New Knight International Fellowships will advance media innovation worldwide

WASHINGTON—From digitally mapping Amazon deforestation to launching a news innovation challenge in Africa, innovative work by the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) will be supported by a new $3.15 million grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

The support for ICFJ’s Knight International Journalism Fellowships seeks to spur a global culture of news innovation. The fellows will partner with newsrooms, startups and other organizations to help them adopt or invent technology that engages and informs the public. They will work in key areas such as mobile services, data mining, storytelling and social media.

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“Through the years, ICFJ has been one of our largest grantees for a reason: When we support the center, we know that it will have a real impact informing and engaging communities across the world,” said Alberto Ibargüen, president of Knight Foundation. “We see that impact in the investigative reporting teams founded in the Middle East during the Arab Spring, in the crowd-sourced maps of corruption in Latin America, and in other ICFJ projects that match digital tools with the power of local journalism.”

In fact, fellows can take credit for improvements to 72 policies and laws in response to hard-hitting stories by their trainees, a 2011 independent evaluation found.

Knight Fellows also will share their lessons from the field in a new blog on the International Journalists’ Network (IJNet) website, www.ijnet.org. IJNet helps journalists thrive in a fast-changing media world. It spotlights the latest global trends, media innovations, digital tools and training opportunities. IJNet publishes in seven languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, Persian, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

“This exciting grant will help us deepen news coverage, expand news delivery and engage citizens in the news process,” said ICFJ President Joyce Barnathan. “This will be a global game-changer.”

The new program builds on the Knight International Journalism Fellowships’ strong record of achieving impact. Since 2010, the program has attracted more than $7 million in additional funding. This includes support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for fellowships that help African journalists tell compelling stories on health and economic development issues.

For more information about the Knight International Journalism Fellowships, please visit www.knight.icfj.org. For more information about IJNet, please visit www.ijnet.org.

The International Center for Journalists advances quality journalism worldwide. Our hands-on programs combine the best professional practices with new technologies. We believe that responsible journalism empowers citizens and holds governments accountable. For more information, go to www.icfj.org.

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. More at www.knightfoundation.org.

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Contacts:

Andrew Sherry, vice president/communications at Knight Foundation, media@knightfoundation.org, 305-908-2677

Sonja Matanovic, director of communications at International Center for Journalists, smatanovic@icfj.org, 202-349-7624

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.