There was a very diverse and interesting group assembled for the WeMedia conference last week in Miami. (I was there…that’s my excuse for not blogging most of the week). One of the really interesting sessions was the one in which Ashoka, an international organization promoting social entrepreneurship, and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, announced the launch of a new program to recruit journalist social entrepreneurs. (Full disclosure: The founder of Ashoka and I have known each other for more than 20 years and I worked with him there for a brief period.)
The Knight Foundation has given $3 million to Ashoka set up a program to find and incubate 30 socially entrepreneurial journalists. Like all Ashoka Fellows, these journalists will have a stiped that will allow them to focus full-time on their efforts to provide "lasting, visible, systemic change," as the foundation’s press release stated. They are looking for nominations so send them in.
The foundation’s press release said that several journalists have already been included among Ashoka Fellows, and listed Paulo Lima, who started a Brazilian youth magazine produced by youth, and Tosca Santoso, who designed a national public radio network in Indonesia. The accomplishments of the two journalists are indicative of the type of social entrepreneurship Knight and Ashoka are hoping to incubate with the fellowship.
Exciting development for both Knight and Ashoka.