Knight Prototype Fund open call closes with more than 800 ideas

Thank you to everyone who participated in the open call for ideas to combat misinformation on the web and bolster trust in quality journalism. We received more than 800 applications from a range of organizations and individuals. Their projects seek to experiment and test news ways for improving the flow of accurate information.

Over the coming weeks, we’ll review applications with the help of outside judges, who were selected for their expertise in the fields of media and civic engagement. Our first step in the process is reviewing all of the applications to eliminate any that are off-topic. Once that’s done, we’ll move on to the first round of reviews. We’ve assembled a group of 24 judges who will read through applications and evaluate the quality of the idea and strength of the team. Then, we’ll narrow the pool of applications to about 50 semifinalists. We will notify everyone on April 19 whether or not they advance to the next round. 

From April 26 – May 5, the Knight team, along with our partners from the Rita Allen Foundation and the Democracy Fund, will interview semifinalists to collect more information on the projects. Then, we’ll send the applications to judges for a final round of review. On May 12, we’ll convene the judges in Miami to discuss their top finalist choices. We will take their input into consideration as we select finalists. We will notify teams on May 25 whether they’ve been selected as a winner. 

Winners will participate in an onboarding workshop in early June (final awards are subject to completing any due diligence and completing a grant agreement). This is an opportunity for members of the cohort to meet one another, and meet Knight staff. We will explain the expectations for the grant and will arrange for project management and human-centered design training to kick off the prototyping process. We will publicly announce the 20 finalists at the Investigative Reporters and Editors conference in Phoenix on June 22. We expect for the average grant size to be $50,000, and we will award up to $1 million in total. 

Thanks again to everyone who applied. We look forward to reviewing your applications in the coming weeks. Thanks also to those who participated in our information sessions, to those who helped spread the word and to our partners, the Rita Allen Foundation and the Democracy Fund. Follow @knightfdn and #prototypefund on Twitter for the latest. 

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