• Article

    Posted on by

    In December, Knight Foundation President Alberto Ibargüen announced our new Statement of Strategy, a view of what we do and the core beliefs that underpin our work. One of the most significant changes he described is the evolution of our Media Innovation program into Technology Innovation. The change in name is accompanied by a change in mission. I want to share our thinking in making this shift, and what that means for our work.We spent 2016 running through a set of exercises and conversations about where the world might be headed over the next decade. This scenario planning led us to two conclusions about the role of technology in our grant-making: 1) The rate of technological change we’ve experienced in recent years is only going to accelerate, and 2) All aspects of our work at Knight Foundation will be impacted by these changes.
  • Article

    Posted on by

    This post originally appeared on OpenNews' blog. Today, Knight is announcing a $1.1 million investment in OpenNews' network of journalists and technologists to launch as an independent organization.Today is a big day for OpenNews. After six years with Mozilla, we’re striking out on our own thanks to a new grant from the Knight Foundation. There are press releases and blog posts and this really is a big deal, but before we get to what’s new I want to talk about our community.At OpenNews, we build our programs with the community of coders and journalist, data geeks and designers that are helping journalism stay vital and relevant. These are people that wake up every day driven to ask hard questions, to write tough code, and to help the world better understand itself. It’s not an easy job. It’s not one that pays all that well. The demands of deadline and the culture of newsrooms can be taxing. But it is rewarding work. It is work that helps people. It is work that speaks truth to power.
  • Article

    Posted on by

    In 2011 Knight Foundation partnered with the Mozilla Foundation to create the Knight-Mozilla OpenNews project, as an effort to embed technologists within news organizations through a fellowship program. We sought to promote culture change and to help accelerate the needed transition to digital thinking.The project quickly took root, and in 2013 we followed up with an additional grant to help the program build in educational resources, conferences and convenings. Today, OpenNews centers around a growing community of journalism technologists and innovators who are on the frontlines of culture change as news organizations adapt to an increasingly digital world.OpenNews’ evolution, from bringing outside technologists to the journalism field, to a focus on strengthening a growing community of technologists and product developers within the news industry, has been, in part, informed by the experiences of the fellows over the years. Today, Knight Foundation is releasing a new report, prepared with Network Impact, that summaries much of what we’ve learned. The report shows that OpenNews’ events, educational resources and open source projects have contributed to the tech talent pipeline for news organizations and to a need to focus on newsroom culture change and adoption of best practices. This emphasis on developing and helping to sustain a thriving community of practice is at the heart of Knight Foundation’s new investment of $1.1 million in the next phase of OpenNews.
  • Article

    Posted on by

    The 2016 presidential election, which saw a political outsider topple a Washington insider was marked by controversy—and a result that many didn’t expect. The outcome seemed predetermined for those who were following most of the polls leading up to Election Day. Why were most of the polls so wrong? And why did many newsrooms fail to detect support for Donald Trump in places that were believed to be leaning for Hillary Clinton?  Knight Foundation and Civic Hall recently gathered journalists, campaign managers and lawyers to discuss the election. Over 150 gathered at New York Public Library last month to reflect on the ways in which this election cycle was unique and to discuss lessons learned. Here are the main takeaways from that meeting. 
  • Article

    Posted on by

    Podcasting and other forms of on-demand audio have the potential to foster a media landscape that lifts up the hidden stories and absent narratives of our diverse society, that reflects local communities, and that provides an open and accessible platform for innovation that can serve democracy’s future generations. But realizing that public-interest potential will take work, vision and compromise.In the “From Airwaves to Earbuds” report, we reflect on lessons learned from in-depth conversations with Knight Foundation partners working to advance new and public-interest programming in the rapidly evolving arena of podcasting and on-demand audio. Because these partners include both public broadcasters, supported by grants, and for-profit companies, which received investments from the Knight Enterprise Fund, they provide valuable insights into the fast-growing field of podcasting.
  • Article

    Posted on by

    Beginning in late 2015, Knight Foundation began a journey to get a better handle on how the conditions surrounding our work could change. We started by asking: “How will people be informed and engaged in our democracy between now and 2026?”We were not trying to predict the future. Rather, we sought to develop plausible stories about what alternative futures might look like to facilitate discussion over critical questions on how to best fulfill our mission today and tomorrow.
  • Article

    Posted on by

    Eytan Oren is CEO of Block Party, a digital consulting agency specializing in chat apps, and author of a new report Knight Foundation is releasing today, “Chat the Vote: How Snapchat, Amazon and Facebook Messenger Reimagined Civic Engagement in the 2016 Election.” While the topic of “fake news” dominated conversations on the impact of social media on the 2016 U.S. presidential election, there was a quieter digital revolution emerging on the world’s major chat apps that merits a closer look. In “Chat the Vote: How Snapchat, Amazon, and Facebook Messenger Reimagined Civic Engagement in the 2016 Election,” we take you on a comprehensive journey highlighting unique campaigns that forced us to rethink the power of social platforms. 
  • Article

    Posted on by

    The 2016 presidential election was one of the most historic and divisive elections in recent memory. Controversy surrounding the spread of fake news, inaccurate polling and allegations of foreign interference made headlines. As a new administration arrives in Washington, many Americans are seeking to draw lessons and insights from the election. Join Knight Foundation and Civic Hall in New York for nonpartisan discussions with leading journalists, campaign strategists, civic organizations and others on the 2016 election and what lies ahead. We’ll explore the way newsrooms cover elections, the increasing polarization of the American electorate and more. Several panels during the daylong event will reflect on the roles that journalism, social media platforms and civil society play in shaping elections and strengthening our democracy.
  • Article

    Posted on by

    Even when we don’t know it, artificial intelligence affects virtually every aspect of our modern lives. Technology and commerce will ensure it will impact every society on earth. Yet, for something so influential, there’s an odd assumption that artificial intelligence agents and machine learning, which enable computers to make decisions like humans and for humans, is a neutral process.It’s not.
  • Article

    Posted on by

    Heard of the Internet of Things? I met a lot of those things last week in Las Vegas.Self-driving cars, smart homes and smart appliances, wearable fitness sensors —thousands of digital products glinted and gleamed at CES, the giant annual international consumerelectronics show. Flashyprototypes grabbed headlines, but, as I’d hoped, the show also featured mediainnovations helpful to journalists and newsrooms trying to keep up in the digital age.
  • Article

    Posted on by

    For years, I had a front-row seat as technology disrupted journalism’s traditions and institutions, even as it made possible the inclusion of billions of people who suddenly had the possibility of voice through social media. Over the last decade, as head of Knight Foundation, I’ve seen the evolution of media and the advent of the Internet of Everything. 
  • Article

    Posted on by

    On Friday, CrowdTangle, a social analytics company that Knight Foundation invested in via the Knight Enterprise Fund, announced its acquisition by Facebook. This is a momentous occasion for the CrowdTangle team (Congrats!), for investors such as Knight, and for Facebook. It’s also a chance to reflect on a company that created impact for journalists and audiences, underscoring why Knight made the investment in the first place.
  • Article

    Posted on by

    Natalie “Talia” Stroud is an associate professor of communication studies, assistant director of research at the Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life, and director of theEngaging News Project at the University of Texas at Austin.With endless distractions (Candy Crush, anyone?), news organizations are struggling to capture the public’s attention. How to do it without being too disruptive (i.e. annoying) is the key.