Rapid changes in digital journalism and its audiences have inspired a lot of research. Much of that research measures how much things have changed, or describes the latest state of affairs.

But where’s the research that tells us what to do about it?

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Tow Foundation are hoping to fill that gap, by giving Columbia School of Journalism $2 million to fund what you might call “applied research in journalism” — studies that not only describe what’s happening, but prescribe the best practices for journalists to follow.

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