Knight Blog

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

Thousands vote online for original songs against impunity

March 24, 2011, 9:16 a.m., Posted by Andries Vaisman

The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) has selected 22 finalists from its public contest to create an anthem honoring journalists murdered in Latin America.' The contest is part of IAPA's Impunity Project, which aims to combat violence against journalists and lessen the impunity surrounding the majority of those crimes.

Named 'Lend your Voice to the Voiceless,' the competition set out to allow anyone to post videos, songs or lyrics for approval by a network of online peers and has received support from well-known artists like Emilio Estefan.' So far, the content has garnered the attention of over 57,000 votes from thousands of registered online voters.

One such artist to make it to the finals is Armando Elonga of Equatorial Guinea, who sings,

'I ask for justice for all the journalists killed in the line of duty all around the world.' He continues, 'I sing for the one who can no longer speak because a murdering bullet has silenced his voice.' I sing for the one who died for the truth' Until when will we watch this impunity?' Until when will we watch journalists die?'

Another is Richi Divasi from Guatemala, who chants,

'No more violence, no more impunity.'' He goes on to say, 'You are not in this fight alone, you will see that everything will be fine.' We have to fight for our freedom, you will see that together we can accomplish more.' I don't know who said no, who said we can't shout with faith'' A new world ' we want liberty.'

You can hear both their songs and more at

Other finalists range from Argentina, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Paraguay, the U.S., Uruguay and Venezuela ' all of which have suffered losses of journalists killed with impunity.

Over the past 8 years, Knight Foundation has awarded the IAPA Impunity Project with almost $7 million to address and prevent crimes against journalists. A full report highlighting the project's successes in placing governments under pressure to provide justice, as well as its difficulties in implementing lasting deterrents is available on our website.

For more information on how Knight funds quality journalism in order to promote informed and engaged communities visit

Philadelphia’s The Notebook gets national award for education blogs

March 23, 2011, 5:30 p.m., Posted by Michele McLellan

The Notebook, an online source for news about schools and education in Philadelphia, has won second prize in the community blogging category of the Education Writers Association National Education Reporting Awards.

The winning entry was a collection of 10 blog posts by regular Notebook contributors and guest contributors.

"We chose a variety of pieces that had a high level of reader engagement and page traffic," Web editor Erika Owens wrote. "One focus was posts about Corrective Reading and Math because reader comments prompted the coverage, readers contributed to the coverage through guest blogs, and after the dialogue on the Notebook site, a group testified" at school hearings.

"It's exciting to receive this acknowledgment of our work and the many contributors who make our blog possible," Owens said.

The Notebook site, a digital community version of an established print newspaper, has steadily increased its traffic and community engagement since it was established. The site, a Community Information Challenge Winner in the first round, also is funded by the William Penn Foundation.

Glass ceiling in journalism? New study finds gender inequality in newsrooms

March 23, 2011, 11:32 a.m., Posted by Andries Vaisman

A new report released today offers some sobering statistics about gender inequality in newsrooms.

The first of its kind, the Global Report on the Status of Women in the News Media found that only 27% of top management jobs are occupied by women in the 500 companies surveyed in 60 countries. That's despite the fact that they hold 41% of all news-gathering, editing and writing positions. The report was produced by the International Women's Media Foundation (IWMF).

In the U.S., women account for 41% of the overall news media workforce reflecting only slight under-representation on the total scale.  Yet their upward mobility appears limited. Women working in news media in America participate at a rate of 41.5% at the senior management level, just 23.3% at top-level management and 35.3% in governance.  Compensation is also at disequilibrium.  Information obtained about salaries suggests women are paid significantly less than men in low average and high average ranges throughout top-level management, senior professional and technical professional levels.  Benefits, too, imply disparity, with only 38.9% of full-time positions being filled by women.

Leaders in the field are gathering to discuss the most effective ways to address these issues at the International Women Media Leaders Conference, co-organized by the IWMF and'The George Washington University Global Media Institute.  The event is available on livestream from the Newseum in Washington D.C.

Knight Foundation sponsors the IWMF and the conference to strengthen journalistic excellence.  For more information visit