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

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    Eric Newton: To innovate while cutting jobs is a challenge for newspapers

    June 30, 2015, 2:46 p.m., Posted by Alfredo Casares

    This interview with Knight Foundation consultant Eric Newton, the new innovation chief at the Arizona State University Cronkite School of Journalism, was originally published by Diario de Navarro. It has been adapted for Knight Blog. (Spanish version). Photo: Eric Newton, during a conference of the World Association of Newspapers in Vienna in 2011. Credit: WAN/IFRA.

    Journalists can look at the future with optimism, even with enthusiasm. Eric Newton, a journalist and professor from the United States, believes that there are reasons to face the digital transformation of media with a good amount of excitement. Despite the liturgical culture that defends traditional writing, Newton considers that journalists are creative and will be able to adapt themselves, they will develop new skills, include the community in the process of creating news, and they will manage in a continuous flow of information in which they will not be protagonists anymore.

    “This is the best time in the history of news to be a journalism student. You can help reinvent journalism. If you are comfortable with uncertainty, if you are an explorer, if you are brave, this is your time,” he said in an interview via e-mail.

    As the adviser to the president of Knight Foundation, he supervised the payment of $300 million for journalism activities for media innovation. Last month, he accepted an offer from the Arizona State University Cronkite School of Journalism to become its innovation chief.

    Newton was recently invited by the Spanish Association of Universities with Degrees in Information and Communication to appear at a conference on “The Future of Journalism Education” at the University of Navarre in Pamplona.

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    Journalists explore industry’s future at Miami roundtable

    June 30, 2015, 2:31 p.m., Posted by Paige Levin

    Photo: Government Influence and Journalism panel at the Digital Media Round Table in Miami.. Credit: Paige Levin.

    Media professionals from across the country debated big issues on the future of journalism last week in a small room at the Wolfsonian-Florida International University in Miami Beach.

    The Digital Future Forum’s Mobile Journalism Roundtable, sponsored by Univision and Knight Foundation, covered everything from censorship, to ethics, digital media and hacking in just five hours. Digital Future Forum is a group that wants to improve the digital future of media, so each of the panels was a fast-moving, open discussion.

    “We wanted to make something small but powerful,” Digital Future Forum co-founder Tim Pool said. “A ton of very powerful people showed up, and I was honored and flabbergasted that all of these amazing people wanted to come and hear what all of us had to say.”

    The roundtable, hosted by journalist Bob Berkowitz, included representatives from the Associated Press, CNN, Florida International University, Fusion, the Miami Herald and Univision.   

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    Engaged Communities

    Building collaboration for the future of the Historic West End in Charlotte

    June 30, 2015, 11 a.m., Posted by Michael Smith

    Michael Smith is president and CEO of Charlotte Center City Partners, which is working with partners to revitalize the Historic West End in Charlotte, N.C., a Knight Foundation community. Photo credit: Charlotte's West End, by Johnson C. Smith University.

    When leaders in South Africa come together to work as a coalition, they call it an indaba. An indaba might include the elders of one community or representatives from many communities. Indabas were a key strategy to overcoming apartheid in South Africa. In the Historic West End of Charlotte, Johnson C. Smith University President Ronald L. Carter has brought this concept of the indaba from Johannesburg to Charlotte, where he and a group known as the Northwest Corridor Council of Elders have been meeting to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing their communities.

    On a hill overlooking the towers of Charlotte’s center city, the Historic West End is a mix of historic neighborhoods whose history and growth have cycled with the greater social and economic trends of the city. There are homes and bungalows built in the 1870s and 1920s, mid-century modern homes built by Charlotte’s African-American professionals and leaders in the 1960s, and bright new apartments for students at Johnson C. Smith University.

    A few months ago, the Northwest Corridor Council of Elders invited Charlotte Center City Partners to join the collaboration for the Historic West End to help envision and implement strategies that will drive economic, social and cultural development – extending the work that we do in Uptown Charlotte and the Historic South End. Knight Foundation is generously helping the community realize this vision with pioneering support that will enable this new initiative focused on economic development, vitality and strategic engagement.

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