A $5 million gift from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation will enable the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to launch a new research center focused on evaluating the impact of the internet, social media, and other forms of digital information sharing on society and politics. The UNC iSchool is lead partner in this new endeavor. The funding is part of a broader Knight Foundation initiative that is investing nearly $50 million for research around technology’s impact on democracy.
At Carolina, Knight Foundation funding will help establish the Center for Information, Technology, and Public Life (CITAP). The UNC iSchool is lead partner in this new endeavor, but CITAP will foster interdisciplinary research and exchange across the UNC campus and beyond. An additional $750,000 contribution from Luminate and $600,000 from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation will further accelerate and expand the center’s impact.
“CITAP capitalizes on the fact that Carolina is home to some of the nation’s leading communication, information, journalism, and legal scholars, as well as highly regarded centers focused on media law and innovation and sustainability in local media,” said Gary Marchionini, dean of the iSchool at UNC-Chapel Hill. “We envision the center as a crucible for ideas and a living laboratory for understanding the core information needs of American democracy and other socio-political systems.”
Read the full story on the UNC iSchool website.