Knight News Challenge Winners: Bios, Projects, Photos and Contact Information

Video: Berkeley Professor Paul Grabowicz on story telling with a video game, in 2006. The project went on to win an award in the Challenge.


Prize in $


MIT Media Lab, Christopher Csikszentmihályi (with Jenkins)


[email protected]

Comparative Media Studies, Henry Jenkins (w/ Csikszentmihályi)


[email protected]

Adrian Holovaty, Journalist/web developer


[email protected]

Richard Anderson, VillageSoup


[email protected]

MTV: Music Television


[email protected]

Rich Gordon, Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University


[email protected]

Christopher Callahan, Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, Arizona State University


[email protected]

Geoff Dougherty, PublicMedia, Inc


[email protected]

David Ardia, Citizen Media Law Project, Berkman Center for Internet and Society, Harvard Law School


[email protected]

Gail Robinson, Gotham Gazette


[email protected]

Nora Paul, Institute for New Media Studies, School of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Minnesota


[email protected]

Ethan Zuckerman, Global Voices, Berkman Center for Internet and Society, Harvard Law School


[email protected]

Lisa Williams, Placeblogger


[email protected]

Todd Wolfson, Media Mobilizing Project of Philadelphia


[email protected]

Adam Glenn, Co-Founder of I, Reporter (with Amy Gahran)


[email protected]

Amy Gahran, Co-Founder of I, Reporter (with Adam Glenn)

w/ Glenn

[email protected]

Paul Grabowicz, University of California – Berkeley


[email protected]

Chris O’Brien, The Chronicle, Duke University’s student newspaper


[email protected]


Dianne Lynch and co-winners


Dianne Lynch, Roy H. Park School of Communications, Ithaca College


[email protected]

Angela Powers, Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communications, Kansas State

w/ Lynch

[email protected]

Ann Brill, William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications, University of Kansas

w/ Lynch

[email protected]

Ardyth Broadrick Sohn, Hank Greenspun School of Journalism and Media Studies, University of Las Vegas

w/ Lynch

[email protected]

Jane Briggs-Bunting, School of Journalism, Michigan State

w/ Lynch

[email protected]

Kimberly Sultze, department of journalism and mass communication, Saint Michael’s College

w/ Lynch

[email protected]

Pam McAllister-Johnson, School of Journalism & Broadcasting Western Kentucky University A5

w/ Lynch

[email protected]



Benjamin Melançon, Agaric Design Collective


[email protected]

Dan Schultz, Carnegie Mellon University undergraduate student


[email protected]

Dori Maynard, Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism Education


[email protected]

G. Patton Hughes, neomaxcom, LLC


[email protected]

J.D. Lasica,


[email protected]

Jay Rosen, Department of Journalism, New York University


[email protected]

Paul Lamb, Man on a Mission Consulting and Co-Founder, Lambs on Love


[email protected]

Leslie Rule, Digital Storytelling Initiative

w/ Lamb

[email protected]

Steven Clift, E-Democracy.Org


[email protected]

Center for Future Civic Media, Chris Csikszentmihályi, MIT Media Lab, $5,000,000 (shared with Henry Jenkins, Comparative Media Studies Program)

Chris Csikszentmihályi (pronounced Cheek-sent-me-hi) is the Muriel Cooper Associate Professor of Media Arts and Sciences and directs the Computing Culture Group at the MIT Media Lab. A 2007 Radcliffe Institute Fellow, he has worked in the intersection of new technologies, politics, media and the arts for 15 years, lecturing, showing new media work and presenting installations in four continents and one subcontinent. His work aims to create a new technology to embody a particular social agenda. For example, he designed his piece “Afghan Explorer” to defend the First Amendment by creating a tele-operated robot reporter to bypass American military censorship. Csikszentmihályi has lectured and presented to government agencies and arts, humanities and science and engineering departments across the globe. He served on the National Academies’ “Information Technology and Creativity” panel, and has recently won fellowships from the Langlois and Rockefeller Foundations. (MFA UC San Diego, BFA Art Institute of Chicago)

Project: The MIT Media Lab will create the Center for Future Civic Media, a leadership project designed to encourage community news experiments and new technologies and practices. Goals: “We are moving to a Fifth Estate where everyone is able to pool their knowledge, share experience and expertise, and speak truth to power.”

