June 7, 2017 by Eva Pereira
Watch the 2017 Personal Democracy Forum live stream.
Over the past few months we’ve seen a surge in civic activism in communities across America. From the history-making women’s march to the march for science, ordinary people have begun to get more involved in attempting to shape the policies and decisions that affect their lives. This year, Knight Foundation is sponsoring the Personal Democracy Forum as it explores how we can strengthen our democratic institutions and civic life.
This annual conference will bring together civic leaders, technologists, journalists, and others to discuss society’s most pressing issues. Speakers such as New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, net neutrality expert Tim Wu, and other civic leaders will take to the stage this year. Broad topic areas being explored include civic technology, ideas and provocations, media Innovation, and grassroots and digital organizing.
April 27, 2017 by Eva Pereira
Last week over 150 people gathered at New York Public Library to participate in the NetGain conference, an initiative supported by five foundations (Ford, MacArthur, Knight, Open Society Foundations, and Mozilla) to explore the challenges and opportunities of the digital age. Foundation presidents as well as civic and industry leaders gathered to discuss the opportunities and risks associated with the expansion of Internet of Things (IoT) technology.
The panels addressed issues of privacy, security, and equity in IoT, topics that have been the focus of foundation grants made in support of the NetGain initiative. At the event, Knight announced $1.2 million in support of IoT planning grants to six cities: Akron, Ohio; Boston, Detroit, Miami, Philadelphia, and San Jose, California.
Several themes emerged throughout the day.
April 17, 2017 by Eva Pereira
Photo by the NASA Earth Observatory.
The Internet of Things (IoT) describes a connected world in which humans, machines and infrastructure are in constant communication with each other. As we move towards a reality in which vast amounts of data are being collected and transmitted about the world around us, how will this shape cities and public life? What are the implications for privacy and security? What are the possibilities and risks presented by this new technology?
On April 21, we will convene foundation presidents and civic and industry leaders to discuss the emerging field of IoT. Through a series of thought-provoking panel discussions, we will explore public interest issues surrounding the IoT, including topics such as: How should we be thinking about public education and consumer advocacy? And how are cities thinking of leveraging sensor-based technology to improve services?
April 5, 2017 by Eva Pereira
Thank you to everyone who participated in the open call for ideas to combat misinformation on the web and bolster trust in quality journalism. We received more than 800 applications from a range of organizations and individuals. Their projects seek to experiment and test news ways for improving the flow of accurate information.
Over the coming weeks, we’ll review applications with the help of outside judges, who were selected for their expertise in the fields of media and civic engagement. Our first step in the process is reviewing all of the applications to eliminate any that are off-topic. Once that’s done, we’ll move on to the first round of reviews. We’ve assembled a group of 24 judges who will read through applications and evaluate the quality of the idea and strength of the team. Then, we’ll narrow the pool of applications to about 50 semifinalists. We will notify everyone on April 19 whether or not they advance to the next round.
March 29, 2017 by Eva Pereira
Photo by IntemporalityDestructurer on Flickr.
Knight Foundation, Rita Allen Foundation and Democracy Fund are committing $1 million in support of ideas to combat misinformation on the web and restore trust in quality journalism. Applicants are asked to respond to the question, How might we improve the flow of accurate information? Winners will receive grants of up to $50,000.
The goal is to test a set of early-stage projects to see which ideas have the most traction. Knight will support the cohort through workshops, conferences and regular check-ins. The open call closes at 5 p.m. ET on April 3. Click here to apply.
As the applications roll in, here are some of the questions that have come up.
February 7, 2017 by Eva Pereira
Panel on the Role of Tech in the Campaign: Nancy Scola (left), Becky Bond - Bernie Sanders 2016 Campaign, Jess Morales Rocketto - Hillary Clinton 2016 Campaign, Molly Schweickert - Cambridge Analytica / Donald J. Trump 2016 Campaign, Mindy Finn - Vice presidential candidate with Evan McMullin. Photo by Rosemary D'Amour.
The 2016 presidential election, which saw a political outsider topple a Washington insider was marked by controversy—and a result that many didn’t expect. The outcome seemed predetermined for those who were following most of the polls leading up to Election Day. Why were most of the polls so wrong? And why did many newsrooms fail to detect support for Donald Trump in places that were believed to be leaning for Hillary Clinton?
Knight Foundation and Civic Hall recently gathered journalists, campaign managers and lawyers to discuss the election. Over 150 gathered at New York Public Library last month to reflect on the ways in which this election cycle was unique and to discuss lessons learned. Here are the main takeaways from that meeting.
January 12, 2017 by Eva Pereira
Photo courtesy of Civic Hall.
