Aug 9, 2018
With $2.6 billion in assets, the Miami-based John S. and James L. Knight Foundation is the 22nd largest foundation in the United States. Its mission is the betterment of the 26 communities in which it works and the promotion of journalism as a career and industry nationwide. The latter part of Knight’s mission is particularly challenging at a time when traditional newspapers are shrinking and, in many cases, evaporating. That puts Alberto Ibargüen, CEO of the Knight Foundation and a former publisher of the Miami Herald, at the same crossroads that silent movies encountered with talkies, talkies with radio, radio with television, television with cable, and now traditional print journalism with online reporting, blogs, podcasting, v-logs, streaming media, and so on. Since 1950, the Knight Foundation has invested more than $300 million to advance quality journalism and freedom of expression worldwide. It has a vital interest in seeing journalism survive in whatever form it takes. I interviewed Ibargüen recently for an old media business magazine and liked his approach to a rapidly changing world, and I was delighted when he accepted my invitation for a second round of conversation.