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#Tip: Ideas for digital journalism trainers

January 28th, 2014 | No Comments | Posted by in Top tips for journalists, Training
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Earlier this month the Knight Foundation’s blog published a post by Cathy Collins which outlines four different ideas for digital journalism trainers to consider, which may inspire subjects and angles to tackle with students. This includes ideas covering the power of social media and the issue of press freedom.

The ideas were taken from the Knight Foundation’s “digital teaching tool, ‘Searchlights and Sunglasses‘”.

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Data journalism competition open to entries

May 31st, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in Data

The Knight News Challenge has entered its second phase and is now accepting applications concerned with the ‘collecting, processing and visualising of data’.

The competition aims to promote innovation by funding new ideas in news and information. Winners receive a share of $5 million in funding and support from Knight’s network of influential peers and advisors to help advance their ideas.

They write on their blog:

The world has always been complex, but we are now challenged with making sense of the rapidly increasing amounts of information that we are creating. According to IBM, nine-tenths of the world’s data has been created in the last two years. Cisco predicts that information generated by mobile devices will hit 130 exabytes in 2016 –  that’s the equivalent of 520,000 Libraries of Congress in one year. A report from McKinsey anticipates that the amount of data we generate will increase 40% annually. Facebook users alone add a billion pieces of content every 24 hours.

Knight News Challenge: Data is a call for making sense of this onslaught of information. “As data sits teetering between opportunity and crisis, we need people who can shift the scales and transform data into real assets,” wrote Roger Ehrenberg earlier this year.

Or, as danah boyd has put it, “Data is cheap, but making sense of it is not.”

The Knight News Challenge is accepting applications from any person or organisation, anywhere, of any age. For more information visit their blog.

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Knight Foundation senior advisor receives Markoff award for investigative reporting fund

Senior advisor to the president of the Knight Foundation Eric Newton has received the Markoff Award for the Foundation’s support of investigative reporting.

The Knight Foundation has invested more than $100 million (£63.2m) in reporting technologies and techniques since 2007.

The award was presented on Saturday 14 April by Lowell Bergman, the former 60 Minutes investigative reporter who founded the University of California at Berkeley’s Investigative Reporting Programme, Newton says on the Knight blog as he announces his win:

Knight Foundation has invested some $20 million in investigative reporting projects. They range from establishing an endowed chair, supporting  professional and training organizations, establishment of university-based investigative reporting projects, funding for specific investigations and direct support for independent nonprofit investigative  reporting newsrooms.

Knight’s most recent investigative reporting grant was announced last week – $800,000 to the Center for Investigative Reporting to work with the Investigative News Network to launch an investigative reporting channel on YouTube.

The Markoff Award is named after New York Times journalist John Markoff.

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Knight News Challenge opens for applications

February 28th, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in Awards

The Knight News Challenge – which provides funding for digital journalism innovations – has now opened the first of three new competition rounds.

Last year two British data projects – ScaperWiki and the Open Knowledge Foundation – were among 16 winners to receive funding.

The competition, which is open to “anyone – businesses, nonprofits, individuals” has been redesigned, split into three shorter, more focused rounds instead of one bigger annual award, as announced by the Knight Foundation at the World Editors Forum in Vienna last year.

The theme for the first round is “networks”. Entries will be accepted until 17 March and winners will be announced in June.

Writing on the Knight News Challenge site, John S Bracken says:

The most common question I’ve been asked since we announced the challenge is exactly what we mean by “networks”. We’re trying not to define the term too narrowly, but I thought a look at David Sarnoff, the creator of the broadcast network in the US, might provide some insights into our motivations.

In the 1950 film Mid-Century: Half Way to Where?, Sarnoff foresaw the coming “pocket-sized radio instruments [that] will enable individuals to communicate with anyone anywhere”. According to Cisco, the number of those “pocket-sized instruments” will equal the number of people on the planet by the end of the year … Today’s communications networks are different from the broadcast tower and its one-to-many reach. The internet, and the mini-computers in our pockets, enable us to connect with one another, friends and strangers, in new ways. Witness the roles of networks in the formation, coverage and discussion of recent events such as the rise of the Tea Partyflash mobs, the Arab spring, last summer’s UK riots and the Occupy movement.

We’re looking for ideas that build on the rise of these existing network events and tools – that deliver news and information and extend our understanding of the phenomenon.

A second round, to be held in the spring, will be an open competition, looking for new ideas broadly. The theme for the third round has yet to be determined.

The Knight News Challenge is run by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and awards funding to innovative ideas for techniques and technologies which engage communities with news and information. Since 2007, Knight has invested more than $100 million (£63 million) in new technologies and techniques.

You can apply for the challenge here.

