Through the challenge, eight innovative media projects will receive a total of $2.4 million in funding as well as advice from the Knight Foundation's network of media innovators. The winners include the Wikimedia Foundation, which was awarded $600,000 to develop tools that expand access to Wikipedia in the developing world; Textizen ($350,000), which, in partnership with Code for America, is piloting a project that enables citizens to respond to survey questions in physical locations like parks and bus stops via text message; TKOH ($330,000), which will create a tool for recording oral histories with an app that prompts people to tell stories on seeing a pre-selected photo or video; WITNESS ($320,000), which, in partnership with the Guardian Project, will create an app designed to help newsrooms authenticate photos and videos by automatically stamping the content with identifying information; the Cafédirect Producers' Foundation ($260,000), which will provide a platform that connects small farmers in developing countries with advice, best practices, and feedback from farmers in other communities; Digital Democracy ($200,000), which will use its funds to develop a mobile data-collecting and -sharing toolkit that enables residents of the Peruvian Amazon to document the effects of mining and oil drilling; RootIO ($200,000), which will pilot software that connects basic mobile phones with a transmitter that turns them into micro-community radio stations; and Abayima ($150,000), which will build an open-source app that turns a SIM card into a storage device for news and information.
Launched in 2007, the Knight News Challenge aims to identify the next generation of innovations that help communities get the information they need. The mobile challenge, one of three held in 2012, follows challenges focused on networks and data.
"In 2013, the number of Internet-enabled mobile devices is expected to be greater than the number of computers for the first time," said Michael Maness, vice president for journalism and media innovation at the Knight Foundation. "These eight Knight News Challenge projects, and the innovators behind them, are helping to stretch the ways people around the world are engaging with information and using it to shape their communities."