The Knight News Challenge accelerates media innovation by funding breakthrough ideas in news and information. Winners receive a share of $5 million in funding and support from Knight’s network of influential peers and advisors to help advance their ideas.
Throughout 2012, innovators from all industries and countries are invited to participate in three challenge rounds, each with focused topics on emerging trends.
Round 1 - on networks - is closed, and the winners will be announced June 18.
Round 2 - on data - will be open May 31 - June 21. We’re looking for new ways of collecting, understanding, visualizing and helping the public use the large amounts of information generated each day. Winners will be announced in late September.
Details on Round 3 will available later this year.
Anyone, anywhere can apply for the challenge - whether for-profit start-ups or non-profit ventures. For more information on a variety of topics - from guidelines for for-profits, on intellectual property licensing, open source software and more - visit our FAQ.
Buy Washington City Paper and transform it into a non-profit membership organization.
While many people are exploring non-profit models for journalism, this is a unique opportunity: can a modern non-profit model be applied to an existing for-profit publication?
The network is the digital audience of the publication. We will galvanize this network to become a paid membership who directly support the journalism they care about. Just as in public radio, the content will be free for all, but we’ll incentivize membership with access to special news apps.
Over the past several years, City Paper’s local leadership has succeeded in reinventing the paper online in defiance of the epic financial stress of its parent company. The staff plan to go further, creating fantastic news and arts applications. But the paper needs new investment to realize these ideas. A non-profit membership model is the best way to return the publication to local financial control, and it can be accomplished with an initial grant by Knight. This is a challenge with real world stakes and the foundation to succeed.
5. Who is working on it? [100 words]
The goal is to put the paper back in the hands of its staff. Our alt-weekly has been controlled by distant owners for years, but the writers, editors, and production team who publish it have remained dedicated to D.C. and to the publication. So everyone will share in the work and in the success. We need this work to be directed by our publisher and editor, executed by our staff, and driven by the needs of our readers.
The culture of City Paper is so strong that the staff has continued to produce excellent journalism through a recent 5% pay cut. The community itself pushed for a legal defense fund to protect the paper when it was threatened by a massive lawsuit. City Paper has a unique and adaptable web publishing platform which can be open-sourced with the help of this investment. We have good relationships with people who have worked closely on non-profit models for journalism.
Through a combination of membership and sponsorship similar to public radio. The organization is already capable of generating revenue, but needs a new structure to be able to evolve. We want to prove that this transition can be self-sustaining after an initial investment, paving the way for others.
Requested amount from Knight News Challenge: 2 million dollars cash. Some to buy the paper, the rest to give it breathing room to reboot.