First I want to say that I am delighted to be here tonight representing Knight Foundation. I want to thank and congratulate our hosts and the awardees. I also want to thank the audience for being here tonight.
The Internet and technology have changed the way we do business, communicate, interact, collaborate, participate and take action. It has changed the way we create, share and distribute content.
The Internet has made journalism more democratic, more plural, open and transparent. It has given voice to everyone and it has allowed everyone to take part in the decision making process.
But we have to remember that the Internet and technology are only as good as the use we make of them. As good as how we use them to bridge the digital divide, promote universal access and distribute good quality news and information.
That is why the work of the World Summit Youth Award and of all the projects being awarded here today is so important. All these projects make good use of technology to bring good quality information to local communities.
With that same goal Knight Foundation started a world-wide open contest called the Knight News Challenge. A 5 year, $25 million dollar initiative to speed media innovation and bring communities the news and information they need in the digital age.
Just yesterday we opened the fourth year of the contest. We expect all of the awardees to apply. The contest has only three requirements.
1. The use of digital open-source media
2. To distribute news and information
3. To local communities
One of the reasons I am here is to make sure each of you signs up and takes a shot at getting some of the $5 million we are giving away this year. Go to www.newschallenge.org, send me any questions you have and don’t miss the opportunity to apply.
At Knight Foundation we believe that good quality content – news and information – are a core need of communities in a democracy. Citizens all over the world and specifically in communities need the best e-content to run their lives, their communities and hold their governments accountable.
All these projects make a difference because they use the latest technology to distribute good quality content that enables development and great communities and societies.
At Knight Foundation we seek to lead journalism excellence into the digital age. We define journalism excellence as the fair, accurate, contextual pursuit of the truth.
All of the projects being awarded here today do that.
We seek innovations that use new or existing technology to distribute content to local communities.
Knight Foundation congratulates the winners and we hope we can support them in the development of their projects, projects in which we share values, principles and the objectives of creating a strong citizenry through news and information and the strengthening of democracy in communities.
The future is in the hands of you, the youth. That is a huge responsibility, but it is also a great opportunity to be agents of change and to use your social networks, technology, your vision, know-how and passion to engage, inform and improve your community. Keep up the good work.
– Jose C. Zamora