The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
Spurred by recent comments on our July 31st Knight Blog entry about his work, Mario Garcia posted on the Garcia Media blog yesterday asking readers what they think about four organizations Knight Blog commenter Robert Ivan cited as innovative:
One of the four, Everyblock, is a "news feed for your block" and a Knight News Challenge winner. As we've posted previously, Everyblock continues to add cities to its roster (most recently, Boston, Seattle, and Washington, DC), delivering information about crimes, news articles, and road construction, among other data sets, as well as special reports.
What do you think about these four projects?
As Garcia writes:
Dear readers, as I am not familiarized thoroughly with the innovators mentioned by Robert Ivan, I ask you to enter the dialog and contribute your comments on them, and what you think makes them special. I am sure we can learn tremendously if we profile these cases and benefit from their experience. All of us are interested in reviewing products that have encountered success via experimentation and it is my hope that we can profile these four innovators in future blogs. I need your help to do so! If those involved in these products wish to engage in dialog through this platform, I would appreciate that as well.
Let us know your thoughts in the comments below and join the discussion in the Garcia Media post comments.
On Wednesday, the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) website, ijnet.org, relaunched with new tools for their global group of journalists.
Site users are now able to set up a profile and use tools in Arabic, English, Persian, Portuguese, and Spanish.
In this video, watch Knight International Journalism Fellow Arul Louis talk with Dr. R. K. Pachauri, director-general of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) in New Delhi about media and climate change.
Per the IJNet.org e-learning post:
Knight International's Louis has been working with TERI to create new online resources for media. With TERI and other partners, he is leading innovative environmental programs for regional journalists in local languages. He also has helped the Indo-Asian News Service expand its environmental coverage.
Also in e-learning, the ICFJ will offer an introductory online course on investigative reporting for Arabic-speaking journalists; applications close September 5th. Details here.
'Spot Us would give a new sense of editorial power to the public,' said David Cohn, a 26-year-old Web journalist who received a $340,000, two-year grant from the Knight Foundation to test his idea. 'I'm not Bill and Melinda Gates, but I can give $10. This is the Obama model. This is the Howard Dean model.'
You can contribute to (help "crowdfund") the Spot.Us campaign the article mentions that will check political advertisements in San Francisco for accuracy here (campaign is 89% funded as of this morning). More details about that project are on the Spot.Us wiki.
The article also mentions Knight Foundation Trustee Paul Steiger's new ProPublica organization, which produces "journalism that shines a light on exploitation of the weak by the strong and on the failures of those with power to vindicate the trust placed in them." An interesting ProPublica site feature is the "Scandal Watch" sidebar, where progress on highlighted stories is charted throughout the week; read Friday's summary by Alexandra Andrews.
The NYT article lets another News Challenge winner, Jay Rosen, (who blogs along with Cohn and the other News Challenge winners on the IdeaLab group blog; you can read his entries here) have the last words about alternative reporting models:
'The [traditional] business model is broken,' [Rosen] said. 'We're at a point now where nobody actually knows where the money is going to come from for editorial goods in the future. My own feeling is that we need to try lots of things. Most of them won't work. You'll have a lot of failure. But we need to launch a lot of boats.'
What do you think about crowdfunding?
Milledgeville Program Director Beverly Blake made clear Knight's commitment to connect individuals in physical communities through this initiative:
'The Knight Foundation does not come into a community, say we have this great opportunity, realize it and then walk away,' Blake said. 'Milledgeville made this happen, we're here to help you build this plan for the future.'
Questions or thoughts on the Milledgeville Munical WiMax Network?
This week, leading thinkers in digital media will begin to mentor many of the thirty-five projects in the News Challenge Garage, a new incubator site for the News Challenge contest (a Knight media initiative that awards ~$5 million a year to innovative news delivery projects).
Heidi Miller, who is heading up marketing for the News Challenge this year, has posted on Seesmic and others have joined the conversation with their video responses:
Knight News Challenge offers $5MM in fundingPitching bloggers, podcasters and vidcasters! If your audience includes citizen journalists, digital innovators or open source developers, the Knight News Challenge is a not-for-profit contest awarding $5M in funding. If you have a blog or podcast and think your readers/viewers would like to enter, email or comment to sign up to receive information on this year's Challenge to share with your own audience.
Have a question about the Garage? Let us know.
