Press Publish 7: Michael Maness on Knight Foundation’s priorities and how to ensure impact

The head of Knight’s journalism initiatives talks about who it funds and how it tries to give its projects life beyond a grant’s expiration date.

By Joshua Benton

It’s Episode 7 of Press Publish, the Nieman Lab podcast! My guest this week is Michael Maness, who leads the Journalism and Media Innovation program at the Knight Foundation.

If you pay much attention to the journalism innovation world — or if you’ve been reading this site for long — you know that Knight is the biggest of big dogs in the space. They give more than $30 million a year to a mixture of startups, news organizations, coding projects, and other ventures they believe will help support the information needs of communities. Name a prominent nonprofit news outlet or journalism school — or, increasingly, a news-related open source project — and there’s a pretty good shot Knight has either funded it or been asked to fund it. (That includes — disclosure! — this website, which has received Knight funding.) You could get a pretty good idea of the journalism-innovation zeitgeist just by looking at who Knight is funding at any given moment.

Michael and I talked about how Knight decides on its journalism priorities, how those have shifted in recent years, and how they’re trying to ensure the projects they fund have impact beyond the length of a grant. If you’re interested in how journalism’s biggest foundation funder is thinking about the challenges in 2013, you should definitely give it a listen.

Read more at niemanlab.com

 

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit www.knightfoundation.org.