Posts tagged with ‘Knight Foundation’

5 Key Data Points about Nonprofit News
The Knight Foundation recently released a report about the state of nonprofit news and its progress toward sustainability. Pew summarizes five key data points from the study:

50%: The percentage of nonprofit revenue coming from foundation grants in 2012. That still amounts to the biggest source of funding for the majority of the nonprofits in the report. But it also reflects an important move toward diversifying revenue streams. As recently as 2010, foundation money accounted for 65% of the revenue for these 18 nonprofits. At the same time, the Knight report shows that these nonprofits, on average, are generating a higher percentage of revenue from individual donations and other sources, such as events and sponsorships.
8,000: The approximate number of individual donors that, in 2012, supported the 18 nonprofits studied by Knight. That’s roughly double the number of donors counted in 2010. While many of these donors are contributing large sums, several of the organizations benefit from the support of many small donors. At MinnPost, for example, 30% of all individual donations were in amounts less than $1,000, and they serve as a measure of community engagement.
54%: The combined increase in the budgets of the 18 nonprofits studied between 2010 and 2012. While some of the increase is attributable to large one-time events, such as theacquisition of Bay Citizen by the Center for Investigative Reporting, the growth signals expanded organizational capacity. But what are they spending their money on? The Knight report finds that investment in editorial operations accounts for much of these budgets, while investment in technology or business development accounts for considerably less. That dovetails with the recent Pew Research report in which nearly two-thirds (62%) of the 93 nonprofit organizations surveyed identified “finding time to focus on the business side” as a major challenge.
2 minutes: The approximate average time spent per visit on the nonprofit news websites. For more than half of the outlets studied, it is less than the average time spent two years earlier. While audience engagement measures like these are cause for concern, there is also widespread debate within the nonprofit news community about the best ways to measure audience engagement, and an acknowledgement that the standard metrics are inadequate. Those broader questions about assessing impact may well be the next big nut to crack for nonprofit journalism.
181: The number of events staged in 2012 by the 18 profiled nonprofit news outlets. These gatherings—which range from large events like Voice of San Diego’s Politifest to smaller meetups—represent a potentially significant source of income and an opportunity for brand-building for nonprofits. All told, these drew some 20,000 people. And so far in 2013, the Texas Tribune is on track to generate more than $1 million on events and conferences.

Bonus: Check out news-biz.org, which is a goldmine of reporting and research on nonprofit news practices as maintained by Texas Tribune Fellow Jake Batsell, who is exploring and documenting innovative business models/best practices in the nonprofit news world.
Image: Cover of the report’s slide-deck. The whole thing is pretty cutely illustrated.

5 Key Data Points about Nonprofit News

The Knight Foundation recently released a report about the state of nonprofit news and its progress toward sustainability. Pew summarizes five key data points from the study:

50%: The percentage of nonprofit revenue coming from foundation grants in 2012. That still amounts to the biggest source of funding for the majority of the nonprofits in the report. But it also reflects an important move toward diversifying revenue streams. As recently as 2010, foundation money accounted for 65% of the revenue for these 18 nonprofits. At the same time, the Knight report shows that these nonprofits, on average, are generating a higher percentage of revenue from individual donations and other sources, such as events and sponsorships.

8,000: The approximate number of individual donors that, in 2012, supported the 18 nonprofits studied by Knight. That’s roughly double the number of donors counted in 2010. While many of these donors are contributing large sums, several of the organizations benefit from the support of many small donors. At MinnPost, for example, 30% of all individual donations were in amounts less than $1,000, and they serve as a measure of community engagement.

54%: The combined increase in the budgets of the 18 nonprofits studied between 2010 and 2012. While some of the increase is attributable to large one-time events, such as theacquisition of Bay Citizen by the Center for Investigative Reporting, the growth signals expanded organizational capacity. But what are they spending their money on? The Knight report finds that investment in editorial operations accounts for much of these budgets, while investment in technology or business development accounts for considerably less. That dovetails with the recent Pew Research report in which nearly two-thirds (62%) of the 93 nonprofit organizations surveyed identified “finding time to focus on the business side” as a major challenge.

2 minutes: The approximate average time spent per visit on the nonprofit news websites. For more than half of the outlets studied, it is less than the average time spent two years earlier. While audience engagement measures like these are cause for concern, there is also widespread debate within the nonprofit news community about the best ways to measure audience engagement, and an acknowledgement that the standard metrics are inadequate. Those broader questions about assessing impact may well be the next big nut to crack for nonprofit journalism.

181: The number of events staged in 2012 by the 18 profiled nonprofit news outlets. These gatherings—which range from large events like Voice of San Diego’s Politifest to smaller meetups—represent a potentially significant source of income and an opportunity for brand-building for nonprofits. All told, these drew some 20,000 people. And so far in 2013, the Texas Tribune is on track to generate more than $1 million on events and conferences.

Bonus: Check out news-biz.org, which is a goldmine of reporting and research on nonprofit news practices as maintained by Texas Tribune Fellow Jake Batsell, who is exploring and documenting innovative business models/best practices in the nonprofit news world.