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E&P: Knight Foundation to help fund paywalls for non-profit news sites

September 23rd, 2010 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Business, Editors' pick

Paywall technology venture Journalism Online will see its Press+ system introduced to non-profit news sites in the US as part of a deal with the Knight Foundation.

The first 10 sites that receive grants from the Foundation will not have to share revenue from the system with Journalism Online for the first year. Hyperlocal professional news site the New Haven Independent is the first to sign up.

Full story on E&P at this link…

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LA Times: Spot.Us expands to Los Angeles

Spot.us, the crowd-funded journalism venture that launched 10 months ago in San Francisco with funding from the Knight Foundation, has expanded to Southern California as its second market, the LA Times reported yesterday.

Full story at this link…

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New Voices journalism grant winners for 2009 announced

April 28th, 2009 | No Comments | Posted by in Events

Eight hyperlocal, community media projects from across the United States have been chosen as New Voices grant winners for 2009.

New Voices, which is funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, helps to finance the launch of local news projects. It also provides technical support to create new ways for people to take part in public life.

The judging panel made its decision from more than 300 applicants, which all have a specific geographic community focus.

The winners include GrossePointeToday.com, Oakland Local and Backyard News.

A full list of the winners can be see at this link.

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University of Kentucky launches free citizen journalism classes

February 2nd, 2009 | No Comments | Posted by in Citizen journalism, Training

The university’s Kentucky Citizen Media Project (KCMP) launched its website Lexington Commons on January 23 and will begin its free citizen journalism classes from February 14, according to a news release.

The four workshops, which are open to members of the local Lexington community, will teach the basics of journalism (e.g. how to find a news story and how to write it), as well as exploring ethical and legal issues.

With a focus on multimedia, the classes will teach participants how to upload blog posts and stories, video, audio and images to the Commons site.

The project is funded as part of the Knight Foundation’s New Voices scheme.

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Online Journalism Review finds new home at Knight Center

September 18th, 2008 | No Comments | Posted by in Online Journalism

The Online Journalism Review, run by the University of Annenburg’s journalism school, has been resurrected by the Knight Foundation’s Digital Media Center, Geneva Overholser, the university’s new director of the school of journalism, announced yesterday.

The site closed in its previous incarnation in June after 10 years of reporting on the ‘transition from other media to online reporting and production’ for mid-career journalists.

Major OJR contributor and media academic Robert Niles will continue to write for the new-look site, which will focus on the following:

  • Reporting and writing in a conversational environment
  • Investigative reporting in the internet era
  • Entrepreneurial journalism
  • ‘Guerilla-marketing’ the news

New articles will be added to the site twice-weekly on Mondays and Fridays.

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Innovations in Journalism – Everyblock

March 14th, 2008 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Journalism, Multimedia, Online Journalism

We give developers the opportunity to tell us journalists why we should sit up and pay attention to the sites and devices they are working on. Today it’s aggregated news laid out across interactive city maps with Everyblock.

image of everyblock website

1) Who are you and what’s it all about?
I’m Adrian Holovaty. EveryBlock is an experiment in aggregating news at the block level in selected cities. Our site, which currently covers Chicago, New York City and San Francisco, allows you to view recent news for any address in the city.

We offer three broad types of news:

  • Public records, such as crimes, restaurant inspections, building permits, zoning changes
  • Links to news reports, such as newspaper articles and blog entries
  • Fun from the web, such as nearby Flickr photos or Craigslist ‘missed connection’ postings

The idea is that we collect all of this information from across the web (and directly from city governments themselves) and slice it geographically, so you can stay updated with what’s happening near you.

2) Why would this be useful to a journalist?
EveryBlock is useful to journalists in two ways.

First, it’s an experiment in a new form of news dissemination – that is, news filtered at the block level – and journalists can look to us for inspiration in new forms of publishing information. We’re funded by a grant from the Knight Foundation, whose goal it is to promote innovation in the journalism industry, and we’re a test-bed for this idea.

Second, we unearth a lot of government data that journalists might be interested in researching further. We only launched a few weeks ago, and already a few journalists have used our site to find trends and break stories on their own. This happens particularly because we make it so easy to browse government databases. Here are two examples:

http://chicagoist.com/2008/03/05/trader_vics_is.php
http://cbs5.com/investigates/SF.hotel.safety.2.671667.html

3) Is this it, or is there more to come?
There is much, much more to come. As I mentioned above, we’ve only been around since late January. We plan to add more cities, more data and more features.

4) Why are you doing this?
This is an experiment. We’re doing it because it’s interesting, because it’s fun and because it’s an exciting new idea.

5) What does it cost to use it?
The service is entirely free. Unlike some newspaper sites, you don’t even have to submit an evil registration form!

6) How will you make it pay?
We have the luxury of not having to worry about that for a while. We’re funded by a grant for two years, and we’ve only been working on this project for about seven months at this point.

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