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ASU hosts Knight News Challenge event

January 17, 2013

The winners of the Knight News Challenge: Mobile will present their projects for the first time at an Arizona State University gathering on the future of mobile media, Jan. 18.

The event will take place at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication before an invited audience of media and technology leaders and is hosted by the Cronkite School and ASU’s Center for Science and the Imagination.

Launched in 2007 by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Knight News Challenge accelerates media innovation by funding projects that help communities get the information they need; advance innovation in the media industry; and create breakthroughs in how news and information are produced, distributed and consumed.

The News Challenge took place three times in 2012, with the first two rounds focusing on networks and data respectively. The third round, whose eight winners will be awarded a total of $2.4 million this week, centered on mobile technology. To read more about the winners, go to

“In 2013, the number of Internet-enabled mobile devices is expected to be greater than the number of computers for the first time,” said Michael Maness, vice president for journalism and media innovation at the Knight Foundation. “These eight Knight News Challenge projects, and the innovators behind them, are helping to stretch the ways people around the world are engaging with information and using it to shape their communities.”

The Cronkite School itself is a recipient of a Knight News Challenge grant, which, along with funding from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, launched the Knight Center for Digital Media Entrepreneurship at ASU. In 2010, Retha Hill, director of Cronkite’s New Media Innovation Lab, and her student Cody Shotwell won $90,000 toward a venture. And a previous student entrepreneur team, Adam Klawonn and Aleksandra Chojnacka, won $95,000 to pursue a digital project in 2009.

"Knight Foundation, through the Knight News Challenge and other programs, is the world's leader in supporting and promoting innovations in digital media," said Cronkite Dean Christopher Callahan. "It's an honor to have Knight Foundation and these outstanding digital innovators here at ASU this week."

Since 2007, Knight Foundation has reviewed more than 13,000 applications and given more than $32 million to support 88 projects. Winners include leading Internet entrepreneurs, emerging media innovators and traditional newsrooms.

The winners of the 2012 mobile challenge will present their projects via live Web stream at 12:30 p.m. ET/10:30 a.m. MT, Jan. 18. Follow #newschallenge on Twitter.

In 2013, the Knight Foundation will hold two challenges. The first, on tools for open government, will accept entries beginning in February.