Knight News Challenge seeks breakthrough ideas that unlock power of data

MIAMI (May 31, 2012) – The Knight News Challenge: Data opens today, seeking to fund innovative ideas that make the large amounts of information produced each day available, understandable and actionable.

The application process is simple – answer eight questions, with up to 500 words, on the Tumblr by noon EST June 21. Winners will receive a share of $5 million in funding and support from Knight Foundation’s network of influential peers and advisors to help advance their ideas.

The Knight News Challenge accelerates media innovation by funding breakthrough ideas in news and information. With the volume of data produced each day exploding, this round of the challenge will seek ideas to collect, process, visualize or otherwise make data useful.

“Data, shared by governments, corporations, researchers – and  increasingly the public – is helping us understand and define the world’s biggest challenges. But data alone doesn’t provide the whole story. We need ways to make it understandable to communities so they can have the information they need to make decisions about their lives,” said Michael Maness, Knight Foundation vice president for journalism and media innovation.

Innovators from all industries and countries – for-profit, non-profit and individuals – are invited to participate. The challenge’s definition of news is broad, encompassing any data idea that helps provide communities with vital information. Read about challenge guidelines in our FAQ, and about why the challenge is focusing on data on our Tumblr.

This is the second of three rounds of the News Challenge running in 2012, under a revamped model designed to more closely match the pace of innovation than the previous once-yearly format. The theme of the first round was “Networks,” and the winners will be announced at the MIT/Knight Civic Media Conference on June 18. (The award presentation, and the conference, will be livestreamed at

The application period for this round on data will close at noon EST June 21, 2012, and the winners will be announced in September.

If you have a question about the challenge, join a Google Hangout on the Knight Foundation page at 11 a.m. EST Tuesday June 5.

About Knight Foundation

Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit



Andrew Sherry, Vice President/Communications, (305) 908-2677, [email protected]