Henry Jenkins, MIT Comparative Media Studies Program, $5,000,000 (shared with Chris Csikszentmihályi, Media Lab)

Henry Jenkins is the director of the MIT Comparative Media Studies Program and the Peter de Florez Professor of Humanities. He is the author and/or editor of nine books on various aspects of media and popular culture, the newest books of which include Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide and Fans, Bloggers and Gamers: Exploring Participatory Culture. Jenkins recently developed a white paper on the future of media literacy education for the MacArthur Foundation, which is leading to a three year project to develop curricular materials to help teachers and parents better prepare young people for full participation in contemporary culture. He is one of the principal investigators for The Education Arcade, a consortium of educators and business leaders working to promote the educational use of computer and video games. He is one of the leaders of the Convergence Culture Consortium, which consults with leading players in the branded entertainment sector in hopes of helping them adjust to shifts in the media environment.

Project / Goal / see Chris Csikszentmihályi above.

Everyblock, Adrian Holovaty, Journalist/web developer, $1,100,000

Adrian Holovaty is a journalist and web developer in Chicago. He has developed innovative, award-winning web applications for, and One of his projects,, an innovative overlay of the city’s reported crimes using Google’s online mapping technology, won the $10,000 Grand Prize in the 2005 Batten Awards for Innovations in Journalism. He also co-created Django, an open-source web development framework. He graduated from the Missouri School of Journalism in 2001 and was named one of Crain’s “40 Under 40” in 2005.

Project: To create, test and release open-source software that links databases to allow citizens of a large city to learn (and act on) civic information about their neighborhood or block. Goals: “To create an easy way to answer the question, ‘What’s happening around me?’”

Richard Anderson, VillageSoup, $885,000

Richard M. Anderson is president and owner of VillageSoup Inc., a company that provides places for residents to learn, share and shop in the neighborhoods, villages or towns in which they reside. Before establishing VillageSoup, he spent five years teaching and 29 years developing and publishing elementary and high school textbooks. He was co-founder and eventual sole owner of Ligature Inc., a textbook production company. Anderson is an active community member who chairs and serves on various nonprofit organization boards. He and his wife Sandy live in Camden, Maine, as do two of their three children and families. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mathematics from the University of Northern Iowa and a Ph.D. in educational administration from the University of Iowa.

Project: To create an open-source version of VillageSoup’s successful community news software, combining professional journalism, blogs, citizen journalism, online advertising and “reverse publishing” from online to print.

Goals: “Turning independent weekly newspaper companies and entrepreneurs into an imposing, lively, worldwide creative energy that is competitive with media company chains.”

Mobile Youth Journalists / Street Team 08, Ian Rowe, MTV: Music Television, $700,000

Ian V. Rowe is the vice president of Strategic Partnerships and Public Affairs for MTV. His department oversees MTV’s campaigns that build awareness of issues important to MTV’s audience. He now oversees MTV’s new pro-social platform, think MTV that informs and engages viewers to take action on the domestic and global issues that matter most and affect their lives. Prior to MTV, Rowe was the director of Strategy and Performance Measurement for USA Freedom Corps at the White House, the president’s initiative on volunteer service. He is an Echoing Green Fellow and was also founder and president of Third Millennium Media, a media consulting business. Rowe spent two years with Teach for America, holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a degree in Computer Science Engineering from Cornell University.

Project: MTV will use its $700,000 Knight News Challenge grant to empower one young person in all 50 states and the District of Columbia to cover issues of prime importance to today’s youth – such as the environment, the upcoming presidential election and sexual health – as Knight Mobile Youth Journalists. Knight “MyJos” will create weekly video news reports for multimedia distribution, including online and over cell phones, and the most popular reports will be showcased across MTV’s platforms. By enabling young adults to report on issues that interest them and distribute those reports on their most commonly used digital mediums, MTV will offer its audience another innovative way to be heard on today’s most pressing social and political issues.

Goals: “By reporting on the issues most relevant to young adults with new tools of engagement, Knight’s ‘MyJos’ will help mobilize this age group to effect positive social and political change.”

Contact: [email protected] 

Graduate Journalism Program, Rich Gordon, Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University, $639,000 (also see related 2011 grant)

Rich Gordon is an associate professor of journalism at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, where he directs the school’s graduate program in new media journalism. Prior to joining Northwestern, he spent two decades working for newspapers in Virginia and Florida. From 1995 to 1999, Gordon was the first director of new media for the Miami Herald Publishing Co. He oversaw the team that created The Miami Herald Internet Edition (, El Nuevo Herald Digital (, two South Florida community guides ( and and an array of other Internet content and commerce services. He also served as newsroom technology coordinator for The Herald. He also organizes and conducts programs on new media publishing strategy for media company executives through Northwestern’s Media Management Center.

