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Northwestern University and the Knight Foundation team up to accelerate local news innovation with the Knight News Innovation Lab in Chicago.

Knight News Innovation Laboratory at Northwestern University

Responding to the critical need for dramatic improvements in the digital tools used by journalists and community news and information providers, Northwestern University and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation today announce a four-year, $4.2 million grant to create the Knight News Innovation Laboratory at Northwestern.

The Knight Lab, the first of its kind in the country, is a joint initiative of Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism and the Robert R. McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science at Northwestern. It will bring journalists and computer scientists together to accelerate local media innovation by creating new digital tools, building partnerships with media organizations and expanding the media innovation community.

“To advance journalism excellence in the digital age, we must use the tools of the digital age,” said Eric Newton, vice president of the journalism program at Knight Foundation. “We hope this pioneering partnership between a school of journalism and a school of engineering will demonstrate how a major university can speed up media innovation in its surrounding community.”

The Knight Lab’s mission is to improve the news and information people use to run their communities and their lives. It will partner with media organizations in the Chicago area to test, deploy and refine technologies that help them create and package content, engage audiences and improve their capacity to finance an improved flow of local news and information. The lab will work with all kinds of organizations – from large commercial media companies to nonprofit organizations that serve niche audiences – to foster an environment of innovation that can be replicated elsewhere.” SourceKnight Foundation


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