How did misinformation spread during the 2016 presidential election and has anything changed since? A new study of more than 10 million tweets from 700,000 Twitter accounts that linked to more than 600 misinformation and conspiracy news outlets answers this question.

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    We asked 20 Miami arts leaders who we should fund. Their picks reveal a diverse, vibrant cultural community.

    December 6, 2018 by Knight Foundation

    We asked 20 Miami arts leaders who we should fund. Their picks reveal a diverse, vibrant cultural community.

    When poet Tom Healy called the Florida Freedom Writers to tell them he was donating $10,000 to the youth creative writing and performance group, he had a little trouble tracking them down. He finally reached the Miami Norwood High classroom of the group’s director, Precious Symonette. But, the student who answered the phone thought it was a prank call.

  • Article

    How young people, the future guardians of our laws and rights, feel about free speech

    December 6, 2018 by Olivier Kamanda

    How young people, the future guardians of our laws and rights, feel about free speech

    Photo by wiredforlego on Flickr.

    Olivier Kamanda is director for learning and impact strategy at Knight Foundation. 


    High school may be a tumultuous time, but it’s also when many of us first start to define not only who we are but also our beliefs about our community and our country. Understanding high school student views on the First Amendment, and, in particular, the essential freedoms of free press and free expression, is then vital to anticipating how future generations may interpret and support these rights.

  • Article

    Seven ways high-school student views on free speech are changing

    December 5, 2018 by Knight Foundation

    Seven ways high-school student views on free speech are changing

    As concerns over free speech, declining trust in news and the impact of misinformation surge, a new report explores how high-school students’ attitudes about the First Amendment are evolving and what that means for the future of our democracy.

  • Article

    Making art general in Miami: Six ways the city’s arts sector changed in a decade

    December 3, 2018 by Knight Foundation

    Making art general in Miami: Six ways the city’s arts sector changed in a decade

    Arts and culture have been a centerpiece of Miami’s transformation for more than a decade. From the Art Basel art fair—a mecca for international curators and collectors—to several new world-class facilities, Miami has seen an explosion in artistic, creative and cultural activity since 2005.

  • Article

    Bringing art to life: Knight invests $37 million in Miami arts ecosystem

    December 3, 2018 by Adam Ganuza

    Bringing art to life: Knight invests $37 million in Miami arts ecosystem

    Miami is a city of stories and storytellers. It always has been: from the oral traditions of the Tequesta and the fanciful myths that attracted faraway explorers, to the tale of Julia Tuttle’s orange blossoms, and the complex social drama that played out in the film “Moonlight.”

  • Article

    Lack of trust is a barrier to civic engagement. Personal passions, family and friends can change that, Charlotte research shows

    November 30, 2018 by Diane Gavarkavich and Charles Thomas

    Lack of trust is a barrier to civic engagement. Personal passions, family and friends can change that, Charlotte research shows

    Photo by Katie Wheeler on Flickr.

    Charlotte boasts a demographically diverse population, well-educated residents and a thriving economy. Home to the largest population in the state, the Queen City also serves as the economic epicenter of the state. Nevertheless, our community is paradoxical in many ways, with social, economic and political barriers that hinder equitable growth, opportunity and prosperity for those who live here. 

    Despite the array of sports, hospitality, entertainment and industries that drive the local economy, Charlotte is home to high levels of residential and school segregation that perpetuate a system of uneven distribution of public resources, educational attainment and economic opportunities. Charlotte holds the dubious distinction of being 50 out of the 50 largest metropolitan areas in terms of intergenerational economic mobility.

    Our community has been in conversation for years about how these challenges affect us all. 

    A less-discussed topic within this conversation is how these challenges influence civic life. From October 2016 through June of 2017, a team from the UNC Charlotte’s Urban Institute and Johnson C. Smith University used a mixed-methods approach to explore how the local landscape influences civic engagement. 

    Our research built on user research conducted on a national scale by the Google Civic Innovation Team in 2014. In particular, we sought to further the understanding of a population called “Interested Bystanders,” or people who are paying attention to the issues around them, but not acting on those issues

  • Article

    Why influence matters in the spread of misinformation

    November 20, 2018 by Becca Lewis

    Why influence matters in the spread of misinformation

    Photo by Edward Musiak on Flickr.

    Becca Lewis is a Ph.D student in communications working at Data & Society. Below she writes about findings from a recent Knight report that explored how misinformation spread during the 2016 presidential election. 

    If you start paying attention to the issue of online disinformation, you will start to hear a lot about the role of “influence.” Most notably, media outlets have done widespread reporting on Russia’s so-called “influence campaigns,” meant to impact U.S. elections. But “influence” is an important online phenomenon more generally. If you use Instagram, for example, you almost certainly have encountered “brand influencers,” who build devoted audiences and then attempt to sell them products and services. Influence, then, is a crucial phenomenon online: it means having a powerful voice and using that voice to have an impact, whether political or commercial.

