Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Knight Foundation offers millions in awards for digital innovations in community news

It's no secret the digital age has changed journalism — the fact that you're reading a blog devoted rural issues and journalism is just one sign. Last year, Adrian Holovaty, left, won $1.1 million from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation's Knight News Challenge, designed to spark the next wave of innovations that use digital technology to improve community journalism.

This is the second year of the program, which plans to invest $25 million over five years to inspire new ideas. Winning entries will involve digital media, the delivery of news on a shared basis and be applicable to a geographically defined community. Holovaty won for his idea to create, test and release open-source software that links databases to allow citizens of a large city to learn and act on civic information about their neighborhood or block. Knight awarded 25 grants to ideas such as the cell-phone distribution of video news reports from mobile young journalists on the 2008 presidential election and online games to inform and engage players about key issues confronting New York City.

The deadline for this year's challenge is Oct. 15, and the online entry form is available

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