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

  • Journalism

    Can you tweet that? Columbia panel explores the exercise of First Amendment rights on social platforms

    June 29, 2016, 2:35 p.m., Posted by Tanisha A. Sykes

    Above: Panelists discuss social media and rights of free expression. Photo by  Tanisha A. Sykes.

    The First Amendment in the digital age applies to platforms that the Founding Fathers couldn’t have imagined.

    So what are the challenges and opportunities presented by the changing dynamics of the media against the backdrop of free speech?

    Last Friday media experts gathered at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University in New York to discuss the issues arising from the collision of modern media with bedrock principles of our democracy. The panel, “A First Amendment for Social Platforms,” included BuzzFeed Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith, BuzzFeed Assistant General Counsel Nabiha Syed, and Stuart Karle, North Base Media general counsel and a Columbia adjunct. Emily Bell, director of the Tow Center, which receives Knight Foundation funding, moderated the discussion.

    Knight and Columbia also recently announced the formation of the Knight First Amendment Institute which will support research, education and litigation to protect freedom of expression and freedom of the press. Disruption in the traditional business model of journalism has made it less likely that media companies will sue to protect First Amendment rights, and the institute will help fill the gap.

    The panel discussion tackled how those rights should be applied and protected on social platforms. It continued a conversation that Smith and Syed started in an article they wrote on Medium that called for more transparency in how social platforms manage what people say.

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    Mainly Mozart Festival concert brought refreshing mid-summer concert to Miami

    June 29, 2016, 12:55 p.m., Posted by Sebastian Spreng

    The penultimate chapter of the Mainly Mozart Festival 2016–leading up to the multimedia grand finale, “Timeless Rose,” scheduled for Friday, July 1, at Knight Concert Hall–was a noble, delightful example of how things should be done. Subtly innovative in concept and focus, without any pretentions except making good music (which is enough), and definitely refreshing on a torrid summer afternoon, it was a concert worth leaving home for and trekking to the cozy Coral Gables Congregational Church.

    The trio assembled for the occasion consisted of Moran Katz playing the clarinet, Caitlin Sullivan on the cello, and festival director Marina Radiushina on piano. Katz and Sullivan are both members of DECODA, the chamber group affiliated with Carnegie Hall, and the three young women worked together wonderfully. With remarkable skill, the trio pieced together two works premiered on other “musical afternoons” (by which I mean two works that are late in clarinet literature, by Wolfgang Mozart and Johannes Brahms), along with some “musical bonbons” by Camille Saint-Säens, Astor Piazzolla and Guillaume Connesson.

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    Knight community of Charlotte studies Miami to build on its own success

    June 29, 2016, 8:38 a.m., Posted by Glissette Santana

    Miami and Charlotte skylines by Michael Bolden and James Willamor on Flickr.

    The Charlotte (North Carolina) Chamber of Commerce brought its annual Inter City Visit to the Knight community of Miami June 22 to 25, hoping to build off the entrepreneurial and startup energy of the Magic City.

    The tour, an annual event by the Charlotte Chamber that has been going on for more than 50 years, takes public officials and business leaders from Charlotte, another Knight community, to different cities around the U.S. to get a closer look at that city’s programs and initiatives, according to the chamber’s website. In recent years, the group has traveled to Nashville, Minneapolis and Houston.

    Matt Haggman, left, watches as Leandro Finol discusses Miami's startup community at The Idea Center. Photo by Glissette Santana

    A panel about investing in entrepreneurship, moderated by Knight Foundation Miami Program Director Matt Haggman, was on the agenda for members of the chamber. Leandro Finol, executive director of The Idea Center at Miami Dade College, Susan Amat, founder of Venture Hive, Leigh-Ann Buchanan, executive director of Venture Café, and Brian Brackeen, founder and CEO of face-recognition software and analysis company Kairos, led the hourlong conversation.

    During the visit, the group explored Miami landmarks such as the Port of Miami and Wynwood Walls. At each location, the visitors participated in panels about Miami’s economic  or philanthrophic success.

    During last Thursday’s discussion, Haggman said that greater talent retention and attraction is key to building expanded opportunity across communities and building a greater sense of possibility.

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