Director of Knight Journalism program Gary Kebbel gives Everyblock background:
Adrian Holovaty won a $1.1 million Knight News Challenge grant in 2007 to create a public data and aggregation site on steroids for at least 10 cities. Called EveryBlock, the sites have launched in Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Philadelphia and Charlotte. Public databases are pulled together and then made so easily accessible that all anyone has to do is put in a street address to find out what is happening on their block or the next block over.
Holovaty started this work with ChicagoCrime.org, which was the first major 'mashup' of public data (Chicago crime reports) on a Google map. The site won the Knight-Batten Award for Innovation and was the beginning of Holovaty's efforts to help people find previously inaccessible information relevant to their lives.
The Tribune article references the Everyblock widget, a small application that has let readers associate a physical location with Tribune stories for the past month.
Also in the article, Holovaty explains how to launch a project from the Windy City:
"There's the dot-com, Silicon Valley, blow-all-your-money-on-booze style," says Holovaty, 27. "Then there's the Chicago thing: Do something, do it well and be modest about it."
Read the entire article here.
What are your thoughts on Everyblock? How would you explain a digital project launched in, say, the DC, Austin, or Vancouver Way?
The new morning
radio multi-platform news program The Takeaway, partially funded by Knight, has recently introduced a game on Facebook (the popular social networking service) called VeepStakes.
Takeaway Web Editor Adnaan Wasey explains the game:
If you already have a Facebook profile, you can start playing the game here.
Look for more seriously fun content from The Takeaway team soon--what do you think about VeepStakes, and what would you like to see the show do more of online?
In April, Knight sponsored a conference in Paris on press freedom and the Beijing Olympics with Asia Presse (Paris), Committee to Protect Journalists (New York), Human Rights in China (New York, Hong Kong, Brussels), Reporters Sans Frontieres (Paris), World Association of Newspapers (Paris), and the World Press Freedom Committee (Washington, D.C.). There was simultaneous interpretation in Chinese, French, English.
Global Voices, the 2006 Grand Prize winner of the Knight-Batten Awards for innovation in journalism, has special coverage of the Olympics from their worldwide network of bloggers (here's the feed and the Twitter feed).
The Global Voices Beijing Olympics page also links to Play the Game for Open Journalism, a site to assist and inform journalists covering the Beijing games.
Other resources? Please leave them in the comments below.
Watch the video below to find out why former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright is wearing a spider pin at the Knight-sponsored Forum on Communication and Society at the Aspen Institute today.
Madeleine Albright on her spider pin - and the Web from Knight Foundation on Vimeo.
Knight Commission member danah boyd speaks on e-literacy at the Forum on Communication and Society at the Aspen Institute:danah boyd on e-literacy from Knight Foundation on Vimeo.
This conference, sponsored by Knight, brings together some of the brightest minds in media. Below is a partial list of attendees.
Here's a video of co-chairs Marissa Meyer and Ted Olson speaking about the goals of the Knight Commission on Information Needs of Communities in a Democracy. Mayer is vice president of search and user experience at Google. Olson is a former Solicitor General of the United States and a first amendment lawyer.
Marissa Mayer and Ted Olson on goals of Knight Commission from Knight Foundation on Vimeo.
What would you like to see the Knight Commission accomplish? Please leave a comment below.
I'm at the Aspen Institute for the second meeting of the Knight Commission on the Informations Needs of Communities in a Democracy. The commission explores media policy to meet the information needs of communities in our 21 century democracy. The commission is one of four components of the media innovation strategy at Knight Foundation. The co-chairs are Marissa Mayer, Google's VP for search engine and user experience, and Ted Olson, the former Solicitor General (and a first amendment lawyer).
This morning, Tom Rosenstiel did an excellent presentation on the "State of the Media". He's the director of the Project on Excellence in Journalism. Some of his key messages:
Marissa Meyer made an interesting point, and it's obviously informed by her experience as the Google Search Engine VP:
Here's a video I took of Marissa explaining her thinking about the changing nature of the "atomic unit" of news consumption.
Google VP Marissa Mayer on the atomic unit of media consumption from Knight Foundation on Vimeo.
In the yearly News Challenge contest, Knight Foundation awards up to $5 million to innovators with ideas about implementing new local news delivery mechanisms.
