Since 2002, the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas at the University of Texas at Austin has led professional training and outreach for journalists in Latin America and the Caribbean.

We have helped independent journalists in the Western Hemisphere to create a new generation of associations and other organizations to elevate the standards of journalism in their countries.

Our training programs have benefited thousands of journalists and journalism professors and students throughout the Americas and beyond. Since 2012, Journalism Courses, the Center's distance learning program, has offered massive open online courses (MOOCs) that attract journalists from all over the world.

The International Symposium on Online Journalism (ISOJ), annually hosted by the Knight Center at the University of Texas at Austin, has become one of the most prestigious journalism conferences in the world. ISOJ started in 1999 as a small symposium focused on the nascent online news industry in the United States, became international in 2003, added an academic research component in 2004 and a peer-reviewed journal in 2011.

Since 2008, the Knight Center has also organized the Coloquio Iberoamericano de Periodismo Digital (Iberian American Colloquium on Digital Journalism) on the day after ISOJ. The Colloquium is a smaller conference, in Spanish language, created to take advantage of the presence at ISOJ of many journalists, media executives and scholars from Latin America, Spain and Portugal and promote a discussion about the evolution of online journalism with a regional focus.

The Knight Center has also become a reference for news and information about journalism and press freedom in Latin America and the Caribbean since it started covering those issues with a blog launched in 2003. In 2020, the center's 17-year-old blog Journalism in the Americas became the LatAm Journalism Review, a stand-alone digital magazine.

Thanks to a generous grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Knight Center was created in 2002 by professor Rosental Calmon Alves, Knight Chair in International Journalism and UNESCO Chair in Communication at the Moody College of Communication's School of Journalism and Media at the University of Texas at Austin.

Since then, the center has received successive grants from Knight Foundation, but has also benefited from other funders, including foundations, corporations and individual donors. It has also generated revenue from its activities, which help to finance the operating costs of the center. The Knight Center receives substantial in-kind contributions from the University of Texas at Austin and its Moody College of Communication.

To support our work, visit our secure gift page or mail a check, payable to the University of Texas at Austin, to:

Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas
300 West Dean Keeton St., Stop A1000 • BMC 3.212
Austin, TX 78712

We would be delighted to hear from you. Please feel free to contact us at knightcenter@austin.utexas.edu.

Our History

2017 KC Team

(Photo: Mary Kang/Knight Center)

The Knight Center was founded by Professor Rosental Alves in 2002 thanks to a generous $2 million grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. In 2007, the Knight Foundation pledged an additional $1.6 million over five years to allow the Knight Center to refocus its work as a digital media center for Latin American and Caribbean journalism and to expand its efforts to serve as an incubator for new journalism organizations. Most recently, in April 2016, the Center received a $600,000 grant from the Knight Foundation to expand its online journalism education program over a four-year period.

The Knight Foundation has remained as a major donor, but the Knight Center has also counted on contributions from other organizations, such as Open Society Foundations, Ford Foundation and corporations like The Dallas Morning News, Google, Microsoft, Facebook and Univision.

Since its inception in 2002, the Knight Center has had four main goals:

  1. To help journalists in Latin America and the Caribbean to create a new generation of their own, local, independent and self-sustaining associations or other kind of organizations;
  2. To develop a pioneering, innovative distance learning program to help journalists improve their skills and adapt to the demands of the digital revolution;
  3. To have a digital publication to cover journalism in Latin America and the Caribbean; and
  4. To convene conferences and events to promote and facilitate debate and knowledge-sharing among journalists and academics on how to elevate the standards of public interest journalism.

One of the first projects of the Knight Center was to help journalists create and/or strengthen a new generation of independent associations or other organizations to work on self-sustaining training programs to raise journalistic standards in the hemisphere. Specifically, the Knight Center has helped journalists create several of those organizations, including the Brazilian Association for Investigative Journalism (Abraji), the Argentine Journalism Forum (FOPEA), the Peruvian Provincial Journalists Network, the Paraguayan Journalism Forum  (FOPEP), and the Newsroom Council (CdR) of Colombia.

