Knight Blog

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

New resources help communities become more digitally inclusive

March 26, 2012, 4:23 p.m., Posted by Elizabeth R. Miller



Photo Credit: Flickr user wvs

A new set of resources will help communities become more digitally inclusive places to live. An estimated 100 million Americans lack a broadband connection at home, putting them at a disadvantage when it comes to schooling, job searching and more.

As access to broadband becomes increasingly important, communities are looking to develop technology plans that address the needs of all its residents.

recently released report is designed to help communities address these issues. It identifies specific areas where communities may want to focus their digital inclusion efforts, for example in economic and workforce development, education and digital literacy. It also provides strategies that organizations and individuals can use to help them implement these efforts.

Building Digital Communities: A Framework for Action” acknowledges that every community needs to take its own path to becoming digitally inclusive, depending on its own unique assets, needs and the structure of its institutions. As an accompaniment to the report, the Institute for Museum and Library Services also released a guide which explains possible pathways to digital inclusion.

The accompanying guide, is a toolkit intended to help galvanize community conversation and actions specifically around increasing broadband adoption. “Building Digital Communities: Getting Started,” offers key steps for communities on how they can get started with respect to initiating a community action plan, finding ways to carry out a plan, and how to evaluate it moving forward.

The report and guide are the culmination of 18 months of research done by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, together with the University of Washington and the International City/County Management Association. The organizations consulted with hundreds of community members and experts to identify the action steps and frameworks around how to build digital communities.

Judith Kleinberg, program director for San Jose/Silicon Valley at Knight Foundation, was a member of the national team that worked on the development of the report over many months, helping to anlayze and edit the drafts as it evolved into its final form. Kleinberg said she hopes the report will be an important tool for helping communities increase their levels of digital access:

New model of collaborative journalism school begins student recruitment

March 26, 2012, 9:30 a.m., Posted by Beverly Blake

Over the weekend, Mercer University hosted a student recruitment day, and included in the group of over 220 students were 44 high school juniors and seniors who were interested in coming to Mercer to be a part of the Center for Collaborative Journalism. I attended the luncheon for the students and their families, and Center Director Tim Regan-Porter (@timreganporter), Jon Hoban, VP for Radio at Georgia Public Broadcasting, Sherrie Marshall, Executive Editor of The Telegraph and I talked about our aspirations for the center.

journalismWhat impressed me was that these students were attracted to Mercer because of the unique mission of the center - the medical school model of journalism education and the opportunity to work aside seasoned journalists in a shared newsroom to transform this community through information exchange.

The center is a bold experiment, in reporting the news, in telling the stories of our community and in shared learning. Students will learn from seasoned journalists, and the journalists from the students about gathering information and reporting it in the digital age.

After being with these bright young people who want not only to learn how to be great journalists in the 21st Century, but how to make a difference in their communities, I believe more than ever that quality journalism, delivered on all platforms, continues to be the foundation of our democracy and critical to building strong communities. People require accurate, timely and actionable information to make informed decisions to build vibrant communities and a strong democracy.

An easy way to learn about the State of the News Media 2012

March 23, 2012, 7:50 a.m., Posted by Eric Newton

Two Knight partners are coming together in a webinar next week designed to get everyone on the same page with the State of the News Media 2012. It’s the latest Webinar from Poynter's NewsU, and features Tom Rosenstiel, who founded and directs the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism.


Tom Rosenstiel

The one-hour webinar, costing $10.95 and set for 2 p.m. EST Wednesday March 28, will cover journalism and the mobile market, changing audience habits and local TV news, newspaper pay models, Facebook’s impact on news, nonprofit news sites and more. You can sign up for State of the News Media 2012.

Knight investments co-founded and then helped expand NewsU as it has grown into the nation’s premiere online journalism training site, with more than 210,000 registered users.