Friday, October 13, 2006

$5 million new media challenge

"Turn the web on its head. Show us how online news can help people improve their lives and shape their communities."

That's the challenge recently issued by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. It's called the Knight Brothers 21st Century News Challenge, and it's a worldwide call for new ideas, pilot projects, commercial products and leadership initiatives that will improve the flow of information and news in the public interest.

To back up its challenge, the foundation is putting its money where its mouth 2007, it plans to award $5 million to those individuals, organizations or businesses that can show how their ideas will transform community life.

Interested? The deadline for applying and submitting a letter of inquiry is Dec. 31, 2006.

The categories for this initiative are:
  • Ideas
  • Pilot project
  • Leadership
  • Commercial products and investments
  • Open (for great ideas that don't seem to fit in the other categories)
Specifically, the Knight Foundation is looking for:
  • New ways to understand news and act on it, including new ways to collect, prepare and distribute information, news and journalism that reveals hard-to-know facts, identifies common problems, clarifies community issues and points out practical courses of action.

  • New ways for people to communicate interactively to better understand one another, to generate real passion in solving local problems and to share the know-how they need to improve their communities;

  • New ways for people to use information, news and journalism to imagine their collective possibilities as communities, and to set and reach common community goals.
Also be sure to check out what they're not looking for, so you don't waste their time...or yours.

Questions? Check out their FAQ page. Think you've got the next big idea? Here's how to apply.

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