Knight News Challenge offers $2.75 million for ideas to strengthen the Internet

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Ford Foundation and Mozilla team with Knight Foundation for innovation contest

Knight News Challenge 2014

Related LinkS

"Toward a stronger Internet" by John Bracken and Chris Sopher on Knight Blog

"Our future’s Internet strengthened today" by Jenny Toomey on Knight Blog

MIAMI – Feb. 27, 2014 – The Knight News Challenge opens for applications today, looking to fund innovative ideas that strengthen the Internet for free expression and innovation.

Knight is collaborating with Ford Foundation and Mozilla on the challenge. Winners will receive a share of $2.75 million, which includes $250,000 from Ford Foundation. 

Applicants can enter by completing a brief entry on newschallenge.org by March 18 that answers the question: How can we strengthen the Internet for free expression and innovation? The challenge aims to attract a broad range of innovative ideas from journalism, policy, research and education.

“As an essential platform for free expression and learning, the Internet plays a vital role in building more informed communities and a stronger democracy,” said Michael Maness, Knight Foundation vice president of journalism and media innovation.  “We want to discover projects that foster the Internet as an open, equitable space for news and information, while reinforcing its potential as a driver of innovation and new ideas.”

“We live in an age where every industry, everyone’s lives is touched by the Internet,” said Mark Surman, executive director of Mozilla. “Mozilla is proud to join Knight Foundation and Ford Foundation in supporting the next round of great ideas on how to protect the world’s largest public resource—the open Web.

“At Ford, we believe strengthening the Internet is one of the defining challenges of our time,” said Jenny Toomey, director of the Internet rights program at the Ford Foundation. “It is critical to bring resources to bear on the increased urgency of protecting open access at a time when advocates and organizations around the world rely on the Internet to advance civil and human rights, and social justice more broadly.”

The Open IDEO-powered newschallenge.org platform facilitates conversations across projects and allows applicants to refine their ideas based on user comments and suggestions. In mid-April, Knight will select a smaller group of semifinalists to move forward in the contest and provide additional information on their ideas.

The challenge is open to anyone; for-profits, nonprofits and individuals from anywhere can apply. More information is available in our FAQ section on newschallenge.org.

Virtual office hours for those who want to learn more are also being held on March 4 at 1 p.m. ET. Participants can access the meeting online (https://bluejeans.com/731675489/browser) or participate via phone at 1-888-240 2560 and enter meeting ID 731675489.

The Knight News Challenge accelerates media innovation by funding the best breakthrough ideas in news and information. Since 2007 Knight Foundation has reviewed more than 15,000 News Challenge applications and provided more than $37 million in funding to 111 projects. This is the first News Challenge of 2014. The theme of the last round was health, and the seven winners were announced in January.

The application period for this round on strengthening the Internet will close at 5 p.m. ET March 18, 2014. Experts will help Knight and a set of advisers review the entries. Winners will be announced in June 2014 at the MIT-Knight Civic Media Conference.

Visit newschallenge.org to apply and participate in the conversation.

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.  www.knightfoundation.org

About the Ford Foundation

The Ford Foundation is an independent, nonprofit grant-making organization. For over 75 years it has worked with courageous people on the frontlines of social change worldwide, guided by its mission to strengthen democratic values, reduce poverty and injustice, promote international cooperation, and advance human achievement. With headquarters in New York, the foundation has offices in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia.  www.fordfoundation.org

About Mozilla:

Mozilla has been a pioneer and advocate for the Web for more than a decade. We create and promote open standards that enable innovation and advance the Web as a platform for all. Today, hundreds of millions of people worldwide use Mozilla Firefox to discover, experience and connect to the Web on computers, tablets and mobile phones.  mozilla.org

CONTACTS:

Anusha Alikhan, director of communications, Knight Foundation, 305-908-2677, media@knightfoundation.org

Joshua Cinelli, chief of media relations, Ford Foundation, 212-573-5128, j.cinelli@fordfoundation.org

Erica Sackin, Mozilla, 646-820-603, press@mozillafoundation.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.

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