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Knight Foundation promotes the best ideas to advance journalism, the arts and the success of cities. Here are some of the topics we care about, organized as resources so that you can join us in working for positive change.
Technology and Democracy
Public Spaces
Trust, media and democracy
Arts and Technology
Libraries
Elections and Voting
Engagement Through the Arts
Local and Nonprofit News
Leadership and Talent
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Freedom of Expression
Digital Storytelling

Technology and Democracy

Sound information is the lifeblood of a democracy. Today, more and more information is mediated by digital technology – and with impacts that are not yet well understood. In this age of many-to-many communication, there is a clear need for fresh thinking and research to inform a new generation of democratic institutions and norms that will promote an informed society and support democratic outcomes.

In 2019, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation announced a commitment of nearly $50 million in research to better understand how technology is transforming our democracy and to help ensure society is equipped to make evidence-based decisions on how to govern and manage the now-digital public square.

Below, read why we think this investment is essential and learn more about the research centers and projects we’re supporting.

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Journalism

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 […]

Strengthening democracy in the digital age: Knight’s $50 million investment in a new field of research
press release
Journalism

Knight invests $6 million in research on the future of US technology policy

Three think tanks doing leading-edge work on issues of market concentration in the tech industry and liability for online content will receive funding as part of Knight’s $50 million commitment

Knight invests $6 million in research on the future of US technology policy
press release
Journalism

Knight invests $50 million to develop new field of research around technology’s impact on democracy

Cross-disciplinary research centers and projects will fill knowledge gaps on how society is informed in the digital age

Knight invests $50 million to develop new field of research around technology’s impact on democracy
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Journalism

Big Tech could break democracy. Knowledge is our best defense.

The impact of digital technologies on American democracy continues to vex policymakers, corporate players and the public at the most fundamental level. In the past month, Mark Zuckerberg was grilled by Congress about Facebook’s decision to allow factually false claims in political advertising. California passed a law requiring the internet companies underpinning the “gig economy” […]

Big Tech could break democracy. Knowledge is our best defense.
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Journalism

Status Update: Big Tech at Crisis Point

On Nov. 3, 2019, Knight made a $3.5 million investment in new research to inform the national debate on internet governance and policy, including support for the UCLA Center for Critical Internet Inquiry (C2I2). Sarah T. Roberts, Ph.D., and Safiya U. Noble, Ph.D., of UCLA share details below. A democratic and emancipatory society necessarily must […]

Status Update: Big Tech at Crisis Point
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Journalism

A new initiative on the economics of digital services: Providing a foundation for evidence-based decision-making

On November 3, 2019, Knight made a $350,000 investment in a new project at the University of Pennsylvania Law School Center for Technology, Innovation and Competition as part of a $3.5 million initiative to inform the national debate on rules, norms and governance of the internet and digital platforms. Rakesh Vohra and Christopher Yoo of […]

A new initiative on the economics of digital services: Providing a foundation for evidence-based decision-making

Support Tech and Democracy Research

These new research centers and projects are seeking institutional support for ground-breaking work to provide the knowledge we need to make informed decisions to strengthen democracy in the digital age.

Support Tech and Democracy Research