In April 2006, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation provided a $650,000 grant to USC Annenberg and UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism to relaunch the Western Knight Center for Specialized Journalism as the Knight Digital Media Center.
According to Eric Newton, director of journalism initiatives for the Knight Foundation:
“American journalism is in a period of upheaval. Vast audiences are attracted to the World Wide Web and to other, increasingly portable, forms of electronic media. Yet much of the nation’s news collection system is organized around printed daily newspapers, which are continuing to shrink. As influential as Knight’s journalism training programs have been, the question remains: Are we training people for jobs that might not exist next year, or in five or 10 years?"
The excellent performance of the Western Knight Center positions it to meet this challenge. By retooling its operations to focus specifically on new media, the Knight Digital Media Center can specialize in delivering content training to leading new media journalists as well as new media training to traditional journalists.