Knight Blog

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

7 questions on the new Knight News Challenge application

Feb. 23, 2012, 1:44 p.m., Posted by Jose C. Zamora

Note: To apply for the News Challenge, and read our FAQ, visit

On Monday, we will open the Knight News Challenge on networks. Just as we have revamped the contest, we have come up with a more streamlined application form.

As John explained in our first post and in this video, the challenge is evolving to be offered three times this year, an attempt to be more nimble and move at the pace of technology development.

Along with this new focus, we have simplified the application form. Based on conversations with previous News Challenge applicants and outside reviewers, we devised the following seven questions.

  1. What do you propose to do? [20 words]
  2. Is anyone doing something like this now and how is your project different? [30 words]
  3. Describe the network with which you intend to build or work. [50 words]
  4. Why will it work? [100 words]
  5. Who is working on it? [100 words]
  6. What part of the project have you already built? [100 words]
  7. How would you sustain the project after the funding expires? [50 words]

Two art leaders join Knight’s national arts advisory committee

Feb. 23, 2012, 9:01 a.m., Posted by Elizabeth R. Miller


Today, Knight Foundation welcomes two new art leaders from Miami and San Jose to its national arts advisory committee.

Silvia Karman Cubiñá, executive director and chief curator of the Bass Museum of Art in Miami Beach, and Anjee Helstrup-Alvarez, executive director of MACLA/Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana, in San Jose join the committee, which is made up of recognized artists and art advocates.

The committee guides Knight on the best ways to promote artistic excellence that engages, inspires and brings communities together.

Dennis Scholl, Knight Foundation’s vice president/arts said:

“Both Silvia and Anjee are extraordinary arts advocates committed both to culture and their communities. They each bring extensive knowledge of the arts, and have the experience and dedication to help identify the most engaging ways to bring art to communities.”

Lessons and insights learned in building community partnerships

Feb. 22, 2012, 4:51 p.m., Posted by Elizabeth R. Miller


Joaquin Alvarado, senior vice president, digital innovation, American Public Media

The 70 Knight Community Information Challenge projects funded so far have led to collaborations with nearly 450 organizations - from libraries, to tech groups, universities, legacy and new media and more.

Partnerships are so prevalent, that community and place-based foundations often ask for tools and tips in making them effective. So Knight and the consulting firm FSG talked with the leaders of successful projects, gathered their insights into a new report - and organized a panel discussion at the Media Learning Seminar offering lessons learned.

With less resources available for community news and information projects, collaboration and partnerships are more valuable and necessary than ever before, said Joaquin Alvarado, senior vice president, digital innovation, American Public Media.

But what creates some of the most successful partnerships? Alvarado says it’s about getting people from different communities active and engaged, earning their loyalty and providing long-term commitment to the partnership. It’s also about using technology to really engage with residents and making sure they feel their voices are heard in the communities.