Project: To create an academic program blending computer science and journalism, designed to fill a staffing void at many digital news sites. By offering scholarships to Medill’s graduate journalism program to people with education and/or expertise in computer programming, the goal is to turn out students who understand both journalism and technology, connect one to another in ways that build audiences and also enhance and protect the civic functions of journalism in a democratic society.

Goals: “A democratic society in the digital age needs people who understand both journalism and technology,”

Taking Radio Out of the Box‘, WNYC-FM, New York City, 600,000

Project: To improve a city’s awareness of its arts and culture by bringing more diverse voices to WNYC public radio using a new type of interactive web site. WNYC will use social networking and social engagement tools to “take radio out of the box” and change it from a one-way to a multi-directional conversation. WNYC will create a new portal for cultural news, trends and events, using the tools of e-mail, audio, video, live events, user-initiated meet-ups and social networking. It will create an interactive, noncommercial, social networking platform built around users’ interest in cultural events. It will give listeners an ownership stake in the development of content, while also sharing its expertise with the audience. WNYC will partner with several dozen cultural organizations in NYC.

Contact: Alex Villari, Senior Director, WNYC

Knight-Kauffman Center for Digital Media Entrepreneurship,’ Christopher Callahan, Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, Arizona State University, $552,000

Christopher Callahan became the founding dean of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University in August 2005. In his first 18 months, Callahan added seven award-winning journalists to the Cronkite School’s full-time faculty. He also brought to ASU the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism and created the New Media Innovation Lab and Cronkite News Service. Prior to joining the Cronkite School, Callahan served as the associate dean at the University of Maryland’s Philip Merrill College of Journalism. Before entering a career in journalism education, Callahan was a Washington correspondent for The Associated Press.

Project: To support the development of media entrepreneurship and the creation of new digital media products through the establishment of the Knight-Kauffman Center for Digital Media Entrepreneurship at Arizona State University. 

Goals: “Growing a cadre of talented young entrepreneurs trained to harness the promise of emerging technologies, new methods of storytelling and interactivity through innovative new media products for a new generation of news consumers.”

Contact: [email protected]

Chi-Town Daily News, Geoff Dougherty, PublicMedia, Inc, $340,000 (see related 2010 grant)

Geoff Dougherty is the founding editor of and the . He was an investigative reporter at the Chicago Tribune, and served in similar roles at the Miami Herald and St. Petersburg Times. He has 14 years of journalism experience and has won numerous awards for his work. While at the Miami Herald, Dougherty played a key role in the newspaper’s effort to review, count and analyze discarded ballots from the 2000 presidential election. He is a graduate of Colorado College.

Project: The Chi-Town Daily News will recruit and train a network of 75 citizen journalists – one in each Chicago neighborhood. The journalists will work with editors to produce a professional, comprehensive daily local news report.

Goals: “A daily online news report written by citizen journalists that has more scope and depth than the coverage you find in many large newspapers.”

David Ardia, Citizen Media Law Project, Berkman Center for Internet and Society, Harvard Law School, $250,000

David Ardia is director of the Citizen Media Law Project at Harvard Law School’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society. David received his J.D. degree, summa cum laude, from Syracuse University College of Law in 1996 and expects to receive an LL.M. from Harvard Law School in June 2007. Prior to coming to Harvard, he was assistant counsel at The Washington Post where he provided pre-publication review and legal advice on First Amendment, newsgathering, intellectual property, and general business issues. Before joining The Post, David was an associate at Williams & Connolly in Washington, DC, where he handled a range of intellectual property and media litigation. David is a former member of the Newspaper Association of America’s Legal Affairs Committee and is a current member of the First Amendment and Media Litigation Committee of the American Bar Association, the Media Law Committee of the District of Columbia Bar, and the New England Media Lawyers Group.

Project: The Citizen Media Law Project, a joint venture between Harvard Law School’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society and the Center for Citizen Media, is creating a set of online resources for citizen journalists. This will include state and federal legal guides; advice on business formation; and a database of lawsuits, subpoenas and legal threats involving citizen media.

Goals: “Creating a vibrant, interested and proactively engaged community interested in journalism on the Internet.”

