2017 Winners

Ten projects from U.S. universities each won a $35,000 micro-grant in the third round of the $1M Challenge Fund for Innovation in Journalism Education to seed collaborative news experiments in living labs — their communities. Follow their journey to hack their curriculum through live news experiments. These winners were featured on our website throughout the year.

The Winning Schools

  • Michigan State University — Can transmedia journalism help explain how school of choice affects rural and urban communities?
    How do families’ stories and data trends reflect deeper issues of racial and economic diversity and inequality?
  • Ohio University — Rural Remote Reporting Lab
    How can community mapping and social media monitoring of Southeastern Ohio translate into news updates that can reach households in the counties that lack broadband access?
  • San Jose State University — Audience Acquisition via Smart Speakers‏
    Can news briefings on audio and video voice-enabled home assistant devices (aka “smart speakers) transform how audiences use those devices and help news organizations gain new audiences?
  • University of Arizona — Boosting community engagement through human-centered design‏
    Can students help local newsrooms better serve and engage the community by researching a their unique needs and identifying ways to solve their problems?
  • University of Georgia — Virtual Water Infrastructure Crisis
    Can immersive 360 video can be used to explain critical water infrastructure to news consumers?
  • University of Kansas — Datasmart Lawrence
    Can students develop a crowdsourcing framework for locally-focused, data-driven business and demographic news that could also be used by other small news organizations with limited staff resources?
  • University of Miami — The face of a new Cuban diaspora
    What engagement, reporting and distribution techniques will transform Cubans who have arrived in Miami within the last 10 years, an oftentimes under-covered and civically disengaged population, into news consumers and contributors?
  • University of Mississippi — Oxford Stories Student News Wire Service
    Can students in Oxford, Miss. transform the local news landscape by creating a new distribution service?
  • University of Nevada, Reno — Adapting digital reporting tools for an immigration-focused student newsroom‏
    How might students build a pipeline for newsgathering, translation, and verification to strengthen local reporting on immigration issues and build trust among immigrant audiences?
  • University of Southern California, Annenberg — Making high-end VR accessible: Immersive storytelling for local communities‏
    How can students use VR to tell stories of a local community to the local community, as well as translating those high-tech stories into easily accessible experiences?