Knight Foundation Announces Winners of Latest News Challenge


The Knight Foundation has announced the winners of this year’s Knight News Challenge at the 2014 MIT-Knight Civic Media Conference in Boston. Winners this year are focused on protecting online free speech, privacy, and security.

Launched in February, the challenge is a collaboration between Knight, Ford Foundation and Mozilla Foundation. Ford Foundation contributed $250,000 to the challenge.

Winners this year also included several notable names. The New America Foundation took home two awards including $350,000 for its Open Technology Institute’s Global Censorship Measurement project, which will develop and expand access to a suite of tools for assessing the openness of the Internet through metrics such as connection speed and blocked sites. $300,000 was also awarded to the Ranking Digital Rights project, which will develop a system for benchmarking and ranking technology companies on how well they protect the privacy and free expression of their users.

$250,000 was also awarded to the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s site, which collects information and data about online censorship incidents in order to develop more effective ways for preserving freedom of expression online.

Two winning projects from the New York Public Library ($500,000) and Chicago Public Library ($400,000) will also implement a Wi-Fi hotspot device lending project to families without high-speed Internet access.

“The winning projects strengthen or defend the power of the Internet to inform communities and help innovation thrive; they help build a more inclusive, open Internet that represents diverse voices and ideas,” said Michael Maness, Knight Foundation vice president of journalism and media innovation. “Including prototypes in this round of winners further reinforces the need to build a stronger Internet and quickly test new ideas in this evolving space.”