Three projects will help better inform the public through technology innovation with $540,000 from Knight Foundation

Press Release

November 29, 2016

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Knight reinvests in projects focused on archiving born-digital content, preserving analog video and helping people find public resources

MIAMI – Nov. 29, 2016 – The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation today announced $540,000 in new funding for three projects that will help people better find, understand and preserve information.

Knight Foundation previously provided early-stage funding to develop the projects as part of the Knight Prototype Fund.

The organizations receiving support include:

Bay Area Video Coalition | $90,000 |Twitter:@bavc, @bavcpreserve |San Francisco

Journalists, media professionals, nonprofit organizations and others need to digitize their analog video to preserve their history and share it with new generations or use it for research. There is limited software available for digitization of analog video, and the software that exists hinders preservation efforts by either failing to process tapes with the slightest deterioration or by compromising quality. QCTools allows users to easily preserve analog video through an open-source video digitization app that is inexpensive and easy to use. New Knight support will expand the development of the tool and the release of a 1.0 version.

One Degree | $250,000 |Twitter: @1deg |San Francisco

For the millions of Americans living in poverty, accessing and applying for public benefits is a time-consuming and multi-layered process. One Degree offers a web and mobile platform to help people discover, track and share their experiences about social services. The tech startup has reached more than 140,000 people over the last two years with its platform. With new Knight funding, it will develop a common application for nonprofit and social services. The new tool will screen and enroll applicants in a range of health, social service, affordable housing and other support programs. It will streamline the application process by providing one electronic application that collects and securely stores users’ personal information, screens their eligibility, and then delivers the data electronically (or offline) to service providers.

Rhizome | $200,000 |Twitter: @rhizome | New York

The vast amount of information, multimedia and other content found on the internet is difficult to store. Without an effective tool to preserve this born-digital information it can be lost. To address this problem, Rhizome, a nonprofit affiliated with the New Museum in New York, will expand the development of Webrecorder, a tool for archiving personalized, embedded or interactive content. Rhizome will work with organizations, social media users, journalists, artists and others to help them easily archive their experience of the web. It will also develop best practices for privacy, security and ethics of content preservation on the internet. In addition, Knight funding will support two public events exploring these topics at the New Museum in 2017 and 2018. The first, titled Digital Social Memory, takes place February 4, and brings together practitioners from a wide range of backgrounds to discuss the importance and implications of creating decentralized, dynamic web archives.

“Using technology to help people more easily find and preserve information so they can make decisions about their lives is essential to building stronger, more engaged communities. These projects do just that, encouraging experimentation and innovation while providing solutions to real challenges,” said Chris Barr, Knight Foundation director for technology innovation.

Funding for these projects forms part of Knight Foundation’s efforts to support innovative experiments in the use of digital media and technology to inform and engage. Each of the projects was born out of early-stage funding from Knight Foundation.

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Knight Foundation is a national foundation with strong local roots. We invest in journalism, in the arts, and in the success of cities where brothers John S. and James L. Knight once published newspapers. Our goal is to foster informed and engaged communities, which we believe are essential for a healthy democracy. For more, visit knightfoundation.org.

Contact: Anusha Alikhan, Director of Communications, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, 305-908-2646, [email protected]