Applications are open for the 2020 Challenge Fund for Innovation in Journalism Education, which will award $200,000 in microgrants to boost journalism education and local news.
The challenge is about collaboration and experimentation. We are looking to support collaborative projects by universities and local news partners that explore new ways of teaching journalism and providing information to their communities. Projects that increase community engagement are particularly welcome.
Winning projects will receive microgrants of up to $20,000. The challenge is open to teams led by educators at a United States-based college or university. Submit your applications by October 28, 11:59 p.m. ET.
The Challenge Fund has provided unique support for universities and journalism educators as they’ve led teams that included students, news professionals, researchers, technologists and designers to experiment with local news coverage. Previous projects include:
- Frozen Out: A Community Data Journalism Project, University of Maryland
- Three Billboards (+Three Listening Posts) Inside Hamden, Connecticut, Quinnipiac University
- Putting FOIA to Work: Using Freedom of Information Act Requests to Engage Communities in Locally Relevant Reporting, Emerson College
In 2020, we know collaborations may look different than they did in the past. We also know that educators are some of the most innovative people in our industry. When you apply, tell us about your local circumstances — for example, limitations on in-person meetings or reporting — and how you might adapt your projects to foster collaboration.
Since 2014, the Challenge Fund has supported universities and local news organizations in their efforts to test new ways of sharing information with their communities. Over the years, the program has been supported by the following key partners: the Democracy Fund, the Inasmuch Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Rita Allen Foundation, the Robert R. McCormick Foundation and The Scripps Howard Foundation. Their generous contributions have made a significant impact on our grantees, and the communities they serve.
For this final round of the Challenge Fund, we’ve partnered with the Democracy Fund, the Inasmuch Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and The Scripps Howard Foundation. We look forward to learning about your ideas to hack the journalism curriculum and collaborate on local news.
Apply for the 2020 Challenge Fund Explore the FAQs
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