Knight Blog

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

How to make your News Challenge: Mobile application stand out

Aug. 31, 2012, 1:23 p.m., Posted by Elizabeth R. Miller

Each time we launch the News Challenge, we get asked again and again: “How can I make my News Challenge application stand out? What kinds of things do reviewers look for in my proposal?” Considering we receive thousands of applications a year, those are both good things to think about.

kiostarkSo we thought we’d ask one of our News Challenge reviewers Kio Starka published author and current teacher at New York University’s Interactive Telecommunications ProgramStark brings more than 15 years of experience in the field of interactive marketing.

Below, Stark gives us an inside look as to how reviewers assess proposals and what they’re looking for in each application. She gives suggestions of things to keep in mind when writing and submitting a project, including specifics like what can turn reviewers on or off to ideas.

What advice would you give to applicants for this round of the News Challenge on mobile?

Kio Stark: Think about this as telling a story. You want the reviewers to be able to really imagine and understand what you’re doing. Clarity is your primary directive—and clarity isn’t easy. Try to use really concrete examples of how people will use what you’re making, how you know they need it and why you think it’s a great idea.

How can interested applicants make their submissions stand out?

K.S.: The first thing that always jumps out at me is when the applicants are passionate about what they’re doing, so try to make sure that comes through. Showing reviewers that you’re very clear about what you’re doing and how you’re going to do it is critical. Even if what you’re doing is an experiment! We want to see that you’re really serving a need you know exists.

What was it like to be an adviser for the most recent round of the News Challenge on data? What surprised you?

K.S.: I love seeing how creative people are thinking about things that can be done now that couldn’t be done before. I was surprised by how generous the review process was. Our goal was to find great projects and think about how we might be able to help them succeed.

Are there specific things that draw advisers to certain projects? Or shy away from them?

Knight Professor recognized for lifetime achievement in behavioral medicine

Aug. 30, 2012, 11:51 a.m., Posted by Elizabeth R. Miller

Dr. Neil Schneiderman, the University of Miami’s James L. Knight Professor of Psychology, Medicine, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, recently received a Lifetime Achievement Award.


Photo Credit: Dr. Youngmee Kim

The award recognizes Dr. Schneiderman’s significant and lifelong contributions to the field of behaviorial medicine.

Dr. Schneiderman has led major studies on how cognitive behavioral stress management affects patients with HIV/AIDS and cardiovascular diseases.

He has also done extensive research into the health of the Hispanic and Latino population, including serving as the principal investigator of the largest long-term study of Hispanic/Latino health in the United States. His full biography and groundbreaking research efforts are available online.

The International Society of Behavioral Medicine is the leading scientific society focused on the development and integration of sociocultural, psychosocial, behavioral and biomedical knowledge relevant to health and illness.

Dr. Schneiderman accepted the award earlier this week in Budapest, Hungary, where he also gave a keynote speech on the foundations of cardiovascular behavioral medicine during the 12th International Congress of Behavioral Medicine. The award was presented by the International Society of Behavioral Medicine.

Knight Foundation and partners named as powerful leaders in the arts

Aug. 29, 2012, 9:56 a.m., Posted by Valerie Nahmad Schimel



Barry’s Blog, a leading arts blog published as a “service of the Western States Arts Federation,” has honored several Knight Arts leaders in its fifth annual listing of the 50 most powerful and influential people in the nonprofit arts. Each year, national leaders anonymously submit nominations for influential and powerful leaders in arts administration and organizational leadership. This year four Knight Arts leaders were named to the list: Knight Foundation VP/Arts Dennis Scholl and Knight Arts national advisory council members Aaron Dworkin, Scott Provancher and Gary Steuer.

Click here to read the entire list and read below for excerpts highlighting Knight Arts leaders…

Dennis Scholl, Vice President/Arts at Knight Foundation

Collector, Philanthropist, Emmy winning documentarian, Harvard fellow, Scholl is responsible for some of the funding world’s best known and loved out-of-the-box projects including Random Acts of Culture.  He is comfortable with risk taking to a degree most are not and he understands the importance of moving towards new ways of addressing old problems.   His eight city core funding community gives him local clout and national perspective, and his close working ties with Rocco at the Endowment have increased his visibility beyond the arts.

Scott Provancher, President, Arts & Science Council
“Scott Provancher is a path maker and front-runner.  In 2009 when Scott arrived in Charlotte, arts giving patterns had already started to shift away from united appeals.  Then came the economic downturn… Undaunted, Scott focused energy on creating innovative giving systems that would lure back previous donors and attract new ones.  He has challenged the cultural sector to think differently about sustainability while also ensuring offerings remain accessible to the community.  Power2Give (an online giving platform already adopted by other cities and states) and a new 100+million recapitalization fund are just two examples – among many – of Provancher/ASC  ingenuity that are making Charlotte one of the growing arts and culture cities in America.  Scott thrives on finding the innovative, long-term solution, AND he is a wonderful combination of brilliant, hard-driving, and kind.”