Knight Foundation Awards $2.26 Million in Community Information Challenge Grants

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation has announced matching grants totaling more than $2.2 million to nineteen community and place-based foundations through its Community Information Challenge.

The grants will support community news and information projects, including efforts to highlight specific local issues, tell stories through data, and strengthen local professional journalism. This year, recipients of the grants include the Long Beach Community Foundation, which was awarded $327,000 to support hyper-local multilingual programming on a variety of platforms and an outreach and training program designed to encourage people of all ethnicities and age groups to participate; the South Dakota Community Foundation, which will receive $242,000 for Dakotafire Media, an initiative to strengthen regional coverage by creating an alliance of rural journalists to provide in-depth reporting on topics of importance to their communities; and the Denver-based Piton Foundation, which was awarded $202,000 to create free tools to help local residents translate public data into engaging stories.

Other recipients include the Puerto Rico Community Foundation, which was awarded $127,000 to provide information on jobs and entrepreneurship to communities in rural Puerto Rico, where the unemployment rate is 40 percent; the California Community Foundation, which will receive $77,000 for the Report and Map It project, an effort to raise awareness of and reduce the costs of car impoundment in Los Angeles; and the Brooklyn Community Foundation, which was awarded $52,000 to launch the Brooklyn Bureau, a hyper-local news service for underserved neighborhoods in the New York City borough.

"If you care about what's going on in local government, the local environment, or any local issues, you need to know about it to make a difference," said Knight Foundation vice president for communities Trabian Shorters. "These community and place-based foundations are stepping up to make sure that their communities get good information."

"Community Foundations Increase Impact by Supporting Local News and Information Projects." John S. and James L. Knight Foundation Press Release 09/21/2011.