Knight Foundation Funds New Media Center

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By: E&P Staff

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation is launching the Knight New Media Center to help journalists adapt in the digital age.

The center will be jointly operated by the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California and the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley. The foundation granted $650,000 to fund the center in the first year.

At Berkeley, the center will offer customized “boot camps” to last one week in multimedia reporting for traditional print and broadcast journalists. AT USC, it will offer seminars for new media journalists to learn how to better cover specialized topics.

A national advisory board of senior digital journalists and scholars will help guide the center. The board includes Neil Chase, deputy editor for news,; Bill Gannon, Yahoo News editorial director; Ruth Gersh, director of online services, AP Digital; Chris Jennewein, vice president, internet operations, San Diego Union-Tribune; Mary Lou Fulton, vice president/audience development, Bakersfield Californian; Jennifer Sizemore, managing editor,; Mitch Gelman, senior vice president and executive producer,; Bruce Koon, executive news editor, Knight-Ridder Digital; Adam Clayton Powell III, director, USC Integrated Media Systems Center; Dan Gillmor, director, Center for Citizen Media, UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, and Paul Saffo, director, Institute for the Future.

Eric Newton, director of journalism initiatives for the Knight Foundation, said in a statement that the grant marked the acceleration of the foundation’s funding in new media.

The center is the successor to the Western Knight Center for Specialized Journalism, which provided workshops on specialized topics for hundreds of working journalists each year.

Vikki Porter, the former editor and reporter who directed the Western Knight Center for the last six years, will serve as the center’s director. She is based at USC Annenberg. Journalist and former Western Knight Center associate director Lanita Pace-Hinton will direct multimedia training for the Center. She will be based at UC Berkeley.

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