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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  • 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.

  • Article

    Why 500 Startups is betting on Miami, and so should you

    October 24, 2018 by Ana Paula González

    Why 500 Startups is betting on Miami, and so should you

    Ana Paula González, who leads 500 Startups' Miami operation, writes about Miami's entrepreneurial evolution and why the best is yet to come. 

  • Article

    Embracing digital, some TV stations are filling gaps in local news

    October 22, 2018 by Katti Gray

    Embracing digital, some TV stations are filling gaps in local news

    “The State of Local News“ forum at the Paley Center. Photo by Karen Rundlet.

    Even as local newspapers steadily close, the audiences and profits for some local TV stations are growing. That’s in part because local stations are tailoring news packaging and delivery to the preferences of younger and other digital-first news consumers, said newsroom leaders at this week’s “The State of Local News“ forum in New York City.

  • Article

    As news deserts expand, new approaches to local news are taking root

    October 16, 2018 by Karen Rundlet

    As news deserts expand, new approaches to local news are taking root

    If news and information are part of the fabric of democracy, then the fabric of U.S. democracy is in tatters. That’s the conclusion that leaps off the map in the 2018 The Expanding News Deserts report, which shows that 171 U.S. counties do not have a local newspaper, and nearly half all counties – 1,449 – have only one newspaper, usually a weekly.

    The report by Penelope Muse Abernathy, Knight Chair in Journalism and Digital Media Economics at the University of North Carolina, shines the light on a silent phenomenon, the disappearance of 1,800 newspapers since 2004, and drop by half of the number of reporters covering local news. 

  • Article

    Why combatting fake news requires people and technology — working together

    October 11, 2018 by Sam Gill

    Why combatting fake news requires people and technology — working together

    A map reflecting Twitter activity surrounding fake and conspiracy news stories among the most followed accounts around the 2016 presidential election. Read "Disinformation, 'Fake News' and Influencer Campaigns on Twitter."

    Concerns about the spread of misinformation online have raced into crisis mode.

  • Article

    Why Knight Foundation is investing in a new field of study on informed society in a digital age

    October 1, 2018 by Sam Gill

    Why Knight Foundation is investing in a new field of study on informed society in a digital age

    Strong democracies depend on freedom of expression and access to accurate information about community and public affairs. This is as true today as when freedom of the press was enshrined by the framers of the U.S. Constitution in the first correction they made to the governing principles of our country — what we call the First Amendment.

  • Article

    What we need to know to improve diversity in newsrooms

    September 26, 2018 by LaSharah Bunting

    What we need to know to improve diversity in newsrooms

    News organizations have come to understand this important truth: a deep relationship with readers leads to improved trust, stronger journalism and sustainable business. Yet that authentic connection can be difficult to establish when newsroom leaders and staff don’t reflect the communities they serve.

    Diversity in newsrooms is among the biggest challenges facing the industry, yet the commitment to tackling this problem is often insufficient or nonexistent. News organizations can’t begin to offer viable solutions if they don’t fully understand, or acknowledge, the extent and scope of the problem. And, as journalists know, to thoroughly interpret any important issue, you must begin with the data.

    Last week the American Society of News Editors announced it was extending the deadline to Oct. 12 for its annual newsroom diversity survey because only 234 out of nearly 1,700 newspapers and digital media outlets responded to the request to submit data this year. In response, Knight Foundation joined Ford Foundation, Democracy Fund, Lenfest Institute and many other funders in releasing a joint statement calling on newsrooms to respond with urgency and submit their employment data. These foundations also announced they will now require annual completion of the ASNE survey for journalism grantees going forward. 

  • Article

    Four ways cities can make great urban trails: Lessons from the Beltline

    August 24, 2018 by Lilly Weinberg

    Four ways cities can make great urban trails: Lessons from the Beltline

    Photo by J.C. Burns on Flickr.

    Cities across the country – big and small – are investing in linear parks and urban trails. Communities are prioritizing these important and substantial investments for a variety of important reasons: they effectively connect public assets - like parks and libraries - with diverse neighborhoods; activate underused spaces (think New York City’s High Line crafted from a former rail line); and spur economic development in nearby areas.

    But designing, promoting and funding linear parks can be challenging, often spanning miles of multiple municipalities, costing hundreds of millions of dollars, with support from complicated funding models. 

    So, what happens when three unique cities get together to talk about their signature linear parks and trails? A whole lot of learning. Knight Foundation funded an information exchange between two Knight cities, Lexington, Ky. and Miami, and Atlanta to do just that . Last month, a team from The Friends of The Underline (a 10-mile linear path in Miami-Dade) and Townbranch Commons (a 3-mile linear trail and park in downtown Lexington) met in Atlanta to have a deep-dive exchange about their future projects with the city’s Beltline team. As many know, Atlanta’s Beltline is a multi-billion dollar, 22-mile light rail and bike/pedestrian trail that has transformed the communities it passes through. While most community members love their Beltline, not everyone is thrilled. We wanted to hear it all: the good, bad and indifferent. And while we came from very different communities with unique projects, we had four shared takeaways.

  • Article

    Placing people at the center of San Jose

    August 16, 2018 by Daniel Harris

    Placing people at the center of San Jose

    Photo by Danny Harris.

    As one travels across San Jose’s sprawling 180-square-mile landscape, it’s hard to believe this is America’s tenth most populous city. The low-rise suburban city hosts seemingly endless single-family homes, strip malls, freeways and suburban office parks, but too few vibrant and well-used public spaces that welcome and celebrate our one million residents. 

    In San Jose, Knight seeks to change that by creating one of the nation’s most engaged cities driven by a focus on public life — drawing people out of their cars and homes and into the community. In doing so, we aim to place people at the center of the city’s present and future. By helping to build a San Jose for people of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities, we aim to create a vibrant and welcoming city that makes being out and in public irresistible and celebrates the collision of diverse people and ideas. 

  • Article

    Should platforms be regulated? A new survey says yes.

    August 15, 2018 by Sam Gill

    Should platforms be regulated? A new survey says yes.

    In the two years since the 2016 election, the role major social media and technology companies like Facebook, Google and Twitter play in enabling (or corroding) an informed society has become an issue of increasing concern.

    It is well known at this stage that these platforms are a key destination for news. They regularly make decisions about who gets to provide information and who gets to see it. But as misinformation infects newsfeeds, and information echo chambers become the norm, should there be rules that govern their role as news editors?

    A new survey says yes — almost eight in 10 Americans agree that these companies should be subject to the same rules and regulations as newspapers and television networks that are responsible for the content they publish. The survey is part of a series of reports released by Knight Foundation and Gallup over the course of the year exploring American perceptions of trust, media and democracy.