National contest offers community foundations matching funds for local news and information projects

Press Release

January 18, 2012


Knight Community Information Challenge is opportunity for local foundations to make an impact on important issues


"Knight Community Information Challenge now accepting applications" on Knight Blog 

Register for a reminder to attend  Feb. 8, 2012 Live Web Chat here.

MIAMI (Jan. 18, 2012) -- The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation is accepting applications from community and place-based foundations seeking to fund news and information projects. The deadline for the Knight Community Information Challenge, a matching-grant program, is Feb. 27.

Applications can be submitted at

The contest encourages foundations to find creative ways to fund media projects that inform and engage residents.

The challenge also offers a unique opportunity for foundations to make an impact on issues they care about. For example, the Tulsa Community Foundation, concerned that the state had the highest female incarceration rate in the country, invested in a news partnership to shine the light on the issue. After a six-month investigation published by major outlets, the Legislature passed new laws to address the problem. 

The Tulsa Community Foundation is one of 85 challenge winners since 2009, receiving a total of $16.2 million for their projects.

“These foundations are setting out to inform and engage communities. Along the way, they are increasing their community leadership and visibility, which amplifies their impact,” said Trabian Shorters, Knight Foundation’s vice president for communities, who leads the challenge.

Community or place-based foundations with questions about the challenge can participate in a Web-based live chat and have queries answered online by Knight Foundation program directors. The live chat will take place at noon EST, Feb. 8, 2012, at

Knight Foundation also provides free consultants called Circuit Riders to help community and place-based foundations identify the opportunities and technology that could benefit their communities. In addition, Knight will host the fourth Media Learning Seminar on Feb. 20-21 in Miami. The seminar, which will be livestreamed at, aims to educate foundation leaders about media trends and the information needs of communities in a democracy.

The challenge is part of Knight's Media Innovation Initiative, a $100 million plus effort to help meet America’s information needs.

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation advances journalism in the digital age and invests in the vitality of communities where the Knight brothers owned newspapers. Knight Foundation focuses on projects that promote informed and engaged communities and lead to transformational change. For more, visit More on the challenge at



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