Knight Blog

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

Round Two of Knight Arts Challenge Opens February 1st

Jan. 29, 2009, 1:26 p.m., Posted by Knight Foundation

Opening February 1st, the Knight Arts Challenge is a community-wide contest to fund the best art ideas in South Florida.

The deadline for applications is 9 a.m. March 2, 2009.

The video below is the first in a series for the Knight Arts Challenge from Miami World Cinema Center (directed by Josh Miller and Sam Rega).

From the press release:

Last year, Knight Foundation awarded $8 million to 31 groups ' such as sculptors, musicians, prominent institutions and recently formed galleries. The winning ideas included creating a two-year, fellow residency for up-and-coming artists run by the University of Miami and housed in the Design District; a Haitian jazz series; and little league-like network of children's choirs serving disadvantaged neighborhoods.

Find out more about the Challenge on the site.
More: video from the event with winners of the first round.

Newspapers and 1981

Jan. 29, 2009, 9:48 a.m., Posted by Knight Foundation

A look back this morning:

"Imagine, if you will, sitting down to your morning coffee, turning on your home computer to read the day's newspaper--well, it's not as far-fetched as it may seem..."

Everyblock Adds Political News posts

Jan. 28, 2009, 10:30 p.m., Posted by Knight Foundation

Today, Knight News Challenge (the ~$5 million yearly contest to find innovative ideas for news delivery) winner Everyblock announced a partnership with the New York Times to add political news posts to the NYC block pages.

New York political news posts | EveryBlock New York City

When an elected official representing your neighborhood is mentioned in the NYT, you'll find the mention on Everyblock as well.

Congrats to the Everyblock team on the new feature, and please leave comments and feedback for them on their announcement post.

Calling All Knight Media Learning Seminar 2008 Participants

Jan. 28, 2009, 3:48 p.m., Posted by Knight Foundation

In February 2008, Knight held a media learning seminar in Miami at The Biltmore Hotel with a keynote from PBS' Judy Woodruff; on the site, you can find the 2008 session schedulevideos, resources and breakout reports from the 2008 event.


In a few weeks, the 2009 Media Learning Seminar will be held in Miami, and we would like to highlight all the good work that seminar attendees have done online in the past year.

Please help us by commenting with your links to Web pages, images, and video below. We look forward to hearing from you--

Knight Projects Support Freedom of Information Memo

Jan. 23, 2009, 10:03 a.m., Posted by Knight Foundation

Several Knight grantees who advocate for a more open government expressed satisfaction about a presidential memorandum to strengthen the Freedom of Information Act on Wednesday.

More on their Web sites:

National Freedom of Information Coalition
The Federation of American Scientists
National Security Archive
Reporters Committee on Freedom of the Press
MediaShift Idea Lab

Pop + Covers Obama Inauguration

Jan. 20, 2009, 4:37 p.m., Posted by Knight Foundation

Knight is funding multi-media journalist Farai Chideya and her team of student bloggers from the University of Southern California's Annenberg School of Journalism to post videos, images, text, and "tweets" (using the microblogging service Twitter) on Pop + Politics this week (all of their inaugural content is released under a Creative Commons license).

Pop + Politics covers the Inauguration with Knight Foundation's support

Find out why Farai Chideya thinks the Inauguration is like Burning Man>-- Features Obama Campaign Artist Tristan Eaton

Jan. 20, 2009, 8:30 a.m., Posted by Knight Foundation

A few years ago, Knight supported Detroit with a technology center at their downtown YMCA and youth programming. The YMCA centers developed the YArts program and have launched a refreshed Web site for the Detroit creative community:

The site is featuring artist Tristan Eaton, who contributes to the Detroit art scene and whose work has appeared on posters for the Obama campaign (below is his "gas pump" poster).

Tristan Eaton's Obama Gas Pump poster (Knight funded YArts, that is featuring his work on their new Detroit community arts site)

Eaton's work was part of the Manifest Hope: DC Gallery exhibit this week at 3333 M Street NW during the Inauguration festivities.

The full interview on the YArts site here with an image of an Obama mural by Eaton unveiled this week.

What do you think about the Obama campaign art? And how can we strength art communities in cities like Detroit?

