Knight Foundation Awards $1.3 Million for Mobile, Digital News Project

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation has announced a $1.3 million grant to the School of Media and Communication at Temple University to support the digital transition in newsrooms across the country.

The Knight-Temple Table Stakes Project will bring together the Dallas Morning News, the Miami Herald, and the Philadelphia Media Network, which owns the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Philadelphia Daily News, and Philly.com, to act as a test ground for new mobile and digital practices. Teams of experts from Temple, the American Press Institute, and the news industry will help newsrooms identify the technology, workflows, roles, and skills required to transition to digital and mobile processes, with lessons learned and best practices to be shared with others in the the field. The project is expected to yield a comprehensive report and a set of online tools and templates designed to help legacy newsrooms accelerate the adoption of digital strategies and practices.

"The goal of the project is to position these newsrooms as learning platforms for an industry that is grappling with the cultural, technical, and economic challenges brought about by a rapidly changing digital environment," said Jennifer Preston, Knight Foundation vice president for journalism. "By bringing newsroom leaders together to tackle these issues, we hope the lessons learned will inspire more newsrooms to adopt mobile and digital-first best practices."

"This project squarely addresses the problems that have thwarted so many other efforts at innovation, which are usually cultural rather than strategic," said API executive director Tom Rosenstiel. "The project not only involves a broad approach and a deep commitment by several pilot newspapers over a sustained period of time. The research on best practices and new ideas that American Press Institute is coordinating will look well beyond the usual suspects and is a natural extension of our recent work on news audiences, data and analytics, mobile and social trends, and cultural change."