Knight Center
Knight Center


Knight Center receives $270,000 grant from Open Society Foundations

The Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas at the University of Texas at Austin has received a $270,000 grant from the Open Society Foundations to support its work to help Latin American and Caribbean journalists to improve the quality of journalism in their countries.

Founded by Professor Rosental C. Alves in August 2002, the Knight Center is a professional training and outreach program for Latin American and Caribbean journalists that has received major funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

The Open Society Foundations (OSF) was founded by investor and philanthropist George Soros. The grant will support the Knight Center's work in 2011 and 2012 to expand its journalism training and innovation efforts and will strengthen the Center's work to seek new sources of support.

“We are grateful for the support from the Open Society Foundations,” said Alves, the Knight Center’s director. “This is a recognition of the work we have done in Latin America and the Caribbean for almost a decade. It is also an important step towards the diversification of funds for our activities to help journalists in the Americas.”

Through its generous support from the Knight Foundation, the Knight Center's programs have benefited thousands of journalists and journalism professors through a variety of programs that promote training and innovation in digital journalism. The center was created in 2002 thanks to the generous support of the Knight Foundation through two donations—$2 million in 2002 and another $1.6 million in 2007.

The OSF's Media Program and Latin America Program have been involved with some of the Knight Center's activities to create networks and promote dialogues among journalists and have supported several of the partner organizations the Knight Center has helped journalists to create in the hemisphere.

Since 2002, the Knight Center has offered training workshops and seminars in more than a dozen countries in collaboration with national journalism organizations; and nearly 100 online courses from its pioneering distance education program on its trilingual website, reaching more than 5,000 journalists since 2003, in every country in Latin America and most nations in the Caribbean.

The Knight Center has helped journalists to create a new generation of independent journalism organizations to elevate journalism standards and defend press freedom in the hemisphere, including the Brazilian Association for Investigative Journalism (Abraji), Mexico’s Center for Journalism and Public Ethics (CEPET), the Argentine Journalism Forum (FOPEA), the Peruvian Provincial Journalists Network, the Paraguayan Journalism Forum (FOPEP), and the Newsroom Council (CdR) of Colombia. The OSF's Media Program supports several of these organizations as well as others in the region including IDL Reporteros and the Press and Society Institute (IPYS), both of Peru.

Since 2003, the Knight Center has organized the Austin Forum on Journalism in the Americas, an annual gathering and permanent network of organizations that focus on media development and journalism training in Latin America and the Caribbean. The OSF's Media Program has co-sponsored the Austin Forum since 2007, and OSF's Latin America Program also helped the Forum in 2010. As part of the new grant to the Knight Center, OSF will partially support the 9th and 10th Austin Forums in 2011 and 2012, respectively.

Besides the next two Austin Forums, the OSF grant will be used to help to pay for the general operating costs of the Knight Center during an 18-month period, from March 2011 to August 2012. The grant was given by a pool of three OSF programs: the Latin American Program, Media Program and International Migrations Initiative.

The Knight Center still has major financial support from the John S. and James Knight Foundation and from the University of Texas at Austin and its College of Communication and School of Journalism.

The Knight Center also maintains a trilingual website that features news blogs that monitor daily journalism news in English, Spanish and Portuguese, and a digital library containing e-books about journalism topics that are downloaded and printed in newsrooms and training programs throughout the Americas.

The OSF's Media program helps to promote independent and sustainable media, and professional independent journalism in democratizing countries. Its programs in Latin America include investigative reporting, legal defense and press freedom. OSF's Latin America program supports programs to promote transparency and accountability, policy debate, citizen security and human rights throughout the region.


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