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Digital-media contest to award $5 million

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In an effort to spark change in how communities worldwide gather and share information, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation will award up to $5 million to digital-media innovators.

The Knight News Challenge, now in the middle of its third-annual contest, boasts the slogan “You invent it. We fund it.”

The challenge is open to all, but winning proposals must use digital media, deliver news on a shared basis to a specific geographical community, and must be open-source and willing to share any software and knowledge created through the process.

New this year is an online resource, the News Challenge Garage, where applicants can receive feedback from peers, as well as assistance from a group of 50 “mentors” that includes journalists, developers, social-media experts and former contest winners.

The foundation will host a series of meetings in cities throughout the U.S. in September and October to provide opportunities for brainstorming and discussion about the challenge.

Online applications are due Nov. 1; winners will be announced next spring.

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