Articles by

marika.lynch

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    As far as trust in the media is concerned, the 21st century is off to a bumpy start. As bots proliferate, attacks on a free press continue and the average person finds it difficult to separate fact from fiction, trust in American news sources is sinking to new lows. Just how the media can regain trust was at the heart of the conversation at the Knight Media Forum, a gathering of leaders in philanthropy, media and technology working to strengthen local news and communities.
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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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    Coming up with a big idea to improve your city is one thing. Digging into the gnarly details of launching and scaling that project it is quite a different story.That’s why Knight Foundation brought together the winners from all three years of the Knight Cities Challenge last week, to network, learn and exchange ideas for making their cities more successful.The week began with a celebration of the latest winning projects at Miami’s Lyric Theater. Then, over the next few days, they dug into lessons from past winners – talking about how Macon, Georgia, for example, was able to launch a pilot project to increase its bike lanes tenfold, while Philadelphia made its once vacant pools the summer hot spot. And how in Boulder, Colorado the city was able to solve two challenges in one shot – by having homeless people who needed workforce training learn to turn diseased tree branches into works of art. (These benches and butterflies are beautiful, and quickly sell out.)
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    Update: Congratulations to the winner of the national contest, @tistheseasontv of Akron, Ohio! See the winning photo, chosen by the participating museums, below.Instagrammers in five cities this week participated in the #InsideOutUSA photo contest, taking creative photos highlighting the national program that brings high-quality replicas of the art in museum’s collections into neighborhoods.Today, the six participating museums in the Knight-funded program – the Akron Museum of Art, the Detroit Institute of Arts, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Pérez Art Museum Miami, Bechtler Museum of Modern Art and the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture – announced the winners.Together, they took pensive portraits, mixed tai-chi with their art, and used the natural foliage to enhance iconic works in museums’ collections.
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    At times playful, silly and serious, Instagrammers in four cities this month interpreted art in their own way with the #InsideOutUSA photo contest, highlighting the national InsideOut program that takes high-quality replicas of art in museums’ collections and brings them to neighborhoods. The photographers juxtaposed modern cityscapes with classic art, and brought in skateboarders, toddlers and street vendors to create their own works. Thursday, the participating museums in the Knight-funded program – the Akron Art Museum, Detroit Institute of Arts, Philadelphia Museum of Art and Pérez Art Museum Miami – announced the winners.   
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    Above: Teresa Pike Tomlinson, mayor of Columbus, Georgia, at the 2016 Media Learning Seminar. Photos by Patrick Farrell. In a world where one of the biggest rock stars is computer animated, and world leaders appear at town halls via hologram, we find ourselves still struggling to adjust to the new norms of the digital age. “The battle we fight tends to be yesterday’s battle,” author and futurist Alec Ross told the crowd at Knight Foundation’s 2016 Media Learning Seminar earlier this month. Instead, he said, leaders need to look beyond the present to anticipate what is next and help prepare their communities. That theme was ever-present throughout the two-day seminar, a gathering of leaders in philanthropy, media and technology exploring ways to promote more informed and engaged communities. With the rapid pace of innovation, more disruptive change is a given. What’s next? What does it mean for our society? And how can community leaders prepare? Here are some of the insights on the future from panelists at the seminar: Alec Ross, author of “The Industries of the Future”  
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    Above: NorthernLights.MN, a St. Paul Knight Arts Challenge winner. For the past year, Victoria Rogers has traveled the country, meeting artists, attending performances and exhibitions and getting to know the eight Knight communities where the foundation’s arts program invests. What brought her to this point in her career as Knight’s vice president for arts, and how would she like the program to have an impact? We sat down with Rogers to find out more about what she has planned for the arts program. Q. How did the arts become your career path? What were your earliest experiences with the arts?  From a very young age I was exposed to the arts. I was lucky. I had parents who valued and encouraged creativity. They read to me, took me to the library, to concerts. I took ballet, tap and piano lessons and with my cousins, learned dialogue and performed plays written by my aunt in the summers. I learned to play the oboe, and I can only imagine how excruciating that was at times for my musician father who was gifted with perfect pitch. I can't imagine a world without the arts. For me, the arts became both avocation and vocation.
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    Above: Virtual-reality storytelling demo at University of Texas at Austin. Watch the 2016 Knight Foundation Media Learning Seminar at knightfoundation.org/live May 2 - 3. When leaders in philanthropy, media and tech gather for Knight Foundation’s Media Learning Seminar next week, there will be goggles. Boxes of them, in fact, to help participants get a feel for virtual reality (VR) tools and what the storytelling trend means not just for journalism but for communities looking for new approaches to solving local issues. The VR booth and panel are just one example of the ways the seminar, held by Knight Foundation every year since 2008, will look at how community and place-based foundations can better use news and information to build successful cities that help retain talent, expand opportunity and promote civic engagement. The main sessions will be streamed May 2-3 at knightfoundation.org/live. In addition to exploring virtual reality, the conference will focus on future trends: Innovation expert and best-selling author Alec Ross will talk about the future of the economy and society, while Amy Webb of the Future Today Institute will explore what’s coming in tech. Both speakers will look at how leaders can anticipate or take advantage of trends to better their cities. On Monday afternoon, the audience will get the behind-the-scenes scoop on the Philadelphia media story –  how a locally focused foundation came to own The Philadelphia Inquirer and one of the country’s largest news organizations. Pedro Ramos, President and CEO of The Philadelphia Foundation, and Terry Egger, publisher of the Philadelphia Media Network, will explore how the effort came to be, and what it means for the future of news in the city and the journalism industry.