Image: Cover of the report’s slide-deck. The whole thing is pretty cutely illustrated.

And so it was the other day when the provost at Indiana University announced she was going to “improve” the university’s award-winning School of Journalism by running it out of Ernie Pyle Hall and mashing it into the College of Arts and Sciences where the scholars in charge will have their way with it. The provost said the journalism education reform we’ve been writing about was part of the reason for change. Yet from all appearances, she knows nothing of our work.

Eric Newton, Knight Foundation. Do Universities Hear the Critics of Journalism Education?

Newton’s piece is an effort to clarify the Knight Foundation’s work on the future of journalism education, which encourages universities to expand their programs, not shrink them, as Indiana University is doing.

The bottom line:

Is journalism education getting the message?  We’ve been talking about  four transformational trends.” Great journalism schools 1. connect with the rest of the university; 2. innovate with digital tools and techniques; 3. master more open,collaborative approaches,  and become not just community information providers, but “teaching hospitals” that inform and engage their communities.

Is that message getting through? The first reaction was: We’re doing it! But then schools showed us journalism with no engagement, which is pretty much like hospitals with doctors and medicine but no patients. When we explained, the second reaction was: We can’t do all this! If we teach gizmos, we can’t teach journalism. Wrong again. To teach journalism in the digital age you have to teach both journalism and the digital age — and use modern tools to do it. That’s why the schools that are serious about this are getting bigger, not smaller.

Accompanying the piece is a graphic depicting three layers of journalism education. Schools must do well at the bottom layer in order to climb to the next. 

For more, see the report on the Carnegie-Knight Initiative of the Future of Journalism Education.

Chris Sopher, Media Innovation Project Manager at the Knight Foundation, discusses the current Open Gov challenge. Two days left to get your application in.

I caught up with Chris at SXSW. The Knight Foundation booth was right next door to ours. -- Peter

Congratulations to the Winners of the Knight News Challenge!

A Knight Foundation contest that looked for the best cases of giving big data to the general public has announced its six winners.

Three projects present new data. OpenElections, Census.IRE.org, and Pop Up Archive plan to provide comprehensive, highly-searchable data for public research and enjoyment.

The other three — Safecast, LocalData, and Development Seed — have created new toolsets for people to contribute to big data, be it by measuring radition in Los Angeles or by using a smart phone to share data with Google Earth, Fusion Tables, and elsewhere.

The Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR) to launch investigative news channel on YouTube, with Knight support →

The Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR) announced today it will launch a new investigative news channel on YouTube that will be a hub of investigative journalism, with $800,000 in support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

CIR, the non-profit investigative reporting organization that has produced numerous award-winning investigations, will curate the YouTube channel, which is expected to launch in July 2012. Journalists will be trained in audience engagement and other best practices for online video. The Investigative News Network (INN) will also be responsible for working with its member organizations to leverage the channel to reach new audiences and increase the amount of earned revenue to subsidize their public interest journalism.

For this year’s first Knight News Challenge, we intend to harness the momentum from people thinking about and building networks. In the course of our work, we often come across proposals to “build a Facebook that connects X and Y.” We want to move away from that. There are a lot of vibrant networks and platforms, on- and off-line, that can be used to connect us with the news and information we need to make decisions about our lives. This challenge will not fund new networks. Rather, we’re asking you to describe ways you might use existing platforms to drive innovation in media and journalism.

John Bracken, Knight Foundation. Announcing the Knight News Challenge: Networks.

The News Challenge will be open for applications starting February 27 and close March 17. Info at the link above.

Eric Newton, Knight Foundation’s Senior Adviser to the President, speaks about the important digital tools that will shape the future of journalism.


To improve print, we must think digital. We need to use the new tools, all of us, even and especially the reporters on the front lines, to better report the news in the world’s newspapers.
Digital tools make print reporters a hundred times more readable and relevant than they were in the last century. The editors at this conference are trying to do powerful things – you really need to use the most powerful tools you can.
We hear a lot about the digital delivery of news. Digital delivery is great: it allows multimedia, saves money, gives you infinite space and instant timing.
But I think digital journalism — the digitization of the news process between the community and the newsroom — is just as important as digitization from the newsroom to the delivery of the news to the community.
Digital journalism engages your newsroom and community to improve the content of journalism.



To continue reading, please visit knightfoundation.org

Eric Newton, Knight Foundation’s Senior Adviser to the President, speaks about the important digital tools that will shape the future of journalism.

To improve print, we must think digital. We need to use the new tools, all of us, even and especially the reporters on the front lines, to better report the news in the world’s newspapers.

Digital tools make print reporters a hundred times more readable and relevant than they were in the last century. The editors at this conference are trying to do powerful things – you really need to use the most powerful tools you can.

We hear a lot about the digital delivery of news. Digital delivery is great: it allows multimedia, saves money, gives you infinite space and instant timing.

But I think digital journalism — the digitization of the news process between the community and the newsroom — is just as important as digitization from the newsroom to the delivery of the news to the community.

