The Knight Research Network in Its Second Year
This report is the second in a series that evaluates progress of the Knight Research Network (KRN), a group of researchers located across 38 universities and 16 policy institutes. Launched in 2019, KRN has now seen $55 million in investment from Knight Foundation, matched by another roughly $40 million from institutions and funders. This asssement finds the network to be in a strong place: generating knowledge at a high rate and having an increasing level of impact in the policy sector. Findings over the period studied, mid-2020 to fall 2021, include:
- KRN had grown to roughly 620 persons (faculty, staff, students, and affiliates) involved, including a large pipeline of graduate students and 324 authors of research products
- The 14 core institutional grantees generated 583 publications; core grantees served as expert sources in 1,358 news stories, providing a vital base of trusted expertise for media
- KRN members continue to brief policymakers in, for example, Congress, the Federal Trade Commission, the National Science Foundation, the European Commission, the U.K. House of Lords, as well as other governmental bodies. Core grantees alone had nearly 600 speaking engagements
- The network is developing diverse institutional voices who are becoming known as go-to centers of excellence on issues such as race and technology, social media and democracy, fact-checking and journalism, and more
- KRN members are beginning to leverage the network by creating working groups and leadership committees, and they produced a collective blueprint for a path forward as a community of knowledge and practice.
This report also makes recommendations on key ongoing challenges and opportunities for the network, including those related to data access from technology companies; translating more fundamental research into policy-relevant communications products; greater network-wide communications infrastructure and digital assets; and greater focus on ensuring a diverse pipeline of media and policy researchers.
Cross-disciplinary research centers and projects will fill knowledge gaps on how society is informed in the digital age
Strengthening democracy in the digital age: Knight’s $50 million investment in a new field of research
On July 22, 2019, Knight made a $50 million investment to develop a new field of research around technology’s impact on democracy. Sam Gill, vice president of communities and impact at Knight, shares details below. When Jack and Jim Knight left behind the corpus of what would grow into the modern Knight Foundation, they had built part […]