NY News Games’ on Gotham Gazette, Gail Robinson via Citizens Union Fdn, $250,000

Gail Robinson has 25 years experience as a political journalist. She edited and wrote for an environmental magazine with an urban focus, covered education for a daily newspaper, supervised political columns for a national newspaper feature syndicate and served as executive editor of monthly magazine offering Americans global perspectives. Robinson moved to online journalism first as a freelancer for sites such as and joined the Gotham Gazette staff in 2000. Along with editing, she has written extensively about the recent upheaval in the New York City school system, covered local political contests and reported on issues from parades to pollution. She has worked on Gotham Gazette’s early forays into games. A resident of Brooklyn and loyal (if not native) New Yorker, Robinson became editor-in-chief of Gotham Gazette this year.

Project: Gotham Gazette will develop games to inform and engage players about key issues confronting New York City. Gotham Gazette will hold forums on the games’ issues, report on what solutions the players developed and relay those ideas to city officials.

Goals: “These games will let New Yorkers solve problems, not just read about them.”

Playing The News,’ Nora Paul, Institute for New Media Studies, School of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Minnesota, $250,000

Nora Paul is director of the Institute for New Media Studies, School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Minnesota. She previously taught at the Poynter Institute teaching news library management, computer-assisted research, and new media leadership from 1991 to 2000. She was editor for information services at the Miami Herald from 1979 to 1991. Paul is the co-author of “Behind the Message: Information Strategies for Communicators.” She is a member of the board of the World Press Institute, and has traveled worldwide presenting seminars and lectures on research methods and on innovation in online news. Her work at the University of Minnesota focuses on evolving digital storytelling forms.

Project: Playing the News is a news simulation environment which lets citizens play through a complex, evolving news story through interaction with the newsmakers.

Goals: “We hope to imagine a new way to compile and display the development of complex news events.”

Rising Voices,’ Ethan Zuckerman, Global Voices, Berkman Center for Internet and Society, Harvard Law School, $244,000

Ethan Zuckerman is a research fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School. His research in the field of information and communication technology for development includes work on telecommunications policy, free and open source software, and citizen media. With Rebecca MacKinnon, he is the cofounder of Global Voices (, an international community of webloggers and citizen journalists. Prior to his work with Berkman and Global Voices, Zuckerman founded Geekcorps, a volunteer organization that sent technology experts to work with ICT companies in the developing world. He is the former CTO of, a pioneering web site hosting company based in western Massachusetts, where he lives and works. He serves on the board of several nonprofit projects that focus on technology and social change. His personal blog, “My Heart’s in Accra” is located at

Project: Over the past two years, Global Voices has introduced readers around the world to the brilliant, funny, insightful and touching voices of bloggers from developing nations. Rising Voices is our new effort to introduce thousands of new developing world bloggers to the world, helping students, journalists, activists and people from rural areas to the blogosphere.

Goals: “It’s becoming clear that the world is listening, so now we’re trying to get new groups of people talking.”

Contact: [email protected] /

Lisa Williams, Placeblogger, $222,000

Lisa Williams is the founder of Placeblogger, the largest live site of local weblogs and of H2otown, a nationally recognized citizen journalism site and online community for Watertown, Mass. After attending Emerson College, she worked briefly at a regional daily newspaper. Later, as an analyst at Daratech she wrote about computer-aided design technology. Williams moved from Daratech to Yankee Group, where she became the director of their enterprise software research group. Williams is an active member of the regular bloggers’ meeting at the Berkman Center for the Internet and Society in Cambridge, Mass. She was recently named a fellow of Peter Jennings Project for Journalists and the Constitution at the National Constitution Center.

Project: To make it easier for people to find hyperlocal news and information about their city or neighborhood through promotion of “universal geotagging” in blogs.

Goals: “Placeblogger wants to make it so simple to know what’s fresh, interesting and compelling about where you are right now, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it.”

Todd Wolfson is finishing a Ph.D. in anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania. His research focuses on the role of new information and communication technologies on social movement building. Correspondingly he is one of the founders of the Media Mobilizing Project, which attempts to take advantage of new technologies as a way to give voice to those left out of mainstream media.

Project: To develop online digital newscasts for Philadelphia’s immigrant community and to distribute them via the new citywide wireless platform.

Goals: “We aim to utilize Wireless Philadelphia to empower immigrant communities with tools to represent themselves.”

