Knight Foundation Now Taking Entries for Annual Knight News Challenge

By: E&P Staff The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation is now accepting applications for its fourth annual Knight News Challenge, a contest awarding up to $5 million for innovative ideas using digital experiments to transform community news. The deadline for applications is Oct. 15.

?You invent it. We fund it!? is the 2010 contest's slogan. Those with big ideas that include innovative use of new digital tools or processes such as social media, mash-ups or wikis are encouraged to enter, as well as sharp minds with new ways to exchange information via hand-held devices such as cell phones.

The contest?s three rules: Projects must use digital, open-source technology, distribute news in the public interest and be tested in a local community.

Applicants can enter in one of two categories. In the ?open? category, submissions are available to the public for viewing and commenting. These entries can use others? comments to revise and submit their application or proposals. In a separate ?closed? category, only Knight Foundation staff and contest reviewers will see the applications. Applicants who are not yet ready to share their ideas publicly can use the latter category.

?We want entries to push the bounds of the imagination,? said Gary Kebbel, Knight Foundation?s journalism program director. ?But they don?t always have to involve the invention of something completely new. We?re also searching for innovative twists on familiar tools.?

Those with questions regarding the contest can participate in a live chat with the Knight staff at 2 p.m. on Sept. 9 and Oct. 8 on the Foundation's new News Challenge blog.

The News Challenge is part of Knight Foundation?s $100 million-plus Media Innovation Initiative, which works to help meet community information needs partly by seeding experiments that the market will ultimately sustain.


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