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Feb. 28, 2019, 9:17 a.m.
Reporting & Production

“Local leads to trust”: The examples shared and pledges made at the Knight Media Forum

“The shorter the distance between our neighbors and our news, the stronger our community.”

On the heels of its $300 million commitment to local news, free speech, and media literacy — and its commission-generated report espousing transparency and diversity — the Knight Foundation hosted its regular gathering of funders, fundees, and other smart journalism folk. This year had a special focus on sustainability in local news and encouraging other local funders to step up beyond Knight’s home bases of Detroit, Chicago, Philadelphia, and elsewhere. (Disclosure: Knight has been a Nieman Lab funder in the past.)

Those funders, journalists, and yes librarians too gathered in Miami this week. Presentations largely centered on amplifying diverse local news efforts to rebuild trust in the media more broadly, with a danah boyd keynote; the staple AI + ethics panel with Julia Angwin, Craig Newmark, and others; a showcase of exemplary projects like City Bureau and Resolve Philadelphia; and the launch of the American Journalism Project, a venture philanthropy effort co-led by Chalkbeat founder Elizabeth Green and Texas Tribune founder John Thornton, with $42 million in its first fund. (Green’s one-month-old son also made a cameo appearance when Thornton shared a photo to explain her absence.)

One more thing to keep in mind: The welcoming of local foundations into the journalism-funding fold is great — unless your local area doesn’t have much of a philanthropic community to speak of.

Here’s Knight’s summary notes of those sessions, but folks on Twitter also shared lively (and lovely) quotes from the forum. Here’s our collection of the topline thoughts:

On the role local media can play:

Researcher danah boyd on disinformation, media manipulation, and why YouTube is vital for journalists to pay attention to:

On emerging and existing efforts to engage and equip communities to participate in journalism:

Why local journalists need to pay attention to AI/automated decision-making:

Good things to keep in mind (broadband access!):

Why “ethnic media” is not an additive and framing it as such is harmful:

On the dynamic between funders and grantees:

POSTED     Feb. 28, 2019, 9:17 a.m.
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