Adam Glenn, I, Reporter, $90,000 (shared with Amy Gahran)

Adam Glenn is an Internet news veteran now working as an independent online consultant in New York. He specializes in environment, science, technology, health and business. He has held posts with a wide variety of news media, most recently as senior producer at He co-founded I, Reporter with Amy Gahran in 2005. Glenn is an active member of the Online News Association and the Society of Environmental Journalists, where he serves on the editorial advisory board. He was awarded a 2002 Ford Environmental Journalism Fellowship to teach in India and a 2005 Environmental Media Fellowship at Vermont Law School. He trained at the University of Colorado-Boulder, the Centers for Disease Control and the National Institutes of Health. Glenn previously earned a mid-career Masters of International Affairs (environmental policy) at Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy in Boston.

Project: (with Amy Gahran) Create a citizen/professional journalism project using innovative web tools and citizen journalism practices to track Boulder, Colo.’s, implementation of a carbon tax. Goals: “In Boulder, people love to talk – especially about energy and the environment.”

Amy Gahran, I, Reporter, $90,000 (shared with Adam Glenn)

Amy Gahran is a media consultant and journalist based in Boulder, Colo. Working closely with the Society of Environmental Journalists, she covered energy and environmental issues for more than 15 years. She authors several blogs such as, one of the earliest leading voices on online content and communication, and, which focuses on conversational and social media. Gahran edits the Poynter Institute’s group blog E-Media Tidbits, and she’s created e-learning modules for News University. Two years ago she and business partner Adam Glenn launched I, Reporter, a guide for citizen journalists and news professionals who work with them. Their projects include an interactive database of nearly 500 citizen journalism projects throughout North America and helping launch the online side of a weekly community paper in NY state. Gahran also advises the pro/amateur journalism project.

Project: (with Adam Glenn) Create a citizen/professional journalism project using innovative web tools and citizen journalism practices to track Boulder, Colo.’s, implementation of a carbon tax. Goals: “In Boulder, people love to talk – especially about energy and the environment.”

Virtual Oakland Jazz Scene, Paul Grabowicz, Graduate School of Journalism, University of California – Berkeley, $60,000

Paul Grabowicz is Assistant Dean, Adjunct Professor and Director of the New Media Program at the University of California-Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism where he teaches classes in multimedia reporting, new media publishing, computer assisted reporting and video game storytelling. He is co-author of “California Inc.,” a book about how the entrepreneurial spirit shaped the politics, culture and economy of California. He spent most of his career as the investigative reporter at The Oakland Tribune, where he also served as night city editor and acting city editor and developed an early prototype of a web site for the paper. (It was rejected). He began his journalism career in 1973 working for local papers in the San Francisco Bay Area, including the Bay Guardian and has written for publications such as The Washington Post, Esquire magazine, The Village Voice and Newsday.

Project: Re-creating Oakland’s once vibrant jazz and blues club scene as an online video game and virtual world. The game will allow players to experience the club scene as it was in its heyday in the 1940s and 1950s, before it fell victim to redevelopment schemes and urban decay. Goals: “Reconnecting residents of a community to their history and cultural heritage through video game technology and storytelling.”

NextNewsRoom, Chris O’Brien, via Duke Student Publishing Co. student newspaper, $50,000

Chris O’Brien, a business reporter at the San Jose Mercury News, is a former editor of Duke University’s independent student newspaper, The Chronicle. He has volunteered his time and expertise to help The Chronicle train students with the new skills required for digital journalism, including helping to plan and design a new newsroom. He graduated from Duke University in 1991.

Project: The Chronicle staff will plan an “ideal newsroom” for the digital news era and create an online resource for student newspapers and other news organizations looking to bring their facilities up to date with new media trends.

Goals: “We want to prepare future generations of journalists and consumers for an era of constantly changing media choices.”

Digital News Incubators, Dianne Lynch, Roy H. Park School of Communications, Ithaca College, $230,000

Dianne Lynch is dean of the Roy H. Park School of Communications at Ithaca College. The school is launching an endowed Center for Independent Media to explore new journalistic forms. As the founding executive director of the national Online News Association, she was the editorial director of the first national study of the credibility of online news, and co-producer of a series of digital training modules for online newsrooms on the Poynter Institute’s News University. Lynch is a Fulbright Senior Specialist in new media technologies and learning; a member of the national Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications; and a member of the inaugural class of the ASJMC Leadership Institute. Lynch earned her master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her Ph.D. in Art History and Communications from McGill University in Montreal.

