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Knight Foundation Challenge: More Details

Gary Kebbel at the Knight Foundation (which is funding one of our projects) wants anyone who’s interested in community journalism to consider applying for a grant. The program is called the “Knight Brothers’ 21st Century News Challenge,” and here are some details from an email:

The purpose of the challenge is to fund new community news projects that use the digital world to connect people in the real world.

The communities we’re concerned with are those that help people where they live and work. Online communities don’t need our help. Virtual communities spring up every day. But the idea of turning the web on its head to help people connect in real life does need our help.

In the 20th Century, the Knight Brothers owned newspapers that were the glue that held communities together. We’d like to know who or what will do that in the 21st Century?

What do we mean by “glue”? Great newspapers help communities become aware of their real situations. They inspire people to come up with new ideas to improve things. And they bestir people to pursue their true interests.
We want to help news organizations create products that engage a new generation of users, particularly because other companies already have. We want to make sure that innovative products are created that continue to serve the fair, accurate, contextual search for truth.

The competition will make awards in the following categories:

• Ideas
• Pilot projects and field tests
• Leadership projects
• Commercial investments
• Open submissions

The Challenge web site, with an online application form, is at

We will accept applications through Dec. 31, and hope to begin announcing winners in the spring of 2007. We will be assisted by outside reviewers, using a similar process as was used to select Knight Chairs.

We hope you will pass this information along to anyone who might have an idea or project that would qualify. This competition is open to anyone, not just the journalism community.

If you have questions about this, please refer them to

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