Knight Blog

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

A new home for investigative journalism on YouTube

Aug. 2, 2012, 11:16 a.m., Posted by Elizabeth R. Miller

Today marks the launch of The I Files, a new news channel that aims to be the hub of investigative reporting. A partnership between the Center for Investigative Reporting and YouTube, working with the Investigative News Network and funded by Knight Foundation, the channel will select and showcase videos from other national and local media partners. David Gehring, news content partnerships manager at YouTube, writes about the launch. The following is crossposted from YouTube's blog.

Some of the biggest news stories of recent times have played out on YouTube—we’ve been transfixed by citizen-uploaded footage coming out of the Middle East, gained unique perspectives on natural disasters thanks to on-the-spot reporting and security cameras, and seen citizens document elections via video to ensure fair process. This growing volume of news-related video has contributed to the now 72 hours of content uploaded to YouTube every minute. 

In this age of abundant content and short attention spans, thoughtful analysis and rigorous reporting is more important than ever before. That’s why we’re so pleased that investigative reporting now has a new home on YouTube—The I Files. Curated by the Center for Investigative Reporting with funding from the Knight FoundationThe I Files will be a hub and community for investigative journalism on the web, showcasing reporting that digs deep into stories, gives background to complex issues, and reveals details that help us make better sense of our world.

Contributors to The I Files include such luminary media outlets as The New York TimesBBCABC News and Al Jazeera, and organizations like the Investigative News Network and their member non-profit news organizations like the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting, the Center for Public Integrity, and the Investigative Workshop at American University.


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.