Project: Create ‘incubators’ at seven academic institutions to foster creative thinking about solutions to digital news problems. The schools are: Michigan State, University of Kansas, Kansas State, Western Kentucky University, Ithaca College, University of Nevada-Las Vegas and St. Michael’s College. Goals: “It’s time to leverage the creative and intellectual capital of the next generation of journalists to spur innovation in our newsrooms and our communities.” Contact: [email protected]

  • Angela Powers, Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communications, Kansas State University (with Dianne Lynch) 
    Angela Powers is director and a professor of the Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Kansas State. In addition to teaching, she has worked as a reporter for NBC and CBS affiliates, been a Senior Fulbright Specialist, Fulbright Scholar and Poynter fellow; written for journals and books and remained active in organizations such as the World Media Economics organization and AEJMC. Her research interests include influences on news content and media convergence. Powers received her Ph.D. from Michigan State. Contact: [email protected]

  • Ann Brill, William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications, University of Kansas (with Dianne Lynch)
    Ann M. Brill, Ph.D., is the dean of the William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Kansas. She is a former director of the Missouri Scholastic Press Association. Her areas of expertise include online journalism, online advertising, e-commerce and its relationship to editorial content and effects of implementation of new technology. In the past, Brill has worked at newspapers in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Montana and Missouri; served as director of the Dow Jones Newspaper Fund Online Editing Program and serves as a consultant to online media in staff and marketing development. She earned her doctoral degree at the University of Minnesota.
    Contact: [email protected]

  • Ardyth Broadrick Sohn, Hank Greenspun School of Journalism and Media Studies, University of Las Vegas (with Dianne Lynch)
    Ardyth Broadrick Sohn is director of the Hank Greenspun School of Journalism and Media Studies at the University of Nevada. She has been a Fulbright Scholar in Ukraine and is serving as outside evaluator for the University of Belgrade Journalism Department through the University of Georgia Cox Center. With Sohn’s expertise in media management, she has led work with Poynter and AEJMC. Sohn is the author or co-author of 15 books, book chapters or monographs and over a dozen scholarly articles. She was a newspaper reporter and assistant editor before returning to graduate school where she earned her master’s and Ph.D. degrees in Journalism. Contact: [email protected]

  • Jane Briggs-Bunting, School of Journalism, Michigan State University (with Dianne Lynch)
    Jane Briggs-Bunting is director of the Michigan State University School of Journalism. She joined the MSU faculty in August 2003 after 24 years in journalism education at another university. In April 2003, she was inducted into the Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame. Before joining the faculty, she worked as a Detroit Free Press reporter covering breaking and hard news. She earned her law degree at night. While at the university, she reported for the Free Press, People and LIFE magazines. Since her arrival at MSU she has been transitioning the curriculum to address the revolutionary changes in the media industry. Contact: [email protected]

  • Kimberly Sultze, Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, Saint Michael’s College (with Dianne Lynch)
    Kimberly Sultze is chair of the department of journalism and mass communication at St. Michael’s College in Colchester, Vt. After 13 years of teaching, she is an expert in curriculum development in journalism, mass communication and media studies. Her research interests include the history and cultural interpretation of visual communication. From 2003-2004, she was Head of the Visual Communication division of the AEJMC. She received her B.A. from Carleton College and her M.A. and Ph.D. from New York University’s Department of Culture and Communication, Program in Media Ecology. Prior to earning her academic credentials, she worked in print journalism in Sydney, Australia, in television production in the Twin Cities, Minn., and as an editor with FIS-New York. Contact: [email protected]

  • Pam McAllister-Johnson, School of Journalism & Broadcasting, Western Kentucky University (with Dianne Lynch)
    Pam McAllister-Johnson, Ph.D. is director of the Center for 21st Century Media, and School of Journalism & Broadcasting at Western Kentucky University. She has worked as both a print and broadcast reporter. During her 13-year term as president and publisher of the Ithaca (NY) Journal, a Gannett newspaper, McAllister-Johnson was the first black female publisher of a general circulation newspaper in the United States. McAllister-Johnson has a joint Ph.D. in Mass Communication and Educational Psychology from the University of Wisconsin where she also did her undergraduate and master’s work. Contact: [email protected]

Blog Winners ($15,000 each)

The following Knight News Challenge grants were enabled jointly. 

