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

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    27 civic innovators to visit Copenhagen, Denmark, on Knight study tour

    July 31, 2015, 8 a.m., Posted by Benjamin de la Peña

    Photo: Leaders from Knight communities touring Copenhagen last year.

    Knight Foundation’s Community and National Initiatives Program returns to Copenhagen, Denmark, this September with civic innovators from 13 Knight communities. Knight grantee 8 80 Cities will take 27 civic innovators to “one of the happiest cities on earth” for five days. Tour participants will experience Copenhagen’s excellent bike and pedestrian infrastructure and learn how various city agencies, nonprofits and the private sector have worked together to cultivate the city’s robust public life.

    This year’s participants represent Akron, Ohio; Charlotte, N.C.; Columbus, Ga.; Detroit; Grand Forks, N.D.; Gulfport, Miss.; Lexington, Ky.; Long Beach and San Jose, Calif.; Macon, Ga.; and Miami, Tallahassee and West Palm Beach, Fla. They represent local government, the private sector, nonprofits and local foundations. Members include:


    ·      Andy Davis, active transportation coordinator, The University of Akron

    ·      Jason Segedy, director, Akron Metropolitan Area Transportation Study

    ·      Scott Scarborough, president, The University of Akron 


    ·      Jordan Moore, bike program manager, Sustain Charlotte

    ·      Tony Lathrop, chair, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Planning Commission


    ·      Isaiah Hugley, city manager

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  • Journalism

    10 basics today’s journalists need

    July 31, 2015, 6 a.m., Posted by Paige Levin

    One week into college, my journalism professor gave a lecture on what journalists need to know—except he didn’t really explain anything. He just complained about the fact that journalists were expected to know too much.

    I panicked.

    That week, I changed my major three times, looking for something that encompassed every skill needed in the media industry. I’ll save prospective students the trouble: It doesn’t exist.

    That’s because the industry changes too quickly for any curriculum to keep up. I realized that I needed to figure it out for myself.

    As a journalism student, I’ve been searching for a definitive answer for the past three years. I’ve consulted media professionals to gather the building blocks of a journalism career in the digital age. I’m talking about more than just bread-and-butter reporting. One conclusion surprised me: We don’t need to be well versed in every single app and every line of code. But we do need to understand the bigger picture.

    Here’s what I believe today’s journalism students need to know (in no particular order):

    1. Learn basic coding: A little code goes a long way. In a phone interview, Ted Spiker, the journalism department chair at the University of Florida where I am a student, said it is debatable if full-blown coding is for everyone, but I think it brings considerable advantages. If you understand what’s under the hood of technology, you can be more effective and efficient. Knight Foundation’s Eric Newton said, “Basic coding is the grammar of the 21st century.” Those fundamentals include some ability to hack your way through basic HTML, to understand embed codes and to be able to navigate a content-management system. Start here.

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    ‘Knight Cities’ podcast: Miami Science Barge, a showcase for environmental education

    July 30, 2015, 1:46 p.m., Posted by Carol Coletta

    Can an old barge sitting in Biscayne Bay help the city of Miami come face to face with the challenge of climate change?

    Knight Cities podcast

    That’s the intent of the Miami Science Barge, a creation of CappSci and one of 32 winners of the Knight Cities Challenge in its first year.

    Alissa Farina is an innovation associate at CappSci, a foundation that applies “science and engineering to real-world problems, and one of the organizers of the Miami Science Barge. Here are five things you should know about the project:

    1.     The Miami Science Barge will be a floating urban ecological laboratory and public environmental education center on Biscayne Bay at Museum Park in downtown Miami.

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