Knight Blog

The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation innovations you can use and build upon to inform and engage communities

April 4, 2012, 8:42 a.m., Posted by Elizabeth R. Miller

Eric Newton, senior adviser to the President at Knight Foundation, launched this morning at the American Society of News Editors meeting in Washington D.C. on a panel called "What Should Newsrooms Be Doing Now?" 

appscollageNewton said daily newspapers needed to experiment with digital journalism tools three times faster and ten times more frequently than they are now doing and suggested a good place to start was with already available open source software. 

More notes from the panel are available at is the place to learn more about Knight News Challenge projects and the other Knight grants that have created and released open-source software.

Akron program to increase retention and graduation of black males shows early sign of success

April 3, 2012, 3:29 p.m., Posted by Jennifer Thomas


The Rising to the Occasion program in Akron is well under way and showing signs of early success.

Supported by Knight since 2010, the program seeks to increase the retention and graduation of African American males from the University of Akron.

roebuckwrightTroy Roebuck and Travell Wright (pictured), two of the first year students in the African American Male Learning Community this year, have just been admitted into University of Akron’s Honors College.  

Additionally, Travell has also been named Outstanding Student of the Year in English by Summit College.

The University of Akron is exceptionally proud of these two young men as well as the entire Rising to the Occasion Program. 

The Rising to the Occasion Program is part of Knight Foundation's Black Male Engagement Initiative, which seeks to engage black men and boys in strengthening their commuinities.

By Jennifer Thomas, program director/Akron at Knight Foundation

Making civic health data useful to help improve communities

April 3, 2012, 12:46 p.m., Posted by David Smith

David B. Smith, executive director of the National Conference on Citizenship, writes about the launch of its Civic Data Challenge today in San Francisco, which is supported by Knight Foundation. 


Today, the National Conference on Citizenship is excited to launch the Civic Data Challenge. The challenge turns the raw data of “civic health" into beautiful, useful applications and visualizations, enabling communities to be better understood and made to thrive.

We believes that data is essential to understanding how our communities work and uncovering ways to motivate greater participation. Together with our partners, we have collected and used civic health data for years. This year, we’re thrilled to join forces with Knight Foundation to explore how community engagement and attachment help build thriving communities.

We are also thrilled to have an opportunity to make this trove of community insight even more valuable and accessible to decision makers and the public. The Civic Data Challenge will bring new eyes, new minds, new findings, and new skill sets to the field of civic health.

How: Challenge participants will be provided civic health data, as well as data on health, safety, education, and the economy.  Participants will analyze the data, identify connections and correlations, and create visual representations and interactive products to showcase their findings. These may include infographics, apps, animations, videos, or other innovations.