To help applicants before they apply, the News Challenge Garage launches (in beta) today as a place for applicants to tinker with their ideas, assisted by past winners and expert mentors. Here's a video where I explain the Garage:
We've used a video-sharing service called DotSub above so that the video can be subtitled in many different languages--the News Challenge is an international contest and open to everyone.
You can help us get the word out by going to this video on the DotSub site here and subtitling it in another language (thanks in advance for your help).
The video is also here on Flickr, another video-sharing service.
From the press release:
J-Lab: The Institute for Interactive Journalism has moved to American University's School of Communication, where it will expand its operations with the help of a $2.4 million grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to American University.
J-Lab helps journalists and citizens use digital technologies to develop new ways of participating in public life. J-Lab provides award and seed money to professional journalists, citizens, and new media entrepreneurs for innovations in journalism and community news startups; builds e-learning Web sites for interactive and citizen journalism; and engages in training and research.
'I am excited that we have the opportunity to expand our programs in a place as full of energy and focus on innovation as AU's School of Communication,' said Jan Schaffer, J-Lab's executive director and one of the nation's leading journalism reform thinkers. 'Our new affiliation is a good fit for J-Lab's mission, which is to help transform journalism for today and reinvent it for tomorrow.'
At its new home, J-Lab will use the Knight grant to:
* Renew the Knight-Batten Awards for Innovation in Journalism.
* Fund 16 additional New Voices citizen-media projects.
* Create eight to 10 Knight Citizen News Network learning modules and update J-Learning, J-Lab, and J-New Voices Web sites.
* Launch five Networked Community News pilot projects, teaming five newspapers with citizen media outlets in each of their communities.
* Build a Community Media Toolkit to help foundations fund, vet, support, and measure local media projects.
* Ramp up knowledge sharing with a Re-imagining Journalism project.
J-Lab's J-Learning and the Knight Citizen News Network are Web-based, comprehensive community journalism instruction programs; its McCormick New Media Women Entrepreneurs project provides seed funding and support for original news ideas proposed by women; and the New Voices project provides start-up funding and instruction for pioneering community news ventures in the United States. The Knight-Batten Awards recognize innovations in journalism and are one of the profession's most prestigious honors.
What do you think J-Lab should prioritize?
Bonnie Clearwater, executive director of the Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami, explains some of their recent work in this video:
'We've gone from about 100 arts groups to more than 1,200 in the past two decades,' said Lorenzo Lebrija, Knight's Miami program director. 'It shows a real growth and maturing of Miami's creative community.'
What do you think about arts in Miami? What would you like to see funded in the Knight Arts Partnership?
Leave a comment below or on the progress report site.
Analyzing Knight Foundation's efforts in the Mississippi Gulf Coast, reporter Dick Polman writes,
Today, nearly three years after the storm, and with expenditures thus far totaling roughly $10 million, Knight Foundation can rightly point to a string of achievements - most notably, its crucial role in bringing world-class planners and architects to the afflicted region, and prompting citizens to chart new communities in ways they had never before imagined. Yet at the same time, political, cultural and financial obstacles have impeded recovery on virtually all fronts. In the words of Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, who is praised for his recovery efforts even by political foes, "It's all been way too slow to suit me."
Here's a recent comment on the article by James W. Cromwell:
...After reading your article I have a different perspective of some of your good intentions that your foundation had for the people of the Mississippi Gulf Coast. But I think you have been hoodwinked by the business men of these communities into believing that your monies were being used to help the citizens when it was really being used to help big business...
Adele Lyons, Knight Program Director for Biloxi responded:
...A long-term recovery after a hurricane like Katrina takes many organizations working together. We have worked with several of the funders you noted including the Twenty-First Century Foundation, OxFam, Ford Foundation and Foundation for the Mid South. We work together as part of the Gulf Coast Funders for Equity. Several of us helped organize the Funders' Forum for Sustainable Gulf Coast Transformation held in September 2007.
We wanted to know what happened after Katrina. In the first few days, Knight Foundation made emergency grants to the Salvation Army and the Red Cross totaling $1 million to help with the relief efforts. Relief was slow to reach the East Biloxi citizens. Additional emergency grants totaling $110,000 went to several small, local nonprofits. And, of course, many of our grantees continue to work in East Biloxi...
See the East Biloxi grantee list and both comments in their entirety here.
Find more of Knight's "Stories of Transformation" here.