Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Knight News Challenge Winners Announced; MIT Tops List with $5 Million

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Knight News Challenge Winners Announced; MIT Tops List with $5 Million

Article excerpt

MIT, MTV, and various bloggers are among the first-year winners of the Knight News Challenge announced today at the Editor & Publisher/Mediaweek Interactive Media Conference and Trade Show in Miami.

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation funded the contest with $25 million over five years to help journalism continue moving into a digital future. The initial winners -- chosen from among 1,650 applicants -- will receive $12 million, including several multi-year awards.

Awarded the biggest grant ($5 million) was the Media Lab and Comparative Media Studies Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The money will be used to create a Center for Future Civic Media to develop, test, and study new forms of high-tech community news.

Other grants that were given included:

-- $1.1 million to journalist/Web developer Adrian Holovaty, 26, creator of chicagocrime.org, to create a series of city-specific Web sites devoted to public records and hyper-local information. Among the cities getting the sites will be Miami, Philadelphia, Detroit, San Jose, and Charlotte.

-- $885,000 to VillageSoup in Maine to build free software to allow others to replicate the citizen journalism and community participation site VillageSoup.

-- $700,000 to MTV to establish a Knight Mobile Youth Journalist (Knight "MyJos") in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia to report weekly -- on cell phones and other media -- on key issues including the environment, the 2008 presidential election, and sexual health. …

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