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Piloting sidewalk delivery robots in Pittsburgh, Miami-Dade County, Detroit and San Jose: Knight Autonomous Vehicle Initiative

September 5, 2022

The Knight Autonomous Vehicle (AV) Initiative is a multi-year collaborative effort between the Urbanism Next Center at the University of Oregon, Cityfi, the cities of Detroit, Pittsburgh, and San José, and Miami-Dade County (the "cohort") to pilot and learn about automated mobility technologies today to shape the future of deployment tomorrow.The four jurisdictions had originally planned to test passenger AV pilots but due to both the Covid-19 pandemic and changes in the AV market, these were substituted for automated delivery pilots. With this transition, the cohort partnered with Kiwibot to learn more about a new technology—sidewalk delivery robots. Through this partnership, Kiwibot tested different use cases and collaborated on community engagement opportunities in each locale. Given the proliferation of bills being passed by state legislatures legalizing deployment of personal delivery devices (PDDs) or sidewalk robots, and the increased delivery demand due to the pandemic, the pilots were well timed to able to meaningfully inform the cohort cities about the potential benefits and challenges of sidewalk delivery robots.This report provides an overview of the pilot design in each locale, presents key findings, and offers a set of recommendations based on the cohort's experiences. Pilots are often time-intensive and challenging to pull off, but they also provide valuable learnings, and these pilots were no exception.

Knight Diversity of Asset Managers Research Series: Higher Education, Interim Release

June 30, 2022

This study strives to measure the representation of women- and racial or ethnic minority-owned investment firms ("diverse-owned firms") among those used by the country's top 25 private and top 25 public college and university endowments. The endowments collectively hold $587 billion in assets, more than two-thirds of the nation's higher education endowment dollars. In addition to this vast financial capital, these endowments support the operations of some of the most socially influential institutions in the country and hold tremendous potential to exert influence via investment decisions.We are releasing this report on an interim basis to disclose what we have learned to date and to recognize the institutions that broke the mold among this relatively secretive group of endowments.

Media and Democracy: Unpacking America’s Complex Views on the Digital Public Square

March 9, 2022

Are internet technologies doing more harm than good to our democracy? And what – if anything – should lawmakers do about it?Because these questions are critical to U.S. elections, democracy and public health, Gallup and Knight Foundation sought American views on the way forward. Surprisingly, Americans' opinions did not always follow party lines when it comes to Internet regulation. In fact, half of Americans occupy a diverse middle ground, a new Gallup/Knight survey of 10,000 adults found, offering a new lens on the national conversation on free expression online.

College Student Views on Free Expression and Campus Speech 2022: A Look at Key Trends in Student Speech Views Since 2016

January 21, 2022

College campuses have long been places where the limits of free expression are debated and tested. In recent years, this dialogue has grown more fraught as some schools have sought to create a more protective speech environment for students. Moreover, key events shaping the past two years, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, the racial justice movement and the 2020 election, have only added deeper dimensions to the dialogue around free speech playing out on campus and in society at large. The "Knight-Ipsos College Student Views on Free Expression and Campus Speech" report is the fourth in a series of Knight Foundation reports measuring college student attitudes toward speech and the First Amendment since 2016. For this report, Knight Foundation commissioned Ipsos to conduct a survey with a nationally representative sample of over 1,000 college students ages 18-24 enrolled in all types of higher education institutions, along with 4,000 American adults, offering insight into how college students' views on free speech compare with those of the general public. In addition to the past Knight-Gallup campus speech surveys (2016, 2017, 2019), Knight has studied free speech views among high school students since 2004. Trends in college student attitudes are included throughout this report. This Knight Foundation-Ipsos report offers nuanced insight into how college students perceive campus speech and First Amendment protections today, including how views are evolving within different factions of the student body. This survey reinforces that students are not a monolithic group when it comes to speech, finding that partisanship, race, and ethnicity drive meaningful differences in how college students view speech. Understanding where different groups stand is vitally important for higher education leaders as they seek to foster free expression on college campuses and create a campus environment that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive. The findings described in this report cover many, but not all, of the rich insights possible from this complex dataset. We invite the public and researchers to explore this publicly available resource in further detail. 

Free Expression in America Post-2020 A Landmark Survey of Americans’ Views on Speech Rights

January 6, 2022

Free expression and the freedom of speech are cornerstones of American democracy. Yet the interpretation of the First Amendment continues to be a flashpoint in the 21st century as the nation debates how to apply these rights to our society. For the 2021 "Free Expression in America Post-2020" report, Knight Foundation commissioned Ipsos to conduct a survey with a nationally representative sample of more than 4,000 American adults, including an additional sample of 1,000 undergraduate college students. The Knight Foundation-Ipsos study provides a comprehensive look at American attitudes toward freedom of speech in a post-2020 environment, building on Knight Foundation's long-standing work studying free speech views among students since 2004. The findings described in this report cover many but not all of the rich insights possible from this complex dataset. We invite the public and researchers to explore this publicly available resource in further detail. This study finds that all Americans hold to the ideal of free speech, but putting free expression into practice reveals significant differences in experiences and attitude. It examines how Americans view free expression issues, events and the application of our First Amendment rights in an increasingly digital, diverse, and politically driven society. 

