Welcome to the Knight-Cronkite News Lab

Welcome to the Knight-Cronkite News Lab local TV news innovation project  — a new initiative from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at ASU.

Our mission at the Knight-Cronkite News Lab is to discover and share experiments from local TV newsrooms around the country, as well as to conduct some of our own. We’re supported by the Knight Foundation: you can read more about the project here and here.

We’re focused on local TV news because it’s the most popular and most trusted source of news for Americans.

But we don’t have to tell you that TV news viewership is declining, and engaging with a new generation of consumers on new platforms while sustaining profitability is a serious challenge.

[Knight Foundation Report — Local TV News and the New Media Landscape]

Everyone calls innovation a high priority. However, many stations admit that they are still replicating the same old formulas that have been tried and true for decades — but are getting pretty tired now. And even on digital platforms, it’s too often a game of clones. So we’re going to report back to you on distinctive innovation: stations that are not just checking the box, but thinking outside it (please forgive the cliché). We’re focusing on five main areas: digital; broadcast; management; technology; and what we’re calling “outside in” — ideas from outside local TV news.

We’ll also be conducting experiments in our own newsroom, including projects that come from you. Leading this effort will be Frank Mungeam, who just joined the Lab as the Knight Professor of Practice in TV News Innovation. Frank comes to us from TEGNA, where his most recent assignment was VP of Digital Audience Engagement.

This is our ever-expanding Innovation Hub, where we’ll be sharing examples and case studies with you — the local TV news community. We know how busy you are, and we won’t waste your time. But we’re hoping you’ll read our weekly email newsletter and then come here to learn more about what your colleagues around the country are trying, as well as contribute ideas and observations of your own. With more than 700 stations producing original local news, there are too many interesting ideas and creative people behind them for us to find on our own. We need your help.

If you haven’t signed up for our email newsletter yet, please do it here and now.


About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Knight Foundation is a national foundation with strong local roots. We invest in journalism, in the arts, and in the success of cities where brothers John S. and James L. Knight once published newspapers. Our goal is to foster informed and engaged communities, which we believe are essential for a healthy democracy. For more, visit knightfoundation.org

About the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication

The Cronkite School at Arizona State University is widely recognized as one of the nation’s premier professional journalism programs. The school’s 2,000 students regularly lead the country in national journalism competitions. They are guided by faculty comprised of award-winning professional journalists and world-class media scholars. Cronkite’s full-immersion professional programs give students opportunities to practice what they’ve learned in a real-world setting under the guidance of professionals.