Visiting Dignitaries

The Knight Foundation Taps Jumo’s Chris Hughes to Go After Media Like a Venture Capitalist

chrishughes The Knight Foundation Taps Jumos Chris Hughes to Go After Media Like a Venture Capitalist

Mr. Hughes via Crunchbase

The Knight Foundation, which sponsors innovative projects in journalism, just named the “first ever digital appointments” to its board, reports Businessweek.

They include Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes, Joichi Ito from MIT’s Media Lab (an early investor in Twitter, Flickr and Technorati), as well as John Palfrey, who runs Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society and works as an adviser at Highland Capital Partners.

Mr. Hughes told Businessweek, “We need to be approaching these questions and these problems with an attitude more akin to venture capital, than with the attitude of a foundation.” That attitude dovetails with the Knight Foundation’s own pivot. The agency is switching it’s strategy, “from charity to ‘social investing’ as news and information delivery becomes digital.”

Mr. Hughes co-founded both Facebook and Jumo, a social network for activism. According to Crunchbase, Mr. Hughes venture capital experience comes from an entrepreneur-in-residence program at General Catalyst Partners. He has no angel investments listed.

In August, Mr. Hughes arranged for an ‘acquisition’ of his startup Jumo by friends at GOOD. Although the price was undisclosed, Betabeat reported at the time that no money changed hands.

Knight Foundation president Alberto Ibarguen told Businessweek:

“Traditionally in the nonprofit sector, because an idea is founded on fate so much of the time, or founded on hope, the typical thing would be for someone to continue and continue until they ran out of money,” Ibarguen said. “An entrepreneur would find a creative way to make it work.”

Follow Nitasha Tiku on Twitter or via RSS. ntiku@observer.com