the American Dream Fund to help immigrant communities participate in rebuilding efforts in Biloxi, Miss., after Hurricane Katrina.


  • Middle school student Dasylleka Brown spends an April weekend planting a garden at Alcorn Middle School in Columbia, S.C. The project is part of a varied after-school program for Columbia’s middle school students.
  • J-Lab announces 10 news experiments in the New Voices campaign, which recognizes the need to serve communities with hyperlocal information and cutting-edge technology.
  • News University celebrates its first anniversary. By year’s end, nearly 40,000 users had registered at the site, making it the leading online learning destination of journalists worldwide.
  • Malcolm Moran becomes the Knight Chair in Sports Journalism and Society at the College of Communications at Pennsylvania State University.
  • The Western Knight Center at the University of Southern California and the University of California, Berkeley becomes the Knight New Media Center to help America’s journalists adapt to rapid change, and to advance news values in the digital age.
  • In a speech before the American Society of Newspaper Editors in Seattle, Harvard University’s Knight Visiting Lecturer John Carroll says the newspaper industry should seek out new ownership models, and calls on editors to be bold and help restore newspapers’ value and meaning.


  • Knight teams up with Living Cities and the Mississippi Development Authority to help rebuild Hurricane Katrina-battered East Biloxi, the city’s oldest and most culturally diverse neighborhood. A $250,000 grant funds an East Biloxi action plan and revitalization strategy.
  • The Online Journalism Awards add the Knight Award for Public Service, a $5,000 award recognizing the use of digital techniques and public information to produce compelling journalistic coverage and engage a geographic community.
  • R. Gerald Turner and Clifton R. Wharton Jr. are named co-chairmen of the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics.


  • Knight Foundation reaches $1 billion in total grants since its inception in 1950.
  • A $1.25 million grant to the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism establishes the Knight Case Studies Initiative to promote journalism leadership.
  • New trustees at Knight: South Florida-based financiers Earl W. Powell, chairman and CEO of Trivest Partners L.P.; E. Roe Stamps IV, founding managing partner of Summit Partners in Boston; and Paul Steiger, vice president of Dow Jones & Co. and editor at large of The Wall Street Journal.


  • Four grassroots organizations receive $200,000 in an effort to help immigrant integration efforts in Knight’s Georgia communities and Akron.
  • Miami’s Carnival Center for the Performing Arts unveils a new name for one of its two main venues: the 2,200-seat John S. and James L. Knight Concert Hall.
  • Top-notch investigative journalism appears in The New York Times, on “Frontline” and elsewhere, produced by a cadre of News 21 fellows – graduate students from respected universities working on a project aiming to transform the way the nation’s top journalism schools teach the craft.
  • Building on its nationally recognized scholastic journalism program, Kent State University becomes home to a new Knight Chair in Scholastic Journalism with the help of a $2 million grant.


  • In Lexington, Ky., three girls consult during a competition for the Countywide Academic Challenge Superintendent’s Cup, organized by Knight grantees One Community, One Voice and the Fayette County Public Schools.


  • Global Voices Online wins the $10,000 grand prize in the Knight-Batten Innovations Awards. The web site connects bloggers from 130 countries to readers around the world.
  • Knight trustees and staff travel to Detroit for a board meeting and site visits to the city’s riverfront and downtown neighborhoods and for conversations with local leaders.
  • At the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., the foundation launches the Knight News Challenge, a contest open to anyone, anywhere using digital technology to connect people in the real world. Up to $25 million will fund the experiments over the next five years.
  • Paula Lynn Ellis is named to a new position of Vice President/National and New Initiatives.


  • Arts United of Greater Fort Wayne receives $750,000 over three years to help diverse nonprofit groups develop, produce and present arts and cultural activities for the “New Hoosiers” – the immigrant communities of southeast Fort Wayne.
  • The Search for Shining Eyes, a new book by arts consultant Thomas Wolf, addresses Knight Foundation’s decade-long symphony orchestra initiative, the Magic of Music, which inspired frank and open discussions about the financial and attendance crises faced by American orchestras and explored ways to help solve them.
  • The University of Maryland announces it will name a new journalism building John S. and James L. Knight Hall, the future home of the Merrill College of Journalism and a number of Knight-funded programs.
  • Georgetown University President John J. DeGioia joins the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics.


  • Knight makes multimillion-dollar investments in two high-profile projects in its historic home community of Akron: $10 million for the University of Akron and the University Park Alliance community development project; and additional funding that names the new, state-of-the art addition to the Akron Art Museum in honor of the Knight brothers.
  • U.S. high school students know more about the First Amendment than they did two years ago, but they are increasingly polarized in how they feel about it, according to an update of Knight’s groundbreaking Future of the First Amendment survey. And U.S. high schoolers say they are getting most of their news from Internet portals and mainstream media web sites.
  • Stony Brook University and Knight announce a News Literacy program designed to teach students how to judge the reliability and credibility of news. The $1.7 million, first-of-its-kind program is aimed at teaching 10,000 students over four years.


  • Charlotte, N.C.’s, Campaign for Cultural Facilities receives a $5 million grant to support the operating endowment for new facilities including a 1,200-seat theater to be named for the Knight brothers.
  • Knight and Channel One, a provider of news and information to more than 7 million middle and high schoolers, announce a national campaign to help U.S. teens understand and appreciate the freedoms guaranteed them by the First Amendment.
  • Knight invests $1 million in the United Way of the Midlands, serving Columbia, S.C., to help the organization attract young donors in the 25- to 45-year-old age bracket and respond to urgent needs.
  • Eric Newton is named Vice President/Journalism Program.
  • A $1 million grant will support construction of the new National Infantry Museum and Heritage Park near Columbus, Ga. The chapel on the site’s World War II Street will be named Knight Chapel in honor of the Knight family’s legacy of philanthropy and military service.
  • The foundation ends the year with assets of $2.34 billion.