The University of Texas at Austin has announced a five-year, $1.6 million grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to expand the work of the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas in Latin America and Caribbean and broaden its role as an incubator for new journalism organizations in the region.
Launched by the university in 2002, the digital media center has trained thousands of Latin American and Caribbean journalists in workshops and seminars throughout the region and through online courses on its tri-lingual Web site. The center has also helped create a new generation of press freedom groups in Brazil, Mexico, Peru, Argentina, Paraguay, Colombia, and elsewhere, and has launched the Austin Forum on Journalism in the Americas, a network of organizations dedicated to elevating the standards of journalism in the region.
The new grant will enable the center to help create new journalists' organizations in Latin America and the Caribbean and continue its work with existing ones; train several thousand more journalists through seminars and workshops that mix online and on-the-ground training; and redesign its Web site and electronic newsletter to increase membership, circulation, and fundraising capacity and improve its alumni network. Over the next five years, as it expands its digital work, the center will also raise funds for a sixth year of operation and will plan an endowment campaign.
"The Internet has already been at the center of our activities, from the listservs we host for thousands of journalists from many countries to our pioneer distance education program that uses a multimedia platform," said Rosental C. Alves, Knight Chair in International Journalism at Texas and the center's director. "But now, thanks to the generosity of Knight Foundation, we are launching a Knight Center 2.0, an extended version of our original project, with a clearer focus on the impact of the digital revolution on journalism."