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ASU Cronkite School accepting applicants for Knight Innovation Grant

September 09, 2014

Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication is now accepting applications for the Knight-Cronkite Alumni Innovation Grant, which awards up to $15,000 to Cronkite School graduates who are professional journalists looking to pioneer cutting-edge technologies and practices in their newsrooms.

The support, made possible by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, is available to Cronkite School alumni as a way to accelerate newsroom innovation across the country.

Applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis with periodic deadlines – the first on Oct. 15. Finalists for first-round applications will be announced Oct. 31. Cronkite School graduates can apply at

To be eligible for the grant, applicants must be a Cronkite School graduate, working in a newsroom. They must also have support from their news organizations, showing a commitment to implement the proposal within six months of the development period’s conclusion. Those selected will have to report project outcomes to the Cronkite School.

Knight Foundation President Alberto Ibargüen announced the Knight-Cronkite Alumni Innovation program during the Cronkite School’s May 2014 convocation ceremony. Ibargüen pledged $250,000 from Knight Foundation, challenging Cronkite graduates to disrupt the status quo in newsrooms.

“We’ve been waiting for your generation of digital natives, driven to tell stories, to become the leaders of newsrooms in America,” Ibargüen said at the convocation, “and maybe this will help that generational turn go even faster.”

Christopher Callahan, dean of the Cronkite School, said the generous grant comes at a much needed time in journalism as newsrooms face new challenges in the digital age.

“Our alumni are passionate leaders and ambitious innovators in journalism,” Callahan said. “I encourage Cronkite Nation to take up President Ibargüen’s challenge and use this grant as a way to spark much needed change in our profession.”

Some of the Cronkite School’s most important programs are supported by Knight Foundation, including Carnegie-Knight News21, a national fellowship program where top journalism students conduct investigations into issues critical to Americans; the Public Insight Network Bureau, a specialized news bureau where students work with professional news organizations to deepen their connections to audiences; and the Knight Chair in Journalism, a tenured professorship at Cronkite currently held by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Steve Doig.