Knight Diversity of Asset Managers Research Series: Philanthropy

September 30, 2021

In early 2020, Knight Foundation and Global Economics Group released a study on the diversity of the asset managers used by the United States' top 50 charitable foundations. Earlier this year, Knight Foundation asked Global Economics Group to refresh the study to assess the representation of diverse asset managers among foundations and begin to track changes in representation over time.The 2021 study assesses the representation of investment firms owned by women or members of racial or ethnic minority groups in the United States ("diverse-owned firms") among investment firms used by the country's top 55 charitable foundations in terms of total asset size. The top 55 foundations account for over $300 billion in total assets, collectively, including investment assets. We included five additional foundations so that all foundations that were among the top 50 in the 2020 study could be studied over time. In addition, based on both investor and manager feedback, we raised the threshold for what is considered diverse ownership from more than 0% to 50% or more, a threshold set by the commonly used industry databases.In refreshing this study, we have a more complete picture of the diversity in asset management in the nation's largest foundations. We observe: (1) increased investing with diverse-owned firms overall among the 25 foundations that participated in both studies and (2) higher foundation participation, with five new foundations engaging in the study revealing an additional $11.03 billion in invested assets under management. That said, there is still room for improvement in study participation, as 14 out of the top 55 foundations elected not to disclose diversity statistics or data at all.

The 100 Million Project: The Untold Story of American Non-Voters

February 19, 2020

In 2016, nearly 100 million eligible Americans did not cast a vote for president, representing 43% of the eligible voting-age population. They represent a sizeable minority whose voice is not heard in our representative democracy. Most of our attention, in politics and in research, tends to fall almost exclusively on "likely" voters perceived to make the most difference in the outcome. As a result, relatively little is known about those with a history of non-voting. Yet their non-participation is a key feature of our democracy, and raises important questions about the basic health of a participatory society.To help understand this large segment of the population, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation commissioned Bendixen & Amandi International to develop a comprehensive study of those who do not vote. This study surveyed 12,000 chronic non-voters nationally and in 10 swing states, soliciting their views, attitudes and behaviors on a wide range of topics. For comparison purposes, a group of 1,000 active voters who consistently participate in national elections and a group of 1,000 young eligible voters (18-24 years old) were also surveyed. Findings were further explored through in-depth conversations with non-voters in focus groups held around the country.

Putting a Price Tag on Local News: Americans’ Perceptions of the Value and Financial Future of Local News

November 17, 2019

A crisis faces local newsrooms across the nation. News publishers have, for over a decade, competed with search engines and digital platforms, not only for their readers' attention, but also for advertising revenue. At the same time, we have seen decades of growing distrust and partisan antipathy toward institutions of all kinds, including journalism. Local newspapers are especially vulnerable to these trends. As a result, there have been waves of consolidation, often resulting in fewer newsroom jobs. Particularly controversial have been acquisitions of newspapers by private equity investors, often followed by debate about how the newsroom is managed by its new ownership.This Gallup/Knight Foundation study seeks to better understand whether Americans care about the fate of local news organizations, what they value about these organizations and what could be done to make more of these organizations financially sustainable. The results are sobering, but they also point toward potential solutions for addressing some of the economic challenges facing many local news organizations.

Young Adults' News Behaviors and Beliefs

July 9, 2019

This report examines trust in media, showing that many young adults use news media to make decisions on policies and voting. It reveals that a majority of young adults are concerned about the impact of news on democracy and unity in the country, expressing that news organizations might divide and polarize citizens. Conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago, the report analyzes the findings of a survey of 1,660 adults between the ages of 18 and 34. It also surveyed large samples of African American and Hispanic participants to explore beliefs and behaviors across races and ethnicities. The study shows that young people believe some news sources are actively hurting democracy and corroding national unity. Sixty-four percent of young adults say their least-liked news source hurts democracy and 73 percent say their least-liked news source divides the country. Only 47 percent say their favorite news source helps unite it. When comparing partisan attitudes, 51 percent of Democrats say their favorite source unites the public, while 42 percent of Republicans say the same. 

Disinformation, Fake News and Influence Campaigns on Twitter

October 4, 2018

How did misinformation spread during the 2016 presidential election and has anything changed since? A new study of more than 10 million tweets from 700,000 Twitter accounts that linked to more than 600 misinformation and conspiracy news outlets answers this question.The report reveals a concentrated "fake news" ecosystem, linking more than 6.6 million tweets to fake news and conspiracy news publishers in the month before the 2016 election. The problem persisted in the aftermath of the election with 4 million tweets to fake and conspiracy news publishers found from mid-March to mid-April 2017. A large majority of these accounts are still active today. 

Major Internet Companies as News Editors

August 15, 2018

As part of its ongoing Trust, Media and Democracy initiative, the John S. and James L.Knight Foundation partnered with Gallup to ask a representative sample of U.S. adults for their views on the news editorial functions played by major internet companies. 

Free Expression on Campus: What College Students Think about First Amendment Issues

March 12, 2018

First Amendment freedoms continue to be tested on U.S. college campuses as higher education institutions strive to achieve goals that can occasionally come into conflict. These include encouraging the open discussion of ideas and exposing students to people of different backgrounds and viewpoints while making all students feel included and respected on campus. In 2016, Gallup, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Newseum Institute conducted a landmark, nationally representative study of college students. The survey found that students believed First Amendment freedoms were secure, and they generally preferred that campuses be open environments that encourage a wide range of expression. However, students supported restrictions on certain types of speech, such as hate speech, and many were sympathetic to students' attempts to deny the press access to campus protests, such as those that occurred over race-related issues in the 2015-16 school year.