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Knight News Challenge offers $5m for digital community development

Knight News Challenge offers $5m for digital community development

Do you have a big idea for informing and inspiring a geographic community using social media, Web 2.0 tools or OpenID? The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation has launched its Knight News Challenge, offering up to $5 million for innovative ideas from around the world that use digital innovation “to transform community news and information exchange”.

To support applications, Knight has created the News Challenge Garage, where prospective applicants can receive peer reviews and mentoring from screeners and awardees from previous years. Fifty mentors including Beth Kanter are available to coach and guide applicants.

The first two years year of the contest produced individual, private and public winners including:

* ChiTownDailyNews.org: Recruits and trains a network of 75 citizen journalists – one in each Chicago neighborhood.

* Everyblock.com: Allows citizens of a large city to learn (and act on) civic information about their neighborhood or block.

* Spot.us: Pays for local investigative reporting by soliciting financial support from the public.

Entries must have three elements:

1) use of a digital media;

2) delivery of news or information on a shared basis to

3) a geographically defined community.

Entries must be open-source and share the software and knowledge created.

The deadline for applications is 1 November 2008.

www.newschallenge.org

Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world's first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp.

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