Stanford's Knight Fellows focus digital projects on journalism issues in the Americas

By Ian Tennant

Knight Fellows at Stanford University recently discussed digital initiatives in the Americas, including a plan to improve communication among Cuban bloggers, a proposed web portal to help Latino teens become better informed, and an online "toolkit" to help journalists cover Aboriginal peoples in Canada.

In her presentation, Karelia Vázquez talked about creating a neutral website that will bring together Cuban bloggers. She hopes the forum will be an antidote to the aggressive tone and "useless arguments" found in the Cuban blogging community, a "place like a spa" where bloggers "can relax and then chat." Vázquez, a Cuban freelance writer who has worked for the newspaper El Pais in Madrid, had also discussed her goals at the Fourth Ibero-American Colloquium on Digital Journalism hosted April 3 by the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas.

Working with Nuestra VozDi Pinheiro is striving to create a web portal that will use journalism to educate the rapidly growing teenage Latino population in the United States, a demographic group she called "the America of the future." Census figures show, she added, that by the year 2020 Latinos will account for 95 percent of the growth of the U.S. teen population. They are tech savvy but "poorly informed," said Pinheiro, editions coordinator for The Wall Street Journal Americas.

Duncan McCue, a reporter for CBC News in Canada and an instructor at the University of British Columbia Journalism School, is working on a website that will help reporters deal with the "clash between Indigenous and newsroom cultures." He is also working with a First Nations web designer with a plan to launch a related website this fall that he expects will be useful for journalists reporting on Indigenous people anywhere in the Americas.

The 20 John S. Knight Journalism Fellows were required to give a three-minute presentation about their projects to an audience at Stanford University on May 26.

Note from the editor: This story was originally published by the Knight Center’s blog Journalism in the Americas, the predecessor of LatAm Journalism Review.