About 20 Knight Alumni and Fellows recently converged on a big-windowed workspace in San Francisco’s South of Market district. Sure, there was pizza and beer, but what really drew them was the chance to crunch ideas with developers working to “change media for good.”
The dozen or so developers aren’t journalists. They are media entrepreneurs at Matter, a startup accelerator funded by the Knight Foundation, KQED and PRX (Public Radio Exchange). Its mission is to be a place where “the values of public media meet the mindsets of Silicon Valley entrepreneurship.”
The teams at Matter were selected for a four-month program that gives them $50,000, training, mentoring and assistance as they develop and test their prototypes. Matter’s operations director is Jigar Mehta, the 2011 Knight Fellow behind the “18 Days in Egypt” crowd-sourced documentary and a former New York Times video journalist.
The event was the second for the newly formed S.F. Bay Area Knight Alumni Meetup, which brings together Knight alumni for mutual support, professional growth, and to extend the mission of the John S. Knight Fellowships at Stanford — to promote innovation, entrepreneurship and leadership in journalism.
Each project team at Matter described what they were working on. Afterward, Knights gravitated to different team members for more personal conversations and brainstorming.
meet the project teams
The media innovation teams currently at Matter are:
- ChannelMeter (Eugene Lee, Nimi Wariboko Jr.) is a professional video analytics platform for publishers and brands focused on maximizing and engaging their audiences in online video.
- Inkfold (Daniel Davis, Garrett Groszko) is a daily news experience app esigned to inspire curiosity and spark conversation.
- OpenWatch (Rich Jones, David Brodsky, Chris Ballinger) is an investigative network for creating a just society through radical transparency.
- SpokenLayer (Will Mayo, Kevin Irlen) transforms the best of the web into narrated audio, making written content available anytime, anywhere.
- StationCreator (Jon Labes, Christy Gurga) democratizes television with a platform on which anyone can distribute their own 24-hour broadcast station online.
- Zeega (Jesse Shapins, Kara Oehler, James Burns) allows you to use any media in the cloud to transform the screen into your playground and share your interactive creations with the world.
Jigar’s colleagues at Matter are CEO and partner Corey Ford, who built Runway, an incubator for entrepreneurs at Innovation Endeavors, taught design thinking at the Institute of Design at Stanford University and was a production manager for the PBS/WGBH series Frontline; and Jake Shapiro, founding CEO of PRX, the award-winning public media network, and former associate director of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard.
For more information about the Knight Alumni Meetups, contact Robin Evans at [email protected]
Robin C. Evans is the outreach and marketing manager for the John S. Knight Journalism Fellowships at Stanford. A graduate of the University of Maryland, she has been an editor and reporter at newspapers in Maryland, Florida and California. She is a former bureau chief and religion writer/editor for the San Jose Mercury News, and an editor at the West County Times, Contra Costa Times and Oakland Tribune. She is also a graduate of the San Francisco Bay Area Video Coalition’s web and multimedia programs.
This post originally appeared on the blog for the John S. Knight Journalism Fellowships at Stanford.
The John S. Knight Fellowships at Stanford University fosters journalistic innovation, entrepreneurship and leadership. Each year, 20 individuals from around the world get the resources to pursue their ideas for improving journalism.