  • Article

    D.Cipher: Amplifying a Music Community in Detroit

    November 19, 2018 by Dominique Campbell

    D.Cipher: Amplifying a Music Community in Detroit

    With so much music history running through Detroit’s DNA, increasing investment in local musical groups and artists, and a renaissance of new music-based organizations, I often wonder why do musicians regularly leave Detroit? Why does it lack a sustainable music economy where infrastructure and industry unite to create an environment for musicians to thrive creatively and financially?

  • Article

    A Polarized Country Still Needs to Eat

    November 16, 2018 by Lilly Weinberg

    A Polarized Country Still Needs to Eat

    Photo courtesy of the Akron Community Foundation.

    Lilly Weinberg is director for community foundations at Knight Foundation. Below, she highlights a recent report detailing the impact of the Knight-supported On the Table initiative, which brings together community residents over mealtime conversations to discuss pressing community issues.  


    In a time of growing polarization, when trust in institutions of all kinds has hit all-time lows and social media conversations often descend into hateful rhetoric, it may seem difficult to find pathways for consensus and common ground. At the same time, the strength of our democracy and our local communities relies on connected action — the ability of residents to hear each other, make informed choices and shape decision-making.

    Through this lens, in 2017 Knight Foundation expanded an initiative of the Chicago Community Trust called On the Table. Founded on the basic premise that ‘we all need to eat,’ On the Table brings people from different backgrounds and income levels together to share a meal and discuss pressing community issues. In a few short years, with the help of community foundations across the country, it has united tens of thousands of city residents on a single day to talk about issues from affordable housing and climate change to racial equity and transportation.

  • Article

    Watch Akron grow

    November 16, 2018 by Kyle Kutuchief

    Watch Akron grow

    Akron is growing. That is a phrase we haven’t been able to say since the 1960’s when population peaked at 292,000.  Since then, the city has lost roughly one-third of its population. Yet Akron grew by 135 people in 2015, according to the most recent Census estimate. It’s not a lot – you could line them up, count them, pose for a group picture. But we believe it’s a key sign of what will come, a turning of the tide for a city that has struggled for decades to reverse the forces of decline.  

  • Article

    Digital Pathways for Digital Artists

    November 15, 2018 by Chris Barr

    Digital Pathways for Digital Artists
  • Article

    Bringing technology expertise to Congress, when they need it most

    November 2, 2018 by Travis Moore

    Bringing technology expertise to Congress, when they need it most

    Photo by Lorie Shaull on Flickr.

    Travis Moore is the founder and director of TechCongress, a nonpartisan initiative incubated at New America that places technology fellows in Congress to increase government knowledge of emerging technology issues and inform policymaking. Knight Foundation announced $1 million in support to TechCongress today, adding to its previous support of the initiative.


    In April of this year, when the Senate Commerce and Judiciary committees questioned Mark Zuckerberg, the world woke up to a reality I’d lived for six years as a Congressional staffer: Congress isn’t equipped to legislate in the digital age.

  • Article

    Building a movement for trusted nonprofit journalism

    November 1, 2018 by Karen Rundlet

    Building a movement for trusted nonprofit journalism

    Photo credit: Sabrina Sanchez.

    Karen Rundlet is director for journalism at Knight Foundation. Below she writes about NewsMatch, the annual national matching gifts campaign for nonprofit news organizations, which is accepting donations today through Dec. 31. 

    This is the third year for NewsMatch, the national matching-gift campaign that supports nonprofit organizations across the country. The campaign’s participants, all of them nonprofit newsrooms, produce rigorous journalism in service of the public. It is in all of our interests to support them, now more than ever. As misinformation runs rampant, and trust in media fall to all-time lows, these organizations are delivering the investigative, accountability and civic reporting that highlight pressing community issues and hold our leaders in check. While the tools of information creation and delivery have changed dramatically in the last decade, there are some constants: quality journalism remains a powerful tool for change and a free and independent press is vital to a healthy democracy.

  • Article

    Seven ways the Detroit arts scene has changed - and transformed the city

    October 31, 2018 by Knight Foundation

    Seven ways the Detroit arts scene has changed - and transformed the city

    Knight believes the arts have the power to inspire, challenge, bring wonder into our lives, and ultimately connect us to each other and the cities where we live. A thriving arts ecosystem requires talent and collaboration, as well as investment and community support. In charting the journey of arts in Detroit and supporting its growth, we hope to contribute to a stronger future for the city’s great art and artists.