Knight Blog

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

Looking at the Economist series on the future of media

Aug. 3, 2011, 4:05 p.m., Posted by Eric Newton

When the fellow pictured here on the right, dean Gary Kebbel, ema  em   iled me about the Economist series on the news industry, I asked him what he thought of it. This is our usual sequence of doing things. Gary, now dean of the University of Nebraska college of journalism and mass communications, was the journalism program director at Knight Foundation as we started the media innovation initiative (now a regular part of our work). I was VP of Journalism, and got in the habit of hearing him out. True to form, he replied with more than a tweet. So below is what a new American journalism dean says in reaction to this major series. My comments follow, and I’ll my own review of the series in a future post.

Writes Gary Kebbel: For its readers who are asking what's going on with online media, the Economist articles are useful. I think the main benefit of the package is to point out that we've been here before - before 1833, that is. Media did well before and after the rise of mass media. Journalism used to be more local. It used to seek citizen contributions. (I still remember reading one of the newspapers hung in the National Press Club that asks readers to come to the riverboat as it pulls in to their city and tell their stories to the reporter on board.)  

(Eric Newton, senior adviser to the president at the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, writes and speaks on journalism and media issues.)  


Link Media brings semantic search technology to its international news site

Aug. 3, 2011, 2:47 p.m., Posted by Emily Mirengoff


Link Media, which broadcasts documentaries, global news, world music, international cinema and more on its Link TV satellite channel in the U.S., is expanding its news video offerings with the launch of Link News.  Link has long been a provider of international news reporting. During the recent uprisings in Egypt, it provided extensive coverage thanks to feeds from Al Jazeera English and Mosaic, its Knight-sponsored, Peabody Award-winning daily news program on the Middle East and North Africa. But with the launch of Link News, the site’s powerful new search tools will bring an even greater variety of stories from all over the web, which will be available to users worldwide for free.

With support from Knight Foundation, Link Media developed semantic search technology for its news video platform. This technology, based on Link’s, analyzes the transcripts and descriptions of the videos and produces multiple topic keywords. These topics are then used to find related videos and articles from all over the web. The search also...

Arts criticism for the millennials

Aug. 3, 2011, 10:54 a.m., Posted by Knight Foundation

Cross posted from Art Works, the official blog of the National Endowment for the Arts

By Maura Judkis, Producer, Style, Washington Post

Maura Judkis.  Photo by Jay Wescott, Politico

In the last hour on Twitter, I’ve read that artist William Powhida’s New York show is a dud, and that Hugo Weaving’s performance as the Red Skull is a high point in Captain America. These weren’t opinions from published critics; rather, they were from regular Twitter users with an enthusiasm for art and pop culture. Readers of my generation, the Millennials, are more likely to want to see a movie or play because their friends like it than because a critic does. We’re more likely to discover art through our Facebook and Twitter feeds, and to take the suggestions of Netflix and Pandora than to discover new things on our own.

It might seem, then, that Millennials have no appetite for arts journalism, but that’s not the case: Younger readers want to read and share stories more than ever. They just want to have a say in what’s being read and shared. They want to be the critics. So where do arts journalists fit in?