The Knight Foundation recently announced that they are launching a new $5 million fund for innovative community journalism in cyberspace called the ‘Knight Brothers 21st Century News Challenge.’ The grant program will provide funding for "new ideas, prototypes, products and leadership initiatives that use innovative news methods to help citizens better
connect within their communities."
So all of you bright social entrepreneurs with the idea for the next "OhMyNews" or Craigslist or RSS/virtual world/vlog/school board mash-up get out there an apply by December 31 to newschallenge.org.
Hit the jump for the complete announcement…
Knight Foundation Competition Will Award
To Innovative Community News Experiments
$5 Million ‘Knight Brothers 21st Century News Challenge’
to Fund New Forms of Community Journalism in Cyberspace
MIAMI – The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation today launches the Knight
Brothers 21st Century News Challenge, investing as much as $5 million in its
first year in community news projects that best use the digital world to connect
people to the real world.
The News Challenge is looking to fund new ideas, prototypes, products and
leadership initiatives that use innovative news methods to help citizens better
connect within their communities.
The competition is open to anyone, not just the journalism
“News and information are the glue that binds communities. We want to help
today’s high-tech news do in the 21st century what the Knight brothers’
newspapers did this past century,” said Alberto Ibargüen, president of Knight
“Through their newspapers, the Knight brothers helped build a sense of
community in cities and towns across the country. They did it by providing news,
information and commentary that helped citizens understand their common
interests and opportunities. The Knight brothers helped define the geography
where people lived. We want to continue that tradition using new media to do
what the brothers used to do with ink on paper,’ said Ibargüen.
If the quality of entries warrant it, the foundation may spend as much as $25
million during the next five years in the search for bold community news
“We’d like to encourage the newest ways for people to pursue a great American
tradition: the fair, accurate, contextual search for the truth,” said Eric
Newton, Knight’s director of Journalism Initiatives. “We want to help the
citizens of this new century get the news they need to run their governments and
The Challenge web site, with an online application form, is at www.newschallenge.org . The competition will accept
applications through Dec. 31, and expects to begin announcing winners in the
spring of 2007.
The foundation and its special panel of new media advisors will look for
innovative proposals that contain a unique combination of vision, courage and
know-how in their ability to use cyberspace to better connect people to the
physical space where they live and work.
Cell phone documentaries? New operating software for news collectors?
Journalism games? Nothing is too far out to qualify.
“We hesitate to set too many rules,” said Knight journalism program officer
Gary Kebbel, “because we expect the best entries will be ideas that totally
The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation promotes journalism excellence
worldwide and invests in the vitality of U.S. communities where the Knight
brothers owned newspapers. Since its creation in 1950, the foundation has
invested nearly $300 million to advance journalism quality and freedom of
expression. For more on Knight’s work, visit www.knightfdn.org
Larry Meyer, Vice President of
Communications, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, (305) 908-2610, firstname.lastname@example.org.