Oct. 15: Deadlines for Two Media Grant Programs

What are you doing this weekend? If you plan to apply for this year’s Knight News Challenge grants or the MacArthur Foundation’s Digital Media and Learning competition, you’d better be finalizing and submitting your applications. The deadline for both programs is Monday, October 15.

This year’s application process for the Knight News Challenge is different from last year’s. Applicants can choose to submit an “open” (public) application, which registered News Challenge site users can comment on. They can revise and hone their application until the deadline. As of this writing, 252 open applications are available for public review, comments, and ratings.

I was just browsing some of the applications, and they’re intriguing. Several proposed projects are clearly off-target (News Challenge is pretty specific about what it wants) — but others, such as The Border Bureau, appear promising. After this year’s News Challenge grants are doled out, it’ll be interesting to get the Knight Foundation’s take on how effective and useful the open application process proved to be.

(Disclosure: Tidbits contributor Adam Glenn and I were jointly awarded a Knight News Challenge grant last year.)

MacArthur’s program is focused on using digital media for education rather than news or journalism. It includes Innovation Awards ($250,000 and $100,000) and Knowledge-Networking Awards ($30,000 to $70,000 each).

The Knowledge-Networking awards may be of particular interest to journalists. From the award info page:

“Knowledge-Networking Awards will go to proven communicators. Applicants will already be networking with others and are dedicated to digital learning through blogs, social networking, social bookmarking, podcasting, world-building environments (such as Second Life), or other on-line communities.

“Knowledge-Networking projects:

  • do not simply convey information.
  • promote collaborative thinking.
  • translate great ideas.

“Journalists writing to assess developments in the field or journalistic researchers looking to inform creative journalism about the field should also feel welcome to apply. (Applying journalists or researchers will be precluded from writing about anything to do with the competition while applicants or award recipients, to avoid conflicts of interest.)”

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