Journalism 360˚ Challenge


Status: Applications are now closed. 

How might we experiment with immersive storytelling to advance the field of journalism?

This is an open call for ideas using immersive storytelling to discover new ways to engage audiences and advance the field of journalism.

Knight Foundation, Google News Lab and the Online News Association are partnering to launch an open call for ideas, offering up to $35,000 in funding to test, refine and build out a project. 

Virtual, augmented, mixed reality and 360 video are opening new opportunities for journalists to connect with audiences. In a news environment dominated by two-dimensional digital experiences, this technology allows people to interact with their surroundings and takes them places that they would otherwise not be able to go. At the same time they raise important technical and ethical challenges that journalists need to understand and explore.

For this open call, we want to discover ideas that grow immersive storytelling to advance the field of journalism—that inform and encourage news organizations to innovate, experiment and learn. We believe that developing lessons around this emerging area can help journalists extend and deepen their impact. 

We want projects that use immersive storytelling to fuel innovation and new ideas, while addressing the many open questions facing this nascent industry. We’re not prescriptive in what your project should be. We welcome all kinds of ideas, from new ways to produce and apply the technology, to the workflows, roles and skills required to create better journalism and enhanced storytelling techniques, to promoting ethics, transparency and accountability. We encourage collaboration on projects that will help advance the field. Our focus is not on funding content. We are primarily looking for projects that will yield lessons and “how-tos” for the field of journalism and encourage reporters and editors to think differently.

This challenge is open to anyone, from journalists, technologists, entrepreneurs, gamers, software developers and academics, to news organizations, startups, established businesses, nonprofits and individuals. Focused on early-stage ideas, the challenge encourages building fast, failing fast and learning from the journey.

So how might we use immersive storytelling to advance the field of journalism? From March 8 to April 10, we invite you to submit your idea to win a share of $250,000, which we will award in June 2017. After the open call closes, we will review every entry we receive with the help of a team of outside advisers.