Knight Blog

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

Macon's living laboratory of journalism

Sept. 27, 2012, 11:10 a.m., Posted by Beverly Blake

Well, it’s official! The ribbon cutting for the Center for Collaborative Journalism at Mercer University is tomorrow. We’re off and running with this bold experiment to train 21st century journalists in service to community. You may say, well, that’s what journalism has always done. But this is different.

The center has a shared newsroom - a living laboratory that houses The Telegraph, our daily McClatchy paper, Georgia Public Broadcasting and the journalism department at Mercer University. As far as we know, this is the only arrangement like it in the country. The curriculum will be based on the medical school model, placing students with veteran journalists so they might learn from one another. 

The students will learn real-world reporting. How difficult it is to file a Freedom of Information Act request and actually get the information! How fact-checking might be tedious, but is the foundation of great stories. And how the work that journalists do to bring timely, accurate and actionable information to a community is critical to residents making informed decisions. The journalists will learn from the students about digital tools and how to become “multimedia journalists.”

Engaging community to improve Macon's College Hill Corridor

Sept. 26, 2012, 4:22 p.m., Posted by Beverly Blake

Three years ago we asked what could we do to support the ideas, large and small, of people, organizations and even businesses to improve the College Hill Corridor? How do we make funds available to get things started in what was a lackluster neighborhood? And how do we do it in a way that will get people engaged and nurture new “everyday leaders”?  From this, the Knight Neighborhood Challenge was created.

Funded in 2009 with a $3 million, five-year Knight grant to the Community Foundation of Central Georgia, the Knight Neighborhood Challenge announced today its latest round of support for 12 projects from $450 to $85,000. 

The projects include: the idea of two teenagers to create a Corridor Teen Forum ($450),  the all-volunteer Friends of Tattnall Square Park’s idea to create a gathering garden and serpentine wall ($14,528), the very cool Macon Music Ambassadors project ($51,116) proposed by a new resident to College Hill, and the not too sexy but really important code enforcement technology for the City of Macon ($85,000).  Rebuilding Macon will continue its work in repairing owner-occupied housing of our seniors in Beall’s Hill ($25,000) and the Beall’s Hill Community Garden ($34,700) will construct a pavilion and rain collection system.

@michaelmaness on Knight's journalism and media innovation strategy

Sept. 25, 2012, 4:31 p.m., Posted by Mayur Patel & John S. Bracken

Above, Michael Maness outlines what the journalism and media innovation team is up to at Knight Foundation and how its evolving strategy is helping to promote informed and engaged communities. In early 2013, Maness also talked with Nieman Lab about Knight's priorities and how to ensure impact. The podcast is available online.

The presentation includes: 

  • a review of investment by focus area;
  • how the foundation is moving from solely funding projects to financing, facilitating and futurizing;
  • an overview of the journalism/media innovation grant amount ranges, including number of grants, the potential for risk or failure and impact areas; and
  • a look at how to build a systemic innovation network.

A version of this slide show was originally presented at the 2012 Online News Association conference in San Francisco prior to the announcement of the Knight News Challenge: Data winners.