Topics
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.
Trust, Media and Democracy
Local and Nonprofit News
Knight Research Network
Freedom of Expression
Public Spaces
Engagement Through the Arts
Arts and Technology
Elections and Voting
Diverse Asset Managers
Libraries

Knight Research Network

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.

Who’s in the Network?

The selected research centers and projects were chosen through two nationwide calls for proposals. The institutions are both public and private, located across the country, and represent a range of academic disciplines and perspectives. All share a common goal: identifying how society can respond to the ways in which digital technology has revolutionized the production, dissemination and consumption of information. but the trusted institutions and information gatekeepers of the past are no longer able to […]

January 14, 2020
Who’s in the Network?
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 […]

July 22, 2019
Strengthening democracy in the digital age: Knight’s $50 million investment in a new field of research
Journalism

Knight Foundation announces a wide range of new grants to support research on Internet governance

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation today announced new investments to support research on the rules, norms and governance of the internet and digital platforms. The $1.7 million in 20 new grants will focus on research to inform the national conversation on technology policy issues, including free expression […]

June 26, 2020
Knight Foundation announces a wide range of new grants to support research on Internet governance
article

What’s next for tech and democracy?

Midway through a year rocked by a pandemic, protests and politics, we asked leading researchers and policy thinkers: What new questions relating to technology’s impact on democracy have emerged or are emerging during this period? In light of these new questions, what are your predictions for the rest of 2020?   The responses we received over […]

September 24, 2020
What’s next for tech and democracy?

In the News

press mention
The New York Times

How Zeynep Tufekci Keeps Getting the Big Things Right

Dr. Tufekci, a computer programmer who became a sociologist, sounded an early alarm on the need for protective masks. It wasn’t the first time she was right about something big.
August 23, 2020
How Zeynep Tufekci Keeps Getting the Big Things Right
press mention
Washington Post

Analysis | This covid-19 misinformation went viral. Here’s what we learned.

In less than a day, a handful of influential people can politicize science.
October 17, 2020
Analysis | This covid-19 misinformation went viral. Here’s what we learned.
press mention
Election Integrity Partnership

Election Integrity Partnership

October 17, 2020
Election Integrity Partnership
press mention
U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, & Transportation

Enlisting Big Data in the Fight Against Coronavirus

U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., chairman of the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, today announced a paper hearing titled, “Enlisting Big Data in the Fight Against Coronavirus,” on Thursday, April 9, 2020, beginning at 10:00 a.m. The committee and witnesses will submit written statements, questions, and answers to examine recent uses of aggregate and anonymized consumer data to identify potential hotspots of coronavirus transmission and to help accelerate the development of treatments. The committee will also examine how consumers’ privacy rights are being protected and what the U.S. government plans to do with COVID-related data collected at the end of this national emergency.
October 17, 2020
Enlisting Big Data in the Fight Against Coronavirus
press mention
Penguin Random House

Calling Bullshit: The Art of Skepticism in a Data-Driven World

October 17, 2020
Calling Bullshit: The Art of Skepticism in a Data-Driven World
press mention
Emma S. Spiro

Detecting Misinformation Flows in Social Media Spaces During Crisis Events | Emma S. Spiro

Kate Starbird (PI), Emma Spiro (Co-PI), Robert Mason (Co-PI) This research seeks both to understand the patterns and mechanisms of the diffusion of misinformation on social media and to develop algorithms to automatically detect misinformation as events unfold. During natural disasters and other hazard events, individuals increasingly utilize social media to disseminate, search for and curate event-related information. Eyewitness accounts of event impacts can now be shared by those on the scene in a matter of seconds.
October 17, 2020
Detecting Misinformation Flows in Social Media Spaces During Crisis Events | Emma S. Spiro
press mention
OSTLJ: Ohio State Technology Law Journal

Democratic Tradeoffs: Platforms and Digital Political Advertising – OSTLJ: Ohio State Technology Law Journal

October 17, 2020
Democratic Tradeoffs: Platforms and Digital Political Advertising – OSTLJ: Ohio State Technology Law Journal