KNC09: What is the impact of the Knight News Challenge?

Three years into the grant process, Knight is starting to evaluate impact of the first 2 years of funding, says Alberto Ibarguen at the MIT conference I’m at right now. Knight sees itself as a facilitator of both growth and change; and it’s clear they have seeded so many enterprises–the Digital Media centers at various universities, lots of community and news funded projects.

Alberto bering asked by Henry Jenkins about user skift and city papers, classifieds’ demise and the general expense of quality news at the local level as change factors for the industyr imploding. “Time and money,” Alberto says, “But a much small base to pay for all of it.”

Henrk Jenkins quizzing Eric Klineman around the demise of news (figting for Air)–he says the “devertatin of local media has been happening for some riime.” (Susan sez: this makes me think of the corporate consolidation of radio more than at community weeklies). He says that the digital outlets he studied for his book were all dependent on newspaper reporting, ergo, now that newspapers are dying, what happens to the production of news across media?

Eric K says he debates “enthuiasts of citizen media” who argue new reporters will replace the current priesthood, but he says that we’re going to lose information we had in the past. (Susan says” Off the top of my head, I TOTALLY disagree; there’s a vibrancy to online journalism that needs more support, and many people to train, but I don’t see who only corporate journalists are being deemed capable of quality work thst is wrong thought.)

Alberto says the foundation’s conclusion was thay the were “neither smart enough or big enough to save the newspaper business, but it was time to spend money on experiments for the future.” He adds “It also is what led us to the issue of universal access and the urgency we fele in giving every american broadband access.” (Susan sez: Amen!)

Alberto says: Knght wants to fund the news that people need to have t function in a democracy–on a digital platform. 

Henry Jenkins ties this to local moves; Eric K says dimishing interest in local is not about lack of sense of place, but investment/identity in web based communities taking away from our local sense of place.

ALberto: We don’t just looks for ideas that work for the News Challenge, we want ideas that help build a local community.

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  1. Elly Double says:

    I agree that there is a vibrancy to online journalism – just see the bang-up job that Narrative Magazine is doing (www.narrativemagazine.com).

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