Digital journalism engages your newsroom and community to improve the content of journalism.

To continue reading, please visit knightfoundation.org

First Amendment Tweets →

Via the Knight Foundation:

Today, students ages 14 to 22 who tweet creatively about the First Amendment – and use the hashtag #FreeToTweetare eligible for a $5,000 scholarship.

The tweet-a-thon is a celebration of the 220th birthday of the Bill of Rights. 

Learn more at FreeToTweet.org.

Social Media Increases Students' First Amendment Appreciation →

A recent Knight Foundation study demonstrates that the more teenagers use social media, the greater their appreciation is for the US First Amendment.

The findings are rather dramatic. Back in the early social media days of 2006, 45% of teenagers surveyed said that the First Amendment “goes too far” in protecting citizens rights. Today, that number’s down to 24%.

According to a press release accompanying the study, “There is a clear, positive relationship between social media use and appreciation of the First Amendment. Fully 91 percent of students who use social networking daily to get news and information agree that “people should be allowed to express unpopular opinions.”

For the educators out there, Knight Foundation will release a teachers’ guide for social media and the First Amendment on December 15 at the Newseum in Washington DC. 

Study (PDF). 

The scoop is another scion of the competitive news mindset. There are two kinds of scoops:

1. The exclusive.
Uncovering a unique story through enterprise; something that probably would otherwise have gone unreported. These scoops are great for everyone. Exclusives broaden the universe of topics covered in the news, and so can enrich public discourse.

2. Being first.
Disseminating news of an issue or event before any other news outlet. The classic case is the frenzy among major news orgs to be the “first to call” a presidential election. But it can also mean being the first to report on a polluted site, or a lawsuit, or any definable newsworthy issue. This distinction, I’d argue, has not only ceased to be meaningful—most of the time it’s an outright red herring that damages the quality of news and ill-serves audiences.


Knight Foundation expands into investment with an Enterprise Fund
By Justin Ellis
In some ways, the Enterprise Fund seems like a spin-off of the News Challenge, but aimed specifically at supporting for-profit companies that are compatible with Knight’s mission. The Enterprise Fund, which was officially approved in December, will be investing $25,000 to $500,000 in individual companies — roughly the same scale as what most News Challenge winners received. And the News Challenge allowed for-profit companies to apply for grants. But the Enterprise Fund comes with the potential benefit of a return on investment — which, if all goes well, could have the cyclical effect of boosting more Knight projects.
for the rest of the article, see Nieman Journalism Lab

Knight Foundation expands into investment with an Enterprise Fund

By 

In some ways, the Enterprise Fund seems like a spin-off of the News Challenge, but aimed specifically at supporting for-profit companies that are compatible with Knight’s mission. The Enterprise Fund, which was officially approved in December, will be investing $25,000 to $500,000 in individual companies — roughly the same scale as what most News Challenge winners received. And the News Challenge allowed for-profit companies to apply for grants. But the Enterprise Fund comes with the potential benefit of a return on investment — which, if all goes well, could have the cyclical effect of boosting more Knight projects.

for the rest of the article, see Nieman Journalism Lab

Today, in Citizen Journalism

The Tiziano Project provides people in conflict and post-conflict zones “the equipment, training, and affiliations necessary to report their stories and improve their lives.”

Recent projects have included multimedia documentary reporting from Kurdistan, Somalia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya and Rwanda

The organization just received a $200 thousand grant from the Knight Foundation to continue pursuing their work.

Via Fast Company:

Without computers, news outlets have been forced to rely on readers to comb through data dumps (such as the Palin emails), or dedicate a substantial number of man-hours from their staffs (what the New York Times had to do for WikiLeaks).

Now, new data software (and millions in grants from Google and the Knight Foundation) aim to make all journalists data journalists.

Via Fast Company:

Without computers, news outlets have been forced to rely on readers to comb through data dumps (such as the Palin emails), or dedicate a substantial number of man-hours from their staffs (what the New York Times had to do for WikiLeaks).

Now, new data software (and millions in grants from Google and the Knight Foundation) aim to make all journalists data journalists.

Meet the 2011 Knight News Challenge Winners. Combined they will receive $4.7 million to develop their innovations.

Via Knight:

The ideas come from leading Internet entrepreneurs including Tim Hwang and Jesse James Garrett, and top legacy newsrooms like the Associated Press and Chicago Tribune, and originate in North Carolina, Chile and the U.K.  Together, they employ a range of techniques for delivering news and information in the digital age. They include experiments to:

  • Help newsrooms organize and visualize large data sets so that they can find relationships and stories they might not have imagined (with projects from the AP and the Chicago Tribune.)

  • Create a mobile platform that will enable residents of a city in India to learn when water is available (an unpredictable event that has residents waiting hours).

  • Build tools that help to verify and display breaking news – with projects from Ushahidi and premier Web design firm Adaptive Path.

  • Leverage efforts to improve the use of government data in the U.S. - with projects from the Open Knowledge Foundation, ScraperWiki, the University of North Carolina and The Miller Center Foundation at the University of Virginia.

Congratulations to all.