Knight News Challenge awards $2.2 million to the winners of its Data round

By Anna Heim

Knight Foundation has unveiled the list of winners of its latest Knight News Challenge, which focused on data-related projects. Following the announcement, these six teams will receive a total of $2.2 million to accelerate their ventures.

The foundation first launched Knight News Challenge in 2007, and decided that the three rounds it is organizing this year would concentrate on specific verticals.

After awarding 6 network-related projects last June, it is now granting funds to ideas that “make it easier to access and use information on local communities, air quality, elections, demographics and more.” Here are the winners:

  • Safecast: Creating a community of citizen and professional scientists to measure and share data on air quality in Los Angeles and other U.S. cities. The air quality effort is inspired by Safecast’s success in providing radiation data following Japan’s 2011 nuclear disaster.
  • LocalData: Providing a set of tools that communities can use to collect data on paper or via a smartphone app, then export or visualize the data via an easy-to-use dashboard. The city of Detroit has used the tools, created by Code for America fellows, to track urban blight.
  • Open Elections: Creating the first freely available, comprehensive source of U.S. election results, allowing journalists and researchers to analyze trends that account for campaign spending, demographic changes, legislative track records and more. Senior developers from The Washington Post and The New York Times lead the project.



About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit