Knight Foundation and Mozilla Partner to Spur Media Innovation

Technologists and Newsrooms will team up for new ways To inform and engage communities through the news

(Feb. 7, 2011) Knight Foundation and Mozilla are joining forces to help the media adapt to the evolving digital landscape, in a new partnership that will place technologists in newsrooms to devise ways to engage people in the news.

The Knight-Mozilla News Technology Partnership will kick off with an innovation challenge, reaching out to a mix of creative thinkers interested in solving journalism challenges.  Dozens of challenge winners will then participate in an online learning lab and in-person prototype-building event to brainstorm and build out ideas.

Then, 15 Mozilla-Knight News Technology Fellows will be embedded in newsrooms to help solve digital challenges. By providing world-class open source news solutions that any news organization can use for free, the Knight-Mozilla Fellows aim to demonstrate the value of open web technologies and spur their adoption across the news industry.

Mozilla will direct the program with $2.5 million in support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

“Digital technology evolves daily, changing how people access and interact with the news.  Technology has changed what we demand from news and is even affecting journalistic values,” said, Alberto Ibargüen, president and CEO of Knight Foundation. “Really successful technology companies are built to handle that. Most newsrooms aren’t. This program will help bridge the gap.”

“News and the web are intertwined. Both are critical to keeping our economies and our communities strong,” said Mozilla Executive Director Mark Surman. “We need the most creative innovators from both the news and web worlds working together to shape what the future of media looks like.” 

The pilot newsrooms, recruited by Knight Foundation and Mozilla, include the Boston Globe, the BBC, The Guardian and Zeit Online.

News organizations that would like to host fellows should contact Nathan James at Mozilla.

Still in its early stages, the partnership will announce more details and calls for participation later this spring. Sign up for the program’s list serve to get involved.  Read more now on Mozilla’s blog and KnightBlog.org.

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation advances journalism in the digital age and invests in the vitality of communities where the Knight brothers owned newspapers. Knight Foundation focuses on projects that promote informed and engaged communities and lead to transformational change. For more, visit www.knightfoundation.org.

Contact: Marc Fest, 305-908-2677; fest@knightfoundation.org

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.