FIR Interview: Gary Kebbel, Journalism Program Director, Knight Foundation

knightnewschallenge Gary Kebbel has an enviable job: Giving away $25 million over five years to people who enter the Knight News Challenge, designed to surface new ideas for the production and distribution of news.

In this FIR Interview with Shel Holtz, Gary looks at some previous grant winners and touches on the importance to communicators of identifying new news methodologies.

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About our Conversation Partner

garykebbel Gary Kebbel joined the Knight Foundation in January 2006 as a Journalism Program Officer and promoted to Director in March 2008.

Kebbel was news director at America Online, where he trained and directed the team that built AOL News into the world’s largest online news site. Before that, he helped create and, and was a home page editor at His journalism career began in newspapers. Most recently, he worked on the web site of Education Week, where he was in charge of content development, strategy and planning. He helped plan the successful switch of from a free to a paid subscription web site.

He has served as the graphics editor at USA Today; taught online journalism as an adjunct instructor at the University of Maryland’s Philip Merrill College of Journalism; and is a Fulbright Senior Specialist in online journalism.

Kebbel has three masters’ degrees: one in social work from The Catholic University of America, and one each in political science and journalism from the University of Illinois. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Illinois State University.

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This FIR Interview is brought to you with Lawrence Ragan Communications, serving communicators worldwide for 35 years. Information:

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(Cross-posted from For Immediate Release, Shel’s and my podcast blog.)

Neville Hobson

Social Strategist, Communicator, Writer, and Podcaster with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Believer in an Internet for everyone. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Avid tea drinker.

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