For the past three decades, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation has generously supported a number of important initiatives at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard and has been a vital partner in advancing Nieman’s mission to educate journalists and promote the standards of journalism worldwide.
Knight-funded projects include Nieman Fellowships for dozens of accomplished journalists from Latin America; Nieman Journalism Lab, the foundation’s online publication on the future of news and digital innovation; Nieman Reports, the print and online magazine that covers thought leadership in journalism; and Nieman’s narrative journalism program, including narrative journalism conferences and Nieman’s guide for nonfiction writers “Telling True Stories.” In 2008, Knight Foundation provided support for work to promote independent journalism, a grant that helped endow the I.F. Stone Medal for Journalistic Independence, which Nieman administers.
In 2015, Knight Foundation provided a new grant to help support the Knight Visiting Nieman Fellowships at Harvard. The program brings journalists, technologists, academics and other news innovators to Harvard to develop projects to advance quality journalism during short study and research periods.
More than a decade ago, Knight Foundation also contributed to a much-needed building expansion at Walter Lippmann House, Nieman’s headquarters in Cambridge, to accommodate new journalism conferences, seminars and other events. The wing was named the Knight Center in 2004 in recognition of Knight Foundation’s significant investment in journalism education.
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. The foundation believes that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. To learn more, visit knightfoundation.org.
Supporting Journalism Innovation
Knight Foundation has provided support to expand the work of Nieman Lab, including the launch of Encylo, an encyclopedia of the future of news. Knight funding has also supported a Lab staff writer and will help expand the Lab’s reporting on journalism on mobile devices.
Knight Foundation also supports Nieman Fellows outside the foundation. Five members of the Nieman class of 2013 received funding through the Knight Prototype Fund to develop two innovative media projects. The first, Keepr, is an open source data-mining tool designed by 2013 Visiting Fellow Hong Qu to help journalists find credible information and news sources when tracking breaking news stories on Twitter. The second is !nstant, a mobile app designed by members of the Class of 2013 to verify and provide context to breaking news to provide a more accurate picture of news stories as they are reported on social media. Hasit Shah, a 2014 Nieman-Berkman Fellow, received a grant from Knight Foundation to develop his smartphone app Ketla, which aims to provide Indians with news in a comic book format.
The Knight Latin American Nieman Fellowships
Since 1991, Knight Foundation has supported Nieman Fellowships for some of Latin America’s most prominent and innovative journalists. After their time at Nieman, they have gone on to do important work as newsroom leaders, acclaimed authors, digital strategists and journalism entrepreneurs. Increasingly in recent years, the Knight Nieman Fellows have found new ways to foster journalism innovation. Their work has been instrumental in the fortification of a free press in Latin America, a cornerstone of democracy for the region.
Knight Latin American Nieman Fellows collaborate with Harvard centers and Cambridge-based organizations to build a network of scholars, experts and sources that can advance their reporting and projects at home. Harvard offers a multitude of resources, including the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies. Fellows also work with the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas at the University of Texas in Austin, run by 1988 Nieman Fellow Rosental Alves.
After studying at Harvard, the Knight Latin American Nieman Fellows have improved journalism throughout Latin America in significant ways. They continue to promote high journalistic standards and collaborate with others to address challenges to the free flow of information in their communities, creating, for example, ALiados, a news association for independent journalism in Latin America, and participating in events such as the 2012 Freedom of Press in Latin America conference, co-hosted by the Nieman Foundation.
Two Latin American Nieman Fellows in the class of 2012 – Claudia Méndez Arriaza from Guatemala, and Carlos Eduardo Huertas from Colombia – received additional support to discover new ways to inform and engage their communities and foster democracy and a free press.
Visiting Fellows at Harvard
The Visiting Fellowship program at Nieman was established in 2012 to invite individuals with promising research proposals to advance journalism to take advantage of the many resources at Harvard and the Nieman Foundation. Those who apply include publishers, programmers, designers, media analysts, academics, journalists and others interested in enhancing quality, building new business models or designing programs to improve journalism. In 2015, Knight Foundation provided a grant to support the projects and advance journalism innovation. The fellowships are now known as the Knight Visiting Nieman Fellowships.