  • Related Items / Drupal, Benjamin Melançon, Agaric Design Collective, $15,000 (blog winner) 
    As co-founder of Agaric Design Collective, Benjamin Melançon develops and maintains web sites for companies, organizations, and individuals, using open source free software. He also promotes and supports several nonprofit organizations, especially public interest news sources, including the Fund for Authentic Journalism, Art For Change in Spanish Harlem New York, Gringoyo Productions, and the NewStandard. He helped found and was elected to the board of directors of the Amazing Things Arts Center and is helping to form a nonprofit called People Who Give a Damn. He has worked in media, retail and consulting. He attended the University of Massachusetts-Amherst on a Commonwealth Scholarship and studied journalism, economics, political science and information technology. Blog: About “Related Items,” a module for the community-oriented and open-source content management system, Drupal, which enables people to quickly and easily connect any item (news, idea, group, event) to any other content they consider related. Goals: “The greatest possible control for all people over our own lives.” Contact: [email protected]

  • Giving Individuals a Voice, Dan Schultz, Carnegie Mellon University undergraduate student, $15,000 (blog winner) Dan Schultz is a sophomore at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, where he is studying Information Systems. His professional experience has been limited to technically oriented internships, but he is known among friends for his independent work on dynamic web systems. Schultz began exploring the potential of the Internet as a community facilitator during his freshman year of high school. He built a forum and polling system from scratch, which he has used as an outlet for his talents in Information Systems. In pursuing his undergraduate degree from CMU, he is considering minors in Computer Science, Mathematical Sciences, and Policy and Management. He plans to improve his abilities as a programmer and a thinker and looks forward to taking on some of the creative challenges that lie ahead for this field. Blog: About giving all individuals a voice within their local and global communities through a centralized, user-maintained news system. The idea currently combines GPS (Global Positioning System) tagging, Internet technology, and community-oriented design to allow news media consumers to see the information that matters most to them. Goals: “Media best defines the community that created it.” Contact: [email protected]

  • Maintaining Diversity in Digital Media, Dori Maynard, C. Maynard Institute for Journalism Education, $15,000 (blog winner) Dori J. Maynard is president and CEO of the Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism Education, the nation’s leading trainer of journalists of color. She is the co-author of “Letters to My Children,” a compilation of nationally syndicated columns by her late father, Bob Maynard, the first African American to own a major metropolitan newspaper. Maynard was a reporter at the The Bakersfield Californian, The Patriot Ledger in Quincy, Mass., and the Detroit Free Press. In 1993, she and her father became the first father-daughter duo to be appointed Nieman Fellows at Harvard University. 
    Blog: About creating and maintaining diversity in digital media. Goals: As Robert Maynard said, “This country cannot be the country we want it to be if its story is told by only one group of citizens. Our goal is to give all Americans front door access to the truth.” 
    Contact: [email protected]

  •, G. Patton Hughes, neomaxcom, LLC, $15,000 (blog winner) 
    G. Patton “Pat” Hughes has worked in a wide variety of media jobs, including community journalism, advertising, online hosting, clerking, TV reporting, sports reporting, and marketing. As the population of Paulding County, Ga. began to boom, Hughes saw the opportunity for a hyperlocal news site and obtained the domain in 1997 as editor of a local weekly newspaper. Monthly reach in the community is about 30 percent of households. Hughes has a BA degree from Hendrix College and is married with two children. 
    Blog: About making a financial success, from discussing practical aspects of building its revenue base from advertising and paid subscriptions, to sharing prior (and future) technical and strategic successes, failures, objections and issues. Goals: “Because of the passion and dedication required to create a hyperlocal media site, my goal is to classify this work as an art form – and make my art worth something in my lifetime.” 
    Contact: [email protected]

  • Community Media Toolset, J.D. Lasica,, $15,000 (blog winner)
     J.D. Lasica is an independent strategist, journalist, author and social media pioneer. He is president of the Social Media Group, a company that offers consulting in social media, video and podcasting services to companies and organizations. He is also co-founder and president of Ourmedia, a free community site and learning center for user-created video and audio. His book, “Darknet: Hollywood’s War Against the Digital Generation” explores the personal media revolution and the emerging media landscape. He was the first new media columnist for both the American Journalism Review and Online Journalism Review. He writes about citizen media and social networks at CNET named him one of the 100 top media bloggers in the world. 
    Blog: About a Community Media Toolset that will provide publishers, editors and developers at citizen media sites with easy-to-use social media tools – plug-ins, scripts, guides and tutorials – to expand public participation. Goals: “We need to ensure that ordinary people with something to say get to participate in the media conversation – as they heed the standards of good journalism.” 
    Contact: [email protected]

