Knight Foundation commits $1.4 million to improving DocumentCloud

Investigative Reporters and Editors announced today that the Knight Foundation has pledged $1.4 million to developing the document-hosting service DocumentCloud in order to make the platform “faster, easier to use and more robust.”

The two-year grant will allow the DocumentCloud team to add services that will make the hosting platform a “freemium” service — that is, basic features such as uploading and annotating documents will remain free, but users will have the option of subscribing for additional features, said Mark Horvit, the executive director of IRE. The premium features, or “pro tools,” haven’t been decided on yet, but they will be based on feedback from DocumentCloud users and a group of media entrepreneurs that will shepherd’s the tool’s growth as its user base grows.

Now that the grant is secured, IRE is expanding its DocumentCloud team, starting with two new developers, Horvit said.

“If anyone’s interested, they should get in touch with me,” he said.

DocumentCloud, a cloud-based service that allows news organizations to upload, share and annotate documents, was born from a Knight News Challenge Grant in 2009, according to the announcement. Investigative Reporters and Editors began managing the service in 2011. It has been used by investigative journalists on high-profile stories, most notably by The New York Times and The Guardian to share the documents that accompanied the Snowden revelations.

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