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

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    Miami summit promotes social change with local action

    Oct. 3, 2014, 1 p.m., Posted by Jenna Buehler

    Above: A Social Good Summit Miami panel on “Design: A Tool for Change” brought local leaders in entrepreneurship together to rethink engagement and social entrepreneurship. Credit: Jayme Gershen

    Miami’s biggest challenge may be its obsession with examining its biggest challenges, according to city leaders.

    The second annual Social Good Summit Miami assembled influencers at the Miami Innovation Center to discuss ways of taking local action while thinking globally. The collision of voices across the city -- in philanthropy, sustainability, art, technology, education, city services and local government -- identified what assets need to be leveraged today to make Miami a world-class city tomorrow.

    Since 2010, innovators worldwide have live-streamed +SocialGood conversations as an extension of Mashable’shyperlocal campaign to solve the world’s challenges by 2030.

    Summit organizer Michelle Dow, owner and founder of Social Swag Co., said that the summit held in late September and co-sponsored by Knight Foundation, originally came to Miami as a result of civic and community engagement research that ranked Miami as the least-engaged city in the United States. Panelists across all sectors, however, suggested that the statistics of yesterday don’t apply to the city’s current synergy and that the elements for success already exist.

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    Beyond Carnegie-Knight: ‘Knowledge journalism’

    Oct. 3, 2014, 10:56 a.m., Posted by Nick Swyter

    Journalism can lead us astray, argues Harvard professor Tom Patterson in his book, “Informing the News.” He cites a University of Maryland study on what Americans knew about 11 issues, from health care reform to climate change. For some news consumers, “higher levels of exposure increased misinformation.” On eight of the 11 issues in the study, more than 40 percent of the consumers were misinformed. On six issues, regular news consumers knew only what everyone else knew. On health care, news consumers knew less than what others knew.

    Patterson makes a strong case that modern journalism often fails to communicate complexity. The book, an offshoot of the Carnegie-Knight Initiative for the Future of Journalism Education, examines journalism that fails to provide meaningful context, sometimes by giving equal weight to fact and opinion, other times by substituting infotainment for real news, still other times by allowing anecdote to trump trend.

    He’s neck-deep in the problems of modern journalism, with chapters titled “The Information Problem,” “The Source Problem,” “The Knowledge Problem,” “The Education Problem,” “The Audience Problem” and “The Democracy Problem.” The problems add up to stories throughout history that have been horribly wrong, from the start of the Spanish-American War (Spain probably didn’t sink the U.S.S. Maine) to escalating crime in the early ’90s (it didn’t happen), from the prevalence of voter fraud (it isn’t a problem) to those Iraqi weapons of mass destruction (they did not exist).

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    The tough questions in Akron, Ohio

    Oct. 3, 2014, 9 a.m., Posted by Josh McManus

    Photo by Flickr user Ken Lund

    My first two months as Akron program director for Knight Foundation have been dizzying. With countless meetings, public events, receptions and side conversations, I’m starting to get a sense of what lies ahead and behind.

    First and foremost, I should say that the generosity of strangers that’s been extended to me has been truly humbling. From neighborhood tours to contractor recommendations, this Midwestern city has trumped any sort of Southern hospitality that I knew as a child. I am grateful to all who have softened the transition with kindness.

    Over the course of the meetings, I began to discern a subtle rhythm. After winding through cordialities and initial matters of interest, most of my discussions have inevitably arrived at a small set of tough and meaningful questions. I’d summarize them as follows:

    ·      How does Knight Foundation perceive Akron?

    ·      How do you perceive Akron?

    ·      What are your thoughts on the portfolio of investments that Knight Foundation has made in Akron?

    ·      What are you focused on right now and moving forward?

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