Knight Blog

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

#FreeToTweet set to announce competition winners

March 9, 2012, 6:33 a.m., Posted by Elizabeth R. Miller



In just one week, 22 high school and college students will be named the winners of the 1ForAll campaign’s #FreetoTweet competition - and receive $5,000 to continue their education.

More than 17,000 tweets with the #FreetoTweet hashtag flooded Twitter on Dec. 15, sent by people sharing how they enjoy their right to free expression.

Students ages 14 to 22 who creatively tweeted their appreciation for the First Amendment using the hashtag were automatically entered into a nationwide scholarship competition.

Knight Foundation funded the 22 scholarships - one for every decade since the Bill of Rights’ ratification.

Knight at SXSW

March 9, 2012, 6:28 a.m., Posted by Jose C. Zamora


Photo Credit: John R. Rogers

I and several of my Knight colleagues will be at SXSW Interactive in Austin through next week, where we will be involved in more than a dozen events and looking out for experiments helping to move society forward.

At Knight, we believe information is vital to communities - and that new technologies are essential to delivering the information communities need on important issues. Four years ago, when we started coming to SXSW, we were seeking journalism and media innovation entrepreneurs. Today, we are expanding our search to community builders interested in using technology for engagement, in addition to artists and entrepreneurs looking to inform and engage communities.

We'll be demoing projects Monday and Tuesday at our trade show booth, supporting the accelerator competition and are excited by the Knight-funded projects presenting this year. Here are a few:

Tonight at 5 p.m., Knight Foundation Trustee and MIT’s Media Lab director Joi Ito will participate in a panel and demo of some of the most exciting projects at the Media Lab. Also at 5 p.m., PRX CEO and Knight News Challenge winner Jake Shapiro will give a keynote on the Future of Public Media. (His talk follows yesterday’s announcement about the Knight-funded Public Media Accelerator's new director.)

Saturday night, we are partnering with Mozilla and MIT’s Media Lab for a media innovation fair at Brush Square Park, showcasing exciting projects. The innovation fair will close with a performance by Filastine.

On Sunday, Knight News Challenge winner Kara Oheler, from Zeega, will participate on a panel on public media as transmedia from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.

A panel on Civic Media Projects in Latin America will be held at 3:30 p.m. Monday, and will be led by Knight News Challenge reviewer Luisa Ortiz and Knight News Challenge winners Yesica Guerra, from Crónicas de Héroes, and Miguel Paz from Poderopedia.

Monday kicks off the SXSW Accelerator from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Be there to hear the pitches made by this year’s semi-finalists in the News-Related Technologies category. Learn which projects will move to the final stage of the contest on Tuesday, when winners will be announced at 6 p.m.

Attracting and retaining young professionals in Akron

March 8, 2012, 4:08 p.m., Posted by Jennifer Thomas


Torchbearers Board members at their Community Leaders Reception at the Akron Civic Theater.  

Knight Foundation recently awarded $50,000 to Torchbearers, an organization dedicated to attracting and retaining young professionals in Akron.

The funding supports a new program called “Be The Change” in which members identify their passion and create a plan for initiating community change while building strong relationships with community leaders.

Knight’s focus is to promote an informed and engaged Akron by developing and engaging the next generation of talent. This program is a chance for emerging leaders to identify opportunity and environments for change, embrace risk and receive guidance from local seasoned mentors.

The Akron Beach Journal profiled the launch of Torchbearers noting: "the funds [will] allow the group of about 95 members to build a curriculum with professional facilitation to empower participants to spark positive change for Akron."