Knight Blog

The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Announcing the Knight News Challenge: Networks

Feb. 9, 2012, 12:29 p.m., Posted by John Bracken

Note: To apply for the News Challenge, and read our FAQ, visit

Our first News Challenge, on networks, will open for applications on Feb. 27 and close on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17. We will launch a second contest later in the spring as an open competition, looking for new ideas broadly. A third contest will be devoted to a topic to be determined later. Each will last 8 to 10 weeks, beginning to end, as we try to bring our work closer to Internet speed. First-round winners will be announced in June.

For this year’s first Knight News Challenge, we intend to harness the momentum from people thinking about and building networks. In the course of our work, we often come across proposals to “build a Facebook that connects X and Y.” We want to move away from that. There are a lot of vibrant networks and platforms, on- and off-line, that can be used to connect us with the news and information we need to make decisions about our lives. This challenge will not fund new networks. Rather, we’re asking you to describe ways you might use existing platforms to drive innovation in media and journalism.

Health news service goes mobile, increasing availability of information

Feb. 8, 2012, 10 a.m., Posted by Elizabeth R. Miller

As economic troubles continue, nearly half of people surveyed say they are scrimping on health care, according to the Consumer Reports National Research Center. Good information is key to making choices about where to save.

In order to increase the availability of that information, the Center for Advancing Health is taking its news service mobile.

With $150,000 in support from Knight Foundation, the center’s Health Behavior News Service will digitize its news for mobile access and revamp its website.

The health news service creates news stories on the latest findings from peer-reviewed research journals and disseminates them worldwide to subscribed journalists.

Announcing OpenNews: The Knight Mozilla Partnership Pivots

Feb. 7, 2012, 10:13 a.m., Posted by John Bracken


This morning, our Mozilla partners announced the “retooling” of the Knight-Mozilla News Technology Partnership under a new name, OpenNews. We began talking with Mozilla in 2010 and launched the project a year ago to advance media innovation and the open web. As Project Lead Dan Sinker says in his post today, “two years is an eternity on the internet.”

Here at Knight Foundation, some of my colleagues have begun to make fun of me for my frequent use of the term “pivot.” I probably have been over-using the word - but I’ve been using it emphasize the need for us (the foundation, our partners - all of us working in the field, really) to adjust what we’re doing based on what we learn. At the orientation for the 2011 Knight News Challenge winners, I urged them not to hesitate to come to us with proposed re-directions of their projects. I’m less concerned by projects that come to us proposing tweaks and re-directions than I am by those that stay the course from proposal to completion.  And this need for flexibility and retooling applies to our own work: later this week, we’ll announce our own “pivot” of the Knight News Challenge.