The US-based Knight Foundation is putting up $50m to fund research in gaining a better understanding how technology is transforming democracy, as well as the way the public engages with information.
The initiative echoes the move earlier this week in the UK where the government has launched a public consultation process to examine the impact of digital technologies on democracy.
The foundation’s cash will fund, cross-disciplinary research at 11 US universities and research institutions, including the creation of five new centres of study that reflect different approaches to understanding the future of democracy.
“The internet has changed our lives and is changing our democracy,” says Knight Foundation president, Alberto Ibargüen. “We have to take a step back and a step forward. To understand what is actually happening, we need independent research and insights based on data, not emotion and invective.”