Knight Foundation Reorganizes Journalism, Media Innovation Team

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation has announced a reorganization of its journalism and media innovation team, which works to accelerate the adoption of digital tools by newsrooms.

With Michael Maness stepping down as vice president for journalism and media innovation to become the first innovator-in-residence for Harvard Business School's new Digital Initiative, John S. Bracken will become vice president for media innovation, responsible for leading the foundation's efforts to accelerate its funding for media experimentation. Since 2010, Bracken, who has more than twelve years' experience as a philanthropic investor in digital media, media policy, and media innovation through his previous work at the Ford and MacArthur foundations, has overseen the Knight News Challenge and the Knight Prototype Fund, among other initiatives.

"John Bracken, with his unparalleled network of innovators, is ideally positioned to lead our growth in media innovation, focusing on new applications and ways to deliver news and information to communities," said Knight Foundation president Alberto Ibargüen. "By focusing strictly on ways to deliver information and engagement, we'll also be free to explore ways to inform and engage communities through our Arts and Community and National initiatives."

Shazna Nessa, a recent John S. Knight journalism fellow at Stanford University with fifteen years' experience in journalism, Internet technology, and interactive design, is joining the foundation as director of journalism. In her previous role as deputy managing editor at the Associated Press, Nessa oversaw editorial products and innovation and helped launch the website of the Conde Nast business magazine Portfolio. She also has taught at the graduate schools of journalism at Columbia University and the City University of New York. A vice president for journalism, a new position, will be appointed in the next few weeks to lead the team focused on the adoption of innovative digital tools and techniques in newspaper, television, radio, and Internet newsrooms.

In addition, the foundation announced that Chris Barr has been promoted to the position of director of media innovation and that Marie Gilot has been promoted to the position of program officer.

"Knight Foundation Reorganizes to Accelerate Media Innovation and Adoption of Digital Journalism Tools." John S. and James L. Knight Foundation Press Release 09/24/2014.