Lenfest Institute, Knight Foundation Award $4.8M for Digital News Project

The Lenfest Institute and the Knight Foundation have awarded $4.8M for a far-reaching digital news project

In October of 2015, Temple University, in cooperation with the Knight Foundation, launched the Knight-Temple Table Stakes project. The goal of the project was to help metropolitan daily news organizations speed up their transition from print to digital. The idea of doing so was to help these dailies reach new audiences and better engage their communities.

More than 50 leaders from papers such as the Dallas Morning News, Miami Herald, Minneapolis Star Tribune, and the Philadelphia Inquirer spent a year focusing on creating plans to develop their digital transition strategies.

Thanks to an additional $3.3 million from the Knight Foundation and $1.5 million from the Lenfest Institute for Journalism, the program is going to expand to 12 additional papers including the Seattle Times, Houston Chronicle, and Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The initiative has also been renamed the Knight-Lenfest Newsroom Initiative.

“This project is rooted in collaboration. Bringing together major news organizations and experts in technology, journalism, and other areas, it recognizes the importance of a concerted, strategic effort to address the challenges that local news organizations are facing in the digital age,” said Jennifer Preston, Knight Foundation Vice President for Journalism. “This next phase will help to create a model for the digital transformation of news organizations that can be shared across the country, helping local journalists better connect with their audiences and develop new innovations in storytelling,”

This phase of the initiative will also include collaboration with the Center for Innovation & Sustainability in Local Media at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The work at UNC will be focused on local and regional news organizations, so the university will be working with eight to 12 media organizations in North Carolina—including newspapers, radio and TV stations, and digital startups—to address the challenges of news in the digital age.

The Poynter Institute will also receive $880,000 to support its efforts to assist newsrooms across the U.S. with their digital transformations, and the cultural transformations that go along with them.

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