5th Knight News Challenge To Open For Entries Oct. 25

Popular media innovation contest focuses on categories — Mobile, Authenticity, Sustainability and Community

Miami (October 7, 2010) — The fifth year of the Knight News Challenge, a media innovation contest funded and run by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, will open for entries on Oct 25, and for the first time will feature experimental categories: Mobile, Authenticity, Sustainability and Community.

"The use of new categories are an effort to harness and accelerate the entrepreneurial energy we are seeing in the field," said John S. Bracken, Knight Foundation Director of Digital Media. “We have incorporated what we have learned over the first four years of the News Challenge to focus this year on four key issues.”

The Knight News Challenge seeks innovative techniques and technologies that advance the foundation's goal of informing and engaging communities. In its first four years, $23 million has been awarded to 56 media innovators chosen from more than 10,000 entries.

The fifth year of the contest opens for entries Oct. 25 and closes Dec. 1. Individuals, schools, nonprofits, governments and businesses all may enter.

Through the Mobile category, the 2011 News Challenge seeks innovative ideas for news and information on all types of mobile communication devices. In the Authenticity category, the contest offers funding for projects that help people better understand the reliability of news and information sources. The Sustainability category is for consideration of new economic models supporting news and information that helps citizens run their communities and their lives. The Community category seeks groundbreaking technologies that support news and information specifically within defined geographic areas.

In the Mobile, Authenticity and Sustainability categories, the foundation prefers media innovation entries with a community focus, Bracken said. However, in the Community category a place-based focus is an absolute requirement. Entries have to detail in what specific geographic community the media innovation will be tested.

Software produced by the contest winners has to be open-source.

Scores of news organizations, including some of America's most prestigious, are using tools supported through the News Challenge. Previous winners include new journalistic funding models (Spot.us), new ways to examine original documents and link them to news stories (Document Cloud), and new approaches to verifying the authenticity of information (Media Standards Trust with Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web.) 

To apply visit www.newschallenge.org or follow @knightfdn and #knc on Twitter.

Entrants need only to fill out a brief form to submit an application. Experts in news, communities and technology will help the foundation review entries. Knight Foundation staff make the final recommendations and its trustees make the final decisions on the awards. The foundation will announce winners in June 2011 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Foundation staff will field questions about the News Challenge throughout the application period, starting with an online chat at noon EST Oct. 26. Visit www.newschallenge.org to participate in the chat and ask questions.

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation advances journalism excellence in the digital age and invests in the vitality of communities where the Knight brothers owned newspapers. Knight Foundation focuses on projects that promote informed and engaged communities and lead to transformational change. For more, visit www.knightfoundation.org.

Contact: Marc Fest, Vice President of Communications, Knight Foundation,
305-908-2677; fest@knightfoundation.org

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 www.knightfoundation.org.