Knight Blog

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

Helping build citizen journalism in Winnipeg

Aug. 1, 2012, 12:50 p.m., Posted by Michele McLellan

The Community News Commons, a citizen reporting news site in Winnipeg, is now live online with a formal launch planned for the fall.

Noah Erenberg, its community news commons convenor, said 80 people have registered to become contributors. Many have posted stories, some on a regular basis, Erenberg said.

The Commons is a project of The Winnipeg Foundation, a 2011 Knight Community Information Challenge winner, and the first Canadian project to win the competition. Partners are the Free Press Cafe, Millennium Library and Red River College.

So far, community response is encouraging.  “As we are building interest and momentum around the citizen journalism project, we are also very encouraged by the opportunities for collaboration with other communities partners such as our local libraries and the local college journalism program,” said LuAnn Lovlin, director of communications at the foundation. “When we put those organizations into the mix, along with Canada’s first news café, we believe it will make for a more informed and engaged community, which The Winnipeg Foundation believes, ultimately, will be a more caring and giving community.”

The Commons provides training on these topics:

Ohio nonprofit news site partners with ProPublica

July 31, 2012, 9:13 a.m., Posted by Michele McLellan


Above: Inside the ProPublica newsroom. Photo credit Flickr user propublica.

The News Outlet, a two-time winner of Knight's Community Information Challenge based at Youngstown State University, has attracted an important partnership with ProPublica, a leading national investigative reporting organization.

Stephen Engelberg, managing editor of ProPublica, will help lead an Advanced Reporting course at Youngstown State University in the fall, working with students to report and produce investigative stories.

Engelberg said ProPublica is interested in sharing its expertise, and that the university’s open-access mission and heavy emphasis on investigative reporting make it a strong fit for the project, according to a press release about the partnership.

"With regional publications under financial strain, the question of how to train the next generation of investigative journalists is now a critical one. We are delighted to participate in this approach, which shows real promise,'' he said.

Engelberg will join Youngstown State University Journalism Professors Tim Francisco and Alyssa Lenhoff in leading the class. Francisco and Lenhoff are co-directors of The News Outlet, which won the Knight Community Information Challenge in 2010 and 2011 with support from the Raymond John Wean Foundation and the Youngstown Foundation.

The News Outlet was launched at Youngstown State University and has grown to become a joint venture among several other universities and professional media organizations in Ohio. The News Outlet’s student journalists produce enterprise and investigative stories that are shared on different platforms with news organizations, including local newspapers and public radio stations.

Nonprofit news site honored for excellence

July 30, 2012, 11:53 a.m., Posted by Michele McLellan


The Lens, a two-time winner of the Knight Community Information Challenge, won big at this year's local Excellence in Journalism Awards. 

The site, supported by the Greater New Orleans Foundationreceived three first-place awards, including Best Local News Website., the site of the local Times-Picayune newspaper, came in second. 

The Lens also received first place for Best Investigative Story in Print as well as third place in this category and first for Best News Affiliated Blog in the annual contest, sponsored by the Press Club of New Orleans.

The awards came at the start of a busy week for the news media scene in New Orleans, which learned recently that its daily newspaper would publish only three days a week, starting in the fall.

The week ended with the announcement of formation of a new nonprofit news organization,, a collaboration of NPR, the University of New Orleans.