Knight Innovator in Residence program to launch at Florida International University's School of Journalism and Mass Communication

Press Release

January 30, 2014


New program seeks applications to bring active media innovators to Miami

MIAMI – (Jan. 30, 2014) – The School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Florida International University (FIU) invites applications for a new Knight Innovator in Residence position. The school is looking for media innovators who want to shape the future of digital media and journalism education and add to the growing innovation ecosystem in Miami. The initiative is funded by a $1.25 million endowment previously awarded to Florida International University from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

The Knight Innovator in Residence will work with students and faculty to develop groundbreaking media projects, as well as new courses and teaching techniques in digital media. FIU will fill the rotating position every 12 months. Active professionals in media technology are invited to apply. The program hopes to attract new talent to the School of Journalism and Mass Communication as it introduces students to the latest digital media tools while fostering creativity and problem-solving. Additionally, it will bring prominent thought leaders to Miami help build the city’s growing culture of entrepreneurship. 

"The innovator fits with the ideas and values we are implementing here at FIU, including our commitment to teaching students the cutting-edge skills they'll need to succeed in this rapidly changing media environment,” said Raul Reis, dean of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

"These kinds of positions are too rare in journalism education,” said Eric Newton, Knight Foundation senior adviser to the president. “Yet they can be doorways to lasting change.”

“The initiative will help strengthen FIU’s journalism program but also act as a vehicle to bring important thinkers to Miami,” said Matt Haggman Knight Foundation program director in Miami. “These thought leaders will have the opportunity to explore the many ideas burgeoning in the city and help further fuel this momentum.”

The position may include teaching, training faculty, presenting workshops and working with students, among other activities. Candidates do not have to be based in Miami, but should expect to visit the school as needed; the position will be based at FIU’s Biscayne Bay campus.  

In addition to the endowment, Knight Foundation has awarded the School of Journalism and Mass Communication $150,000 over three years to support the program.  FIU will also raise funds for the innovator to help expand and extend the program.

For more information, please visit or email Meira Langsam at [email protected]

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.

About the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Florida International University

At the vanguard of pioneering programs, the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Florida International University is led by a talented group of global educators and professionals. The SJMC has a rich history of award-winning students, faculty and alumni with prestigious accolades and a strong commitment to top quality research and innovative thinking. With over 2,000 current students and more than 7,000 alumni, the school offers 60+ graduate and undergraduate courses in advertising, broadcasting, digital media, journalism, mass communication, public relations and visual communication. The SJMC has been accredited by the ACEJMC since 1991.

FIU embodies the diversity, momentum, Latin American connections and forward-thinking, entrepreneurial spirit of the greater Miami region. As envisioned by FIU President Mark B. Rosenberg, “geography is destiny.” For more than four decades, FIU has leveraged its unique location to serve as a solutions center committed to collaborative problem-solving in South Florida and beyond. It is “the new American university,” serving a student body of nearly 50,000 and an alumni base of 200,000 graduates.

CONTACT: Anusha Alikhan, Director of Communications, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, 305-908-2677, [email protected]