Knight Blog

The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Wednesday: Meet the South Florida People’s Choice Nominees!

Oct. 31, 2014, 4:33 p.m., Posted by Marika Lynch

This is cross-posted from

Art + tech + waffles is a winning combination any day of the week, but we hope you will come enjoy it next Wednesday, Nov. 5 at a very special edition of #WaffleWednesday.

#WaffleWednesday is a weekly tech meet-up hosted by LiveNinja with support from Knight Foundation. This edition of #WaffleWednesday brings together two Knight initatives, as the South Florida Knight Arts Challenge People’s Choice Award nominees join to discuss their projects over breakfast. The six small arts groups vying for $20,000 will also answer questions – and hopefully secure a few votes in the process.

Lessons from the Knight News Challenge: Core concepts in brand building

Oct. 31, 2014, 11:49 a.m., Posted by Peter Spear

KNC Summer breakfast gathering in Kansas City. Photo by Michael Bolden.

For the past few years I have been working with Knight Foundation to bring brand thinking into the media innovation space. I have had the great pleasure to work with a range of projects—from established organizations such as WITNESS, The Tor Project, and Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America to true startup teams.

This summer, we gathered in Kansas City, Mo., with winners of the Knight News Challenge and did some lightning round sessions to rapidly introduce core concepts of brand building. It’s what I call brand listening; it requires both observation and conversation to understand who an organization is serving and why it exists.

Here are some of the key insights I shared during those sessions.

Emotional manipulation is inevitable (Brand is not evil).

The gathering at the Kauffman Foundation Conference Center began with a wonderful work session led by Lea Thau of The Moth on the art of storytelling. During this session, she was asked how to communicate in a way that assured the audience would not feel emotionally manipulated.

Hackathon will help recode South Florida history

Oct. 31, 2014, 10:15 a.m., Posted by David W. McCombie III

Miami Herald satellite phone and photo transmittal system from the early 1990s on view at HistoryMiami. 

Why does history matter? 

History is about telling the stories of our past. It has the power to bring people from diverse backgrounds together for exploration, discovery and learning. In this spirit, HistoryMiami, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution,, along with the museum's seven-member Advisory Board will host a 24-hour hackathon event called Night at the Museum: Recoding History.

The hackathon  will bring together developers, designers and the creative communities to design new, digital ways to bring South Florida’s diverse and rich history to more people.

"HistoryMiami hopes to use this event to help the organization rethink the way the museum's collection should be experienced,” said Stuart Chase, the museum’s director/COO. “By allowing the museum to be seen through a highly collaborative and innovative approach, HistoryMiami will highlight the collection of unique historical photographs and documents in a profoundly new manner."