The 2016 presidential election was one of the most historic and divisive elections in recent memory. Controversy surrounding the spread of fake news, inaccurate polling and allegations of foreign interference made headlines. As a new administration arrives in Washington, many Americans are seeking to draw lessons and insights from the election.
Join Knight Foundation and Civic Hall in New York for nonpartisan discussions with leading journalists, campaign strategists, civic organizations and others on the 2016 election and what lies ahead. We’ll explore the way newsrooms cover elections, the increasing polarization of the American electorate and more. Several panels during the daylong event will reflect on the roles that journalism, social media platforms and civil society play in shaping elections and strengthening our democracy.
September 17, 2015 by Eva Pereira
Knight Foundation’s Media Innovation team recently visited the XOXO Festival in Portland, Ore., to promote the Knight News Challenge on Data. The festival, now in its fourth year, provides a stage to showcase the work of technologists, artists and other makers.
Attendees mixed and mingled over the four-day festival, shuffling between music acts, film previews, podcasts, video game demos, and more. Conference sessions of the festival featured speakers such as Alex Blumberg of Gimlet who discussed the challenges of fundraising and startup life. Writer and founder of MakerBase Anil Dash, spoke about the need to celebrate the work of the true makers on the internet. Feminist media critic and founder of the Feminist Frequency video series, Anita Sarkeesian, discussed the women as reward trope in gaming culture.
Knight Foundation sponsored the festival to support the innovative and multidisciplinary work of the maker community. Knight’s Media Innovation team hosted an event at Enso City Winery in Portland answer questions about the Knight News Challenge on Data, which is open for submissions through Sept. 30. More than 80 people came to discuss their ideas and the challenge’s focus on making data work for individuals and communities. Winners will share in $3 million. Click here to apply now.
Some of the common questions discussed included:
November 3, 2015 by Eva Pereira
Above: Photo credit Flickr user PistoCasero.
Today we’re announcing the 20 winners of the latest round of funding from the Knight Prototype Fund. Through this initiative, Knight Foundation’s Media Innovation team supports early-stage media and information projects with $35,000 in support, design training and peer networking opportunities. The winning teams recently joined Knight in Miami for a two-day human-centered design workshop with the LUMA Institute, where they learned strategies for developing solutions with end users in mind. Each team will have six months to take their ideas from concept to demo.
The winning teams are working on a wide range of civic technology and media projects. A number of projects focus on collecting and sharing information to improve our cities. Projects such as the Street Quality Identification Device (SQUID) will use sensors to collect data about road conditions in New York to help city planners deploy resources more effectively. Another project, Citygram, spearheaded by the Code for Charlotte brigade of Code for America, is developing a platform for local governments to send civic events and information to citizens.
Many projects in this cohort reflect an ongoing commitment to the development of media tools. A team from Vocativ is working on the Data Proofer project, a desktop app designed for journalists to quickly assess the quality of their data before they begin reporting, analyzing or visualizing it. Another project, Hudson, is developing an app that suggests content to read, watch, and listen to based on consumption patterns and user preferences.
February 23, 2016 by Eva Pereira
Kavya Sukumar of Vox is developing user stories for the Chitram project. (Photo by Eva Pereira)
This post has been updated to reflect the correct name of the “This American Life” project, Audioshare. An earlier post referred to it as Clipper.
Eleven early-stage media and information projects will receive support through the Knight Prototype Fund. They join a cohort of 20, which includes nine prototypes that we announced earlier this year as part of the winners of the Knight News Challenge on Data.
In November 2015, we received over 500 applications for the Prototype Fund, while also reviewing applications for the Knight News Challenge on Data. With the input of outside reviewers and after interviews with applicants from across the U.S., we selected 20 prototypes total, with ideas focused on topics such as podcasts, civic data, digital literacy and privacy tools. Each project will receive $35,000.
We recently invited the team leaders for each project to Pittsburgh last month to participate in a two-day human-centered design workshop at the LUMA Institute where they learned methods for designing tools and products with the input of beneficiaries and end users in mind. After six months, the teams will come together to share what they have learned and built. We look forward to sharing their projects with you.
Many of them are off to a strong start. A team from the Missouri School of Journalism is leading the Access Missouri project, which aims to improve transparency and good governance through a database of information about state legislation, lawmakers and influencers.
Another project, Audioshare, led by the “This American Life” team at NPR, is developing a podcast sharing and sound editing tool that will allow listeners to snip short selections of audio, convert them into video with word-for-word transcription, and share them on social media. These teams join a growing network of prototype winners.
Since the launch of the Knight Prototype Fund in 2012, Knight Foundation has provided more than $9 million in seed funding for media and information projects. Several prototypes have gone on to receive more substantial funding from Knight: