Knight Blog

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

‘Knight Cities’: Plain talk with economist Joe Cortright on the success of cities

Sept. 17, 2014, noon, Posted by Carol Coletta

Economist Joe Cortright has been a trusted guide for urban leaders for many years.

For more than a decade, he has dissected the movement of young talent through America’s big cities. He calcuated the Talent Dividend and the Green Dividend for cities. He developed a way to measure changes in vibrancy associated with creative placemaking and unpacked what’s really happening in the poorest neighborhoods. He is one of the world’s experts on clusters and effectively presses the case on the value of difference to cities. This week, he strongly challenged a New York Times Magazine piece on Portland that claims the city suffers from too much talent.

Why Libraries?

Sept. 17, 2014, 10:59 a.m., Posted by Sheila Murphy

Knight News Challenge: Libraries offers applicants a chance to share in $2.5 million by focusing on the question “How might we leverage libraries as a platform to build more knowledgeable communities?” Below, Sheila Murphy, a consultant working with the challenge and the former senior program and communications manager with the Urban Libraries Council, examines the current and future role of libraries.

The Knight News Challenge on Libraries is a unique opportunity launched at a fortuitous moment.  The initiative is framed around an intentionally broad – and potent – question.  “How might we leverage libraries as a platform to build more knowledgeable communities?”

A skeptic—and there are skeptics—might ask, “Why libraries?”  Where to start?

Libraries offer people and communities a level playing field.  They provide knowledge, information, resources, tools and learning opportunities for people at all ages and stages of their lives. Libraries are not just safe havens for children and youth when they’re not in school; they are powerful learning environments where youth connect with peers, discover their passions and their abilities to achieve.   Leveraging the possibilities of technology, libraries today are building learning labs and maker spaces where people curate and create.   

News for high schools: Digital media plus teaching equals support for freedom

Sept. 17, 2014, 9 a.m., Posted by Eric Newton

Report summary: A Right to Speak Out/Our Business is None of Yours. Credit: Column Five.

Some experts say smartphones make young people stupid. Others say technology makes them smarter. Still others say the tool is not important; it’s how we learn to use it.

A new survey of more than 10,000 high school students lends support to that last view. Amid an explosion in social and mobile media – their media – high school students are supporting freedom of expression in record numbers, and are even more likely to do so if they also have had a class in the First Amendment.

During the past 10 years, Knight Foundation has funded five “Future of the First Amendment” surveys, each probing what American high school students know and think about our most fundamental freedoms.

This year, for the first time, American high school students show a greater overall appreciation for the First Amendment than do adults.