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    At a time when trust in media, and institutions in general, is dangerously low, how can news organizations work to rebuild it? What effect does the trend have on people’s engagement in solving local issues? Starting Tuesday morning Feb. 20, the Knight Media Forum will tackle these topics and more, as it gathers leaders in philanthropy, media and technology to look at ways to strengthen both local news and communities. The event will be streamed online, and features a range of speakers including Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, who recently piloted the news service WikiTribune, and former CBS news anchor Bob Schieffer, who will address how our society can navigate the information overload that surrounds us.
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    The Knight Cities Challenge was an initiative to surface new ideas to advance the success of the cities where the Knight brothers once owned newspapers. From 2014-2017 the challenge awarded nearly $15 million to 99 winners. Although many projects are just getting underway, we’ve already been able to glean many lessons from the ideas and innovators that it surfaced, which will help to shape Knight’s work in communities into the future.The winners represent a huge variety of projects from musical swings in public spaces to simultaneous shared meals in hundreds of homes, from new zoning overlays to pop-up bike lanes. They are united in that they are all pursuing innovative projects that take them outside their comfort zones in the quest for successful cities.What can we learn from them? What are the lessons for practitioners that we can take from the winning projects?
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    Charlotte Castle is the Vision Zero and neighborhood programs coordinator for the City of Philadelphia’s Office of Transportation & Infrastructure Systems (OTIS). Below she writes about an October 2017 initiative launched by Knight Foundation and Niantic, the creators of Pokémon GO, to explore how technology can foster community engagement in several cities where Knight invests.
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    Saturday, Knight Foundation announced $3.28 million in new support to Fairmount Conservancy to support a citywide civic engagement strategy that will allow residents to shape activities in Philadelphia’s public spaces.It’s an essential time for communities to invest in places and spaces that bring us together. A neighborhood public library, park or recreation center are often the places where strangers come together, where we learn about each other, and where neighbors and local decision-makers meet to create a better community. Recent research by the Center for Active Design validates that public spaces can help to facilitate community connection, trust and involvement.
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    Today, Knight is announcing $590,000 in support to three projects that will foster community among entrepreneurs and tech innovators while advancing Miami as a diverse and inclusive innovation hub.Over the past five years, Knight Foundation has invested more than $28 million to support Miami’s entrepreneurs, startups and doers of all kinds. This funding has been used by organizations to make Miami a city where ideas can be built and scaled. Among Knight’s investments are events and spaces for entrepreneurs and innovators to connect, such as The LAB Miami and Black Tech Week; talent development including The Idea Center at Miami Dade College and Launchcode; and opportunities to expand access to high-level mentors and capital, such as Endeavor Miami and Accelerated Growth Partners.