Apply To Be a Jennings Fellow

Jan. 15, 2009, 10:51 a.m., Posted by Knight Foundation

Today is the deadline to apply to be a Jennings Fellow; a program (partially funded by Knight) meant for journalists to explore constitutional issues in their work.

Fellows attend a few days of workshops with leading constitutional scholars and lawyers (the 2009 faculty includes Kenneth Starr, Dean, Pepperdine University School of Law and John Yoo, Professor of Law, University of California at Berkley).

Harold Jackson of the Philadelphia Inquirer is a Jennings Fellow from the program's first year, and he tells us more about the program below:

The application deadline is today; questions on the program? You can tell them Knight Blog sent you--

Beyond Bootcamp: Journalism and Ethics Panel

Jan. 14, 2009, 3:13 p.m., Posted by Knight Foundation

Last week, the University of Miami School of Communication held two sessions of Beyond Bootcamp multimedia workshops that ran for three days with training on the specific tracks of audio narratives, video narratives, online infographics, multimedia production, multimedia programming, and teaching multimedia.

UM Knight Chair in Visual Journalism Rich Beckman facilitated Friday's discussion between the workshop faculty, toward the end bringing up questions of internationalization and audience (NYT Multimedia Editor Andrew DeVigal (@drewvigal) speaks about Mandarin translations):

A timely discussion given the recent launch of Global Post? What do you think?

Also, Alberto Cairo, a visual journalism professor at UNC Chapel Hill, talked about making information graphics easier to understand: Senior Multimedia Producer Jim Seida spoke strongly about the importance of ethics in journalism:

Washington Post Visual Journalist Travis Fox detailed the ethics of creating an accurate panorama:

and former Miami Herald General Counsel and UM Assistant Professor of Journalism Sam Terilli spoke on legal implications for journalists and newsrooms:

Comments? Thoughts? UM Senior Greg Linch's personal blog has more detailed posts from the sessions.

Can We Save Snow With a Web Site? And Other Information Needs Projects Announced

Jan. 14, 2009, 12:53 p.m., Posted by Knight Foundation

Today, Knight announced the twenty-one winning projects for the first year of the Community Information Challenge, a five-year, $24 million initiative for help community foundation find creative ways to better inform their communities.

The full list of winners is in the press release, and you can learn what a community foundation is as well as the Park City Foundation's climate change project in the below Knight Pulse conversation: (transcript is below video)

Hi! I'm Kristen Taylor, and this is a Knight Pulse video conversation. Today we're talking with Katie Wright, and Katie is the Programs Manager for the Park City Foundation. Katie, thanks so much for being with us.

Katie: Thank you.

Kristen: So tell us more about the Park City Foundation and your role there.

Katie: Okay. Well, we are a pretty new community foundation. We're actually the first one in the state of Utah. And it was started about four years ago and came under professional management only about a year and a half ago. And we're located in a small ski resort town, and our focus is just promoting philanthropy throughout Summit County.

Kristen: And tell me what a community foundation is.

Katie: A community foundation is an organization, a public institution, a non-profit, that manages and invests people's philanthropic funds. So in a way it's an alternative to a private foundation, where people of lesser means can fully participate in philanthropy. And on the other side of services, they provide things to non-profit organizations. The first and most important is grants and funding, but also services and support such as volunteer recruitment and professional development and anything that can help the nonprofit sector thrive and do their job better.

Kristen: I see. How is it different, being a community foundation in a ski resort town?

Katie: We live in a pretty small town, and we have a lot of transient population, so the people who live here permanently all know each other well and form a really tight-knit community. But there are also a lot of part-time residents who come from a lot of wealth, might give philanthropically and be very involved philanthropically in their home town but don't think about participating necessarily where they vacation. So that's one of the things we're trying to do is to pull them into the community and help them see that there's need even where they are vacationing and just enjoying life.

Kristen: I see. And we're going to be working with you'the Knight Foundation'on a project through the Community Information Challenge, so tell me a little bit about the project we're going to be working on.

Katie: Okay. Well, we're really excited about it, and what it is is we're working in partnership with our local city government to create a website that is sort of a Facebook-style profile, but it measures a person's carbon footprint and also water footprint. And the idea is that a household, an organization, a business can create a profile and measure what footprint they are affecting on our community and on the earth in general and then access information on how to reduce this footprint. And the real innovation is that we're working with utility companies to have real data, so that every month someone can log in and see how the changes they made in the previous month have affected their footprint.

