Knight News Challenge

The Knight News Challenge accelerates media innovation by funding breakthrough ideas in news and information. Winners receive a share of $5 million in funding and support from Knight’s network of influential peers and advisors to help advance their ideas. The first round of 2013, which opens in February, will invite innovators from all disciplines to focus on tools for open government. In 2012, three challenge rounds, each focused on an emerging trend, drew more than 2,500 entries.

Challenge 1 - on NETWORKS: Winners were announced June 18.

Challenge 2 - on DATA: Winners were announced Sept. 20.

Challenge 3 – on MOBILE: Winners were announced Jan. 17.

Anyone, anywhere can apply for the challenge - whether for-profit start-ups or non-profit ventures. For more information on a variety of topics - from guidelines for for-profits, on intellectual property licensing, open source software and more - visit our FAQ.

What’s next for News Challenge: Mobile

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Photo Credit: Flickr user girl_onthe_les

We closed the Knight News Challenge on mobile yesterday. Thank you to everyone who applied - we received about 525 applications.

Over the next few weeks we’ll be carefully reviewing them. With the help of advisors, we’ll read each application at least three times. On Oct. 5 we will bring about 18 advisors to review the top 40-50 applications. The following week we’ll begin interviewing and conducting due diligence on a final dozen or so. At that point, we’ll let the other 513 or so applicants know that we will not be funding them.

We’ll recommend a list of winners to Knight’s Board of Trustees in December and announce the winners in early January.

This week, we’re training the readers how to rate the proposals. One thing we’re emphasizing to them is that the News Challenge is about a lot more than just the winners. Through the contest, we are able to learn about the field. We ask the advisors to keep an eye out for ideas and people not otherwise on our radar. This year, we have also have the Prototype Fund, which is designed to fund projects so that we can learn from them quickly. I suspect that we will end up funding a few of the 525 applicants to the News Challenge through that fund.

Lastly we’ve begun work on 2013. We plan to run three contests next year. The first will be designed around applications for open government. We first started exploring the theme in depth at a convening by the Aspen Institute in August. We plan to have more, smaller conversations this fall to help us refine the topic. We look forward to engaging you, too.

Be sure to join us next week when we announce the winners of the News Challenge: Data. The winners will be announced Sept. 20 at the 2012 Online News Association Conference in San Francisco and will give lightning round talks on Saturday, Sept. 22 which will be livestreamed. You can also follow @knightfdn and use #newschallenge.

By John Bracken, director journalism/media innovation at Knight Foundation

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