The Knight Digital Media Center is a partnership of the Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles and the University of California at Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. The Center is funded by a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

The Knight Digital Media Center was launched in April 2006 to focus on helping journalists succeed in the rapidly changing media landscape of the 21st Century.

The Center provides competitive fellowships to traditional journalists from print and broadcast media who seek multimedia skill training and want to make the transition to New Media journalism. The goal is to provide the foundation of technical skills and story-telling techniques required by New Media platforms. This training is done at UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism under the supervision of Lanita Pace-Hinton, director of multimedia training programs for the Center.

For digitally fluent journalists, who have already crossed the bridge into New Media newsrooms, the Center provides training fellowships at USC Annenberg School for seminars focused on professional growth, critical thinking, digital leadership and news entrepreneurship. The goal is to increase the depth and sophistication of their work and their understanding of the changing news ecology. This training is under the supervision of Vikki Porter, director of the Center.

The Knight Digital Media Center is built on the foundation of the Western Knight Center for Specialized Journalism which trained more than 750 professional journalists between 2000 and 2006, as well as providing at least 75,000 more journalists with access to resources and online training opportunities through the efforts of its fellows. Archives of the WKC seminars are available at WKConline.org.

Letter from Knight President Alberto Ibargüen

April 2006

Dear Colleague,

Knight Brochure Image

View the Knight Foundation Brochure (1.6 MB PDF)

While you were sleeping, the world changed. Overnight, the earth traveled half a million miles through space. Some 117,000 people were born. About 52,000 people died. Huge companies were sold and bought. Millions of original words and images fl owed into the global news stream. Somewhere, someone had an idea for what could become the next Google.

The world does this every night. Each day is new, and those days add up, their changes transformational. It’s a world you either change with, or are changed by. Consider: Last year, Rupert Murdoch stood before the American Society of Newspaper Editors and said he was thinking of investing in the web. This year, he owns MySpace.com, the web’s premier youth site. Many news organizations are discovering that today they can reach wider audiences than ever imagined. But there are questions: Will this changing world still include journalism that satisfi es democracy’s basic needs? Will great journalists still hold true to Jack Knight’s vision of journalism that “bestirs the people…and rouses them to pursue their true interests”? What news organizations will emerge in the 21st century to do what Jack and Jim Knight’s newspapers did for American communities in the 20th? Those newspapers helped defi ne the communities we lived in by sharing events that happened to neighbors, by defi ning the problems and possibilities, and by connecting people with a shared language and a sense of place.

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation wants to help lead the search for answers. And from the innovations just beginning to come from the news industry, we can see that many of you are also on the job. We believe in verifi cation journalism. We believe in news in the public interest. We believe that new media off er new ways to deliver accurate, contextual news.

As the nation’s largest grant-giving journalism foundation, we have invested $275 million during the past half-century in the kind of journalism excellence the Knight brothers loved. We have 170 active grantees, including 20 endowed chairs in journalism and major midcareer and press freedom programs worldwide. Yet we, who are heavily invested in past and present, see the future as journalism’s most exciting time.

The future belongs to those honest few who can discover its secrets and see its promise, who are courageous enough to take the risks and committed enough to see them through. This brochure explains how you can join in on the new work we are doing, and, through the Knight Brothers 21st Century Challenge, invite us to join in on the new work you plan to do.

Alberto Ibargüen, President
John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
Miami, Florida


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