Top insights from the 2015 Media Learning Seminar

Communities / Article

From left; Michelle Srbinovich, General Manager WDET 101.9FM, Vincent Duffy, News Director, Michigan Radio, Stephen Henderson,during the panel: The State of Community News and Engagement during Knight Foundation’s Media Learning Seminar 2015. Photo by Patrick Farrell.

Does the future of informed communities hinge on collaborative journalism projects, or fiber-optic cables that provide faster Internet access? The work of civic technologists, or nonprofit news startups?

There are a variety of approaches to fostering more informed and engaged communities – many of which were discussed in depth at Knight’s 2015 Media Learning Seminar.

A gathering of foundation, media and tech leaders, the 8th annual seminar focuses on ways to ensure communities have the information they need to make important decisions. The seminar covered a lot of ground, so we rounded up the takeaways from our blog, plus session videos to help you catch up on what you missed.

A Knight-funded media collaborative in Detroit is telling the story of the city’s recovery, and having a greater impact by working together – something new to many of the participating journalists who were used to competing with other outlets.

The California Endowment and other foundations worked on a variety of projects that used communications to affect local policy, including an alarming number of school suspensions in California.

In all things Internet, be useful, simple and delightful. That was just one of the takeaways from Sree Sreenivasan, the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art’s chief digital officer, who talked about how all sorts of institutions can do more with technology.

Digital futurist Amy Webb explored the trends affecting news and information today, from increasingly personalized news stories to an app that can predict a person’s personality by their online footprint. (Eerie, we know.)

Lessons from the trail: Local foundations talk about their news and information projects From fostering an ecosystem of local news providers to focusing on citizen engagement, community and place-based foundations talk about their work in media.

Panelists explored an effort in Chicago to tackle the city’s challenges with vacant land by partnering community activists with civic technologists.

Author Susan Crawford took on the future of cities, and our democracy, and how the marriage of data, technology and human compassion can help improve both.

You can also download photos from the seminar on Flickr.

Follow #infoneeds and @knightfdn on Twitter for community information updates.