In October of 2003, the Knight Center launched its distance learning program to offer free or low-cost online training to journalists, with a focus on digital tools and innovation. The Center’s pioneering distance learning program served about 7,000 students from Latin America and the Caribbean through 120 online courses between 2003 and 2012. From October 2012, when it launched its first MOOC (massive open online course) to the summer of 2020, when it launched its new site Journalism Courses, the Center has reached almost 250,000 students from 200 countries.

For 17 years (2003 - 2020), the trilingual blog (in English, Portuguese, and Spanish) Journalism in the Americas published thousands of articles about journalism, freedom of press issues, and best practices of the news media in the Americas. In the summer of 2020, the blog grew into a trilingual digital news magazine, the LatAm Journalism Review. As a stand-alone website, the publication adopted a more contemporary design and functionalities, expanding the coverage of journalism and press freedom in Latin America and the Caribbean. LJR is produced by a team of journalists in Austin, including students of the Moody College of Communication School of Journalism and Media, and contributors spread throughout the hemisphere.

Since 2003, the Knight Center has been organizing the  International Symposium on Online Journalism (ISOJ), which was created in 1999 by professor Rosental Alves as a small conference focused only on the American news industry. In 2003, ISOJ became international and in 2004 included an academic research component. Year after year, ISOJ grew in size and in importance, becoming one of the most prestigious journalism conferences in the world. Every year, editors, producers, media executives and scholars from around the world convene to ISOJ at the University of Texas at Austin to discuss the evolution of online journalism.

For a decade (2003 -2013), the Knight Center also organized the Austin Forum on Journalism in the Americas. This annual conference promoted collaboration among organizations dedicated to journalism training and the defense of press freedom in Latin America and the Caribbean, including those that the Knight Center helped local journalists to create throughout the hemisphere.


Rosental Alves Featured
Rosental Alves, Director

The Knight Center team is led by Professor Rosental Calmon Alves, who holds the UNESCO Chair in Communication and the Knight Chair in Journalism at the Moody College of Communication’s School of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin. Professor Alves, a veteran Brazilian journalist, moved to Austin in 1996 as the inaugural holder of the Knight Chair. He is a former president of Orbicom, the global network of UNESCO Chairs in Communication. Professor Alves is the chair of the board of the Maria Moors Cabot Awards at Columbia University and a member of many international boards of organizations related to journalism, such as the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. His three areas of teaching and research are international news, especially the work of foreign correspondents in Latin America; Latin American journalism and press freedom; and digital journalism. He founded the Knight Center in 2002.

Summer Harlow
Summer Harlow, Associate Director

Summer Harlow is the associate director of the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas and a visiting associate professor at the University of Texas at Austin. She is on leave from Texas A&M University where she’s an associate professor.

She is a former Inter-American Foundation Grassroots Development Fellow, and she won the Nafziger-White-Salwen Dissertation Award for best dissertation in the field from the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. She has written two books: Digital Native News and the Remaking of Latin American Mainstream and Alternative Journalism (Routledge, 2022), and Liberation Technology in El Salvador: Re-appropriating Social Media among Alternative Media Projects (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2017), which won the AEJMC-Knudson Latin America Book prize.

Her research has been published in top peer-reviewed journals such as the Journal of Communication, International Journal of Press/Politics, New Media & Society, Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, and Digital Journalism. Currently, she is the primary investigator for El Salvador and Guatemala in the Wolds of Journalism Study. She also is the Book Reviews Editor for the International Journal of Press/Politics.

Teresa Mioli headshot
Teresa Mioli
Administrative Program Coordinator
Filipa Rodrigues Featured
Filipa Rodrigues
Senior Distance Learning Coordinator
Michael Bartnett
Michael Bartnett
Technology Coordinator
Hugo Ortiz
Hugo Ortiz
Marketing and Communications Coordinator
Camila Llorente
Camila Llorente
Online Course Associate
Maria Saad
Maria Saad
Administrative Associate
Ricardo Monteiro
Ricardo Monteiro
Multimedia Producer