"Thus we seek to bestir the people into an awareness of their own condition, provide inspiration for their thoughts and rouse them to pursue their true interests." — John S. Knight, April 1969
Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged.
Journalism & Media Innovation
@michaelmaness on Knight's journalism and media innovation strategy
Knight Foundation aims to help sustain democracy by leading journalism to its best possible future in the 21st century. We focus on funding Media Innovation, Journalistic Excellence, Freedom of Expression.
Media Innovation: Since 2007, Knight has invested more than $150 million in new technologies and techniques, including hundreds of community news and information experiments. Its media innovation portfolio seeks to improve public media, discover new platforms for investigative reporting, increase digital and media literacy, promote universal broadband access and support a free and open Web.
Journalistic Excellence: As the nation’s leading journalism funder, Knight funding has supported training for more than 100,000 journalists worldwide, and has helped to transform journalism education with the college-level Carnegie-Knight Initiative, major fellowship programs at Stanford, Michigan and Harvard and 22 Knight Chairs with endowments of more than $50 million.
Freedom of Expression: The foundation helps safeguard the rights of journalists worldwide and supports public information campaigns about the value of freedom of information and open government.
To help sustain healthy communities in a democracy, Knight aims to increase the ability of individuals to engage in change. Knight fosters initiatives that develop in people a strong sense of belonging and caring, timely access to relevant information, the ability to understand that information, and the motivation, opportunity and skills to take sustainable action on a range of issues throughout their lives.
Knight Foundation fosters innovative approaches to increasing engagement skills in the community development field. The foundation funds programs that use technology to foster engagement. It supports individuals as agents for engagement, with a focus on youth leadership, social entrepreneurs and local institutions. Knight supports naturalization campaigns to increase the number of citizens who are highly motivated to engage with their communities.
Part of Knight’s activities focuses on 26 communities where the Knight brothers owned newspapers, with donor-advised programs in 18 and program director-led programs in the eight “resident Knight communities” (Akron, Ohio; Charlotte, N.C.; Detroit, Mich.; Macon, Ga.; Miami, Fla.; Philadelphia, Pa.; San Jose, Calif. and St. Paul, Minn.).
Knight experiments with innovative approaches to community engagement such as engaging community foundations nationwide in addressing community information needs, using community-wide social games to bring residents together, and partnering with local and national agencies to get more black males engaged in their communities.
Fostering the Arts
@DennisScholl strategy for Knight Arts
Through its arts program, the foundation seeks to weave the arts into the fabric of the above-mentioned eight Knight communities to engage and inspire the people living in them. The foundation believes that the arts are a catalyst for public dialogue, and that shared cultural experiences contribute to a sense of place and communal identity.
The foundation seeks innovative ways to reach, engage and increase audiences for the arts, including through the use of technology.
Over a three-year period, the foundation is funding 1,000 “Random Acts of Culture” to bring artists out of the performance halls and into people’s everyday lives.
As a way to solicit fresh and innovative ideas, Knight Foundation launched community-wide contests in Miami and Philadelphia to seek out and fund the best ideas for the arts. Winners range from individual artists to large institutions.
Knight's Community and National Initiatives Program
Knight Foundation integrates community and national initiatives across all three focus areas, aiming for transformational impact through lasting and systemic change. While Knight works nationally and internationally, Knight's community efforts focus on improving the quality of life in the U.S. communities where the Knight brothers owned newspapers.
Places in which a program director is your first point of contact.
- Akron, Ohio
- Charlotte, N.C.
- Detroit, Mich.
- Macon, Ga.
- Miami, Fla.
- Philadelphia, Pa.
- San Jose, Calif.
- St. Paul, Minn.
Places where a community foundation is your point of contact. Learn More about our Community Foundations Program.