  • Beat Reporters and Social Networks, Jay Rosen, Department of Journalism, New York University, $15,000 (blog winner) 
    Jay Rosen teaches journalism at New York University, where he has been on the faculty since 1986. From 1999 to 2005 he was department chair. Rosen is the author of PressThink, a weblog about journalism issues that launched in September 2003. In June 2005, PressThink won the Reporters Without Borders 2005 Freedom Blog award for outstanding defense of free expression. He also blogs at the Huffington Post. In July 2006 he announced the debut of NewAssignment.Net, his experimental site for pro-am, open source reporting projects. His book about the rise of the civic journalism movement, What Are Journalists For?, was published in 1999 by Yale University Press. He lives in New York City. 
    Blog: About how beat reporters can work with social networks to improve their reporting. Goals: “Journalism that is ‘of’ the Web and not just ‘on’ the Web.” 
    Contact: [email protected]

  • Interactive Community Spaces, Paul Lamb, Man on a Mission Consulting, $15,000 (blog winner, shared with Leslie Rule) 
    Bio: Paul Lamb is a consultant and entrepreneur with more than 20 years of experience in business, nonprofit management, technology and public policy. He is currently the principal of Man on a Mission Consulting, a management consulting firm dedicated to leveraging technology for the social good. Paul is a founder and former executive director of Street Tech, an award-winning program providing computer training and job placement for low-income and underserved youth in San Francisco’s East Bay. Paul’s business background includes positions in U.S.-Asia relations at the U.S.-China Business Council in Washington, D.C., and Ernst & Young. Paul is a graduate of Earlham College, the Johns Hopkins University-Nanjing University’s Center for Chinese and American Studies, and the University of California, San Diego’s School for International Relations and Pacific Studies.  
    Bio: Leslie Rule, Center for Locative Media,  Leslie Rule is the Project Supervisor for KQED’s Digital Storytelling Initiative in San Francisco, working in the fields Community Education and Outreach. She is an acknowledged expert on using digital storytelling as a communication strategy, sat on the Executive Board of the Digital Storytelling Association, and is on the advisory board of Currently she is moving her storytelling practice out of the lab and into the community using mobile devices and emerging technologies to create locative media projects. Recent projects include a neighborhood “mediascape,” a creek restoration project, a Girl Scout science quest, a re-visioning of the 1906 earthquake, and a social justice project inspired by “Eyes on the Prize,” and located in Oakland. Rule has undergraduate degrees in Rhetoric and Linguistics from U.C. Berkeley and an MA in Education with an emphasis in Instructional Technology. 
    Blog: (with Leslie Rule) About the Interactive Community Spaces project, the use of GPS tracking to inform people through mobile media. Goals: “This is about bringing physical spaces to life, and empowering people to feel a part of their neighborhoods and communities as soon as they step out the door.” Contact: [email protected] Blog: (with Paul Lamb) About the Interactive Community Spaces project, the use of GPS tracking to inform people through mobile media. Goals: “This is about bringing physical spaces to life, and empowering people to feel a part of their neighborhoods and communities as soon as they step out the door.” Contact: [email protected]

  • The Ideas Factory, Steven Clift, E-Democracy.Org, $15,000 (blog winner) Steven Clift is a public speaker and consultant who has worked across 25 countries, tapping the extremely small market of governments willing to pay for advice on how to listen to people online. A one time Visiting Fellow at the Institute for New Media Studies at the University of Minnesota, he is a new Ashoka Fellow now focused full-time on expanding non-profit’s local network of volunteer-based forums on public issues. Through E-Democracy.Org, Clift fosters conversations that create news in local communities in Minnesota, England, and New Zealand. In 1994, with the launch of the world’s first election information website, he coined the term “e-democracy.” He coordinated Minnesota’s early e-government efforts through 1997 while volunteering with E-Democracy.Org. Democracies Online, Clift’s blog/wiki/online community of practice opened in 1998 at DoWire.Org and his past speeches and articles are available at Publicus.Net. 
    Blog: About The Ideas Factory, which will generate and share big ideas from the world of citizen engagement online via the Knight Foundation blog for innovators in online news and citizen media. Goals: “Putting the ‘citizen’ into citizen media.” Contact: [email protected]