Kristen: That's really exciting. What are the ways you're going to be able to tell the community about this, and how will they be involved?

Katie: We are very lucky. As a ski town, we are sort of on the forefront of climate change; we're the canary in the coal mine, because our culture, our economy, everything is based on snow pack and ski resorts. And so our city government and our local resort mountains are very involved in climate change and committed to innovation. And so we have support from the city, who is doing a community-wide footprint assessment that provides a baseline that we as a community can measure in upcoming years.

Are our reduction strategies actually affecting change? And we also have support from some of the local mountain resorts. And so we're planning later this spring a big Save Our Snow event where we launch the website and also talk about how snow pack projections are for our town in particular. So in the year 2075, will there be skiing at the base of our resort at all, or will we have to shuttle people up the mountain to ski and things like that.

Kristen: I see. So where can people go if they'd like to find out more information?

Katie: Well, the best place to start is on our city government website, which is, or you can visit our website, the foundation's, which is

Kristen: Great! Well, thanks so much, Katie. We'll be checking back in with you to see how it goes.

Comments? Thoughts on other ways community foundations might reach their communities?

Idea Lab Relaunches

Jan. 12, 2009, 4:58 p.m., Posted by Knight Foundation

Congratulations to the Idea Lab on their site relaunch with a fresh look by Mule Design.

Knight News Challenge winners (a yearly ~$5 million contest to fund innovative ideas about news delivery) blog on the Idea Lab site about progress on their projects and relevant ideas in community news mechanisms; the site is edited by Mark Glaser of MediaShift.

MediaShift Idea Lab | PBS

Recent posts include Lisa Williams on reporting of the recent unrest in Oakland, Rich Gordon on News Mixer, and Jessica Mayberry on what community-owned media means.

What would you like the Idea Lab bloggers to write about?

@knightfdn supports @shortyawards

Jan. 12, 2009, 11:18 a.m., Posted by Knight Foundation

We're happy to announce that Knight will offer travel grants for winners of the Shorty Awards (a contest to recognize users making an impact using the "microblogging" service Twitter) to attend the February 11, 2009 ceremony in New York. (You may request an invite.)

Twitter @shortyawards: Finals are now open through 1/23. Thanks to support from @knightfdn all the finalists are invited to the awards ceremony.

From the press release:


Since the launch of the Shorty Awards in December, tens of thousands of Twitter users have nominated their favorite Twitterers in 26 official categories (such as news, humor and politics) and in more than 1,500 user-generated categories. The five most-nominated users in each of the 26 awards categories are now Shorty Awards finalists. The final round of voting begins today and ends Jan. 23. The ceremony, at Galapagos Art Space in Brooklyn's Dumbo neighborhood, will be the first gathering to bring top Twitter users together from all over the world.


Follow Knight Foundation on Twitter @knightfdn

Also, follow our new community site Knight Pulse @knightpulse and the Knight News Challenge @knc08

WNYC's The Takeaway Tells Roland Burris How to Get to the Senate Floor

Jan. 7, 2009, 10:21 a.m., Posted by Knight Foundation

Knight is a funder of WNYC's morning radio multi-platform news program The Takeaway.

In between coverage about posted cheeky instructions for Roland Burris this morning:


The Democrats want to deny him, but The Takeaway's John Hockenberry takes to the telestrator to show Roland Burris how he can make it to the Senate floor and take a seat as Illinois' junior senator.


For more of The Takeaway, their site offers downloads of previous programs and frequent daily updates.

News Mixer: How Can We Improve Comments on News Sites?

Jan. 6, 2009, 1:45 p.m., Posted by Knight Foundation

From our community site, Knight Pulse, a conversation with Brian Boyer about developing News Mixer, open source software that offers new comment options for news sites, with fellow graduate students at Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism (a Knight News Challenge winner):

Details on the team's project site, and in Brian's blog posts on the agile, iterative process.

How do you think online comments can be improved?
Which of the three News Mixer comment options would you like to see implemented on a news site you read?