Toward a stronger Internet

The Internet has become an essential resource for artistic expression, news, economic growth, education and human interaction. How can we make it stronger? That’s the question we’re asking in the first Knight News Challenge of 2014, which we’re launching today, with help from Ford Foundation and Mozilla.

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Our future’s Internet strengthened today” by Jenny Toomey on

A $2.75 million challenge to create a more open Internet” by Mark Surman on

Creating safe spaces for innovation on the Internet” by Kwasi Asare on

Refusing to unlearn a free and open Internet” by Shazna Nessa on

4 most common News Challenge questions answered” by John Bracken on

Restoring equilibrium to the web” by Tyler Fisher on 

From now through 5 p.m. ET on March 18, you can share your ideas, and react to those from others. We have committed $2.75 million for the best ideas, including $250,000 from the Ford Foundation. We’ll announce the winners in June. We’ll also invite the winning teams to a two-day human-centered design training workshop to help them develop their projects. Winners will become part of a growing network of past News Challenge winners that includes MapBox, Wikipedia, Safecast, DocumentCloud and Zeega.

We run the News Challenge without specific projects in mind. There is no formula for winning. In fact, we’ve made this challenge even more open than in the past. For the first time, we’re not just looking for technologies, but also ideas for journalism, policy, research, education – any innovative project that results in a stronger Internet.

If you have questions about the application, you can join us us for a virtual hangout on Tuesday, March 4, at 1 p.m. ET. (To join via audio only, call 1-888-240-2560 with Meeting ID 731675489.)

You can also come talk to us during SXSW Interactive March 7-11 and check out a panel we’ve organized on “Remember When the Internet was Free?” It’s 12:30 p.m CT on Saturday, March 8.

Look for more on this topic on Knight Blog. Our collaborators from Mozilla and Ford Foundation will weigh in, and guest bloggers will share their thoughts. Meanwhile, you can hit us up on Twitter @knightfdn using #newschallenge, or via e-mail at sopher(at) or bracken(at) And don’t forget to apply by March 18.

John Bracken, director of journalism and media innovation at Knight Foundation, and Chris Sopher, journalism program associate at Knight Foundation.