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Cronkite School Accepting Proposals for Knight Foundation Innovation Grant

March 22, 2015

Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication is taking applications for the Knight-Cronkite Alumni Innovation Grant, a fund for Cronkite graduates looking to pioneer cutting-edge technologies and practices in journalism.

The grant, made possible by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, awards up to $15,000 to Cronkite School alumni. Applicants can submit their ideas at https://cronkite.asu.edu/knight-cronkite-alumni-innovation-grant. The deadline for the third round of proposals is May 31, with winners to be announced this summer.

To be eligible, applicants must be Cronkite School graduates who are working in newsrooms. They must have support from their news organizations and a commitment to implement the proposal within six months of the development period’s conclusion.

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

“Think of this grant as a quarter-million dollar bet that you have the drive and imagination to lead in the digital era,” Ibargüen said at the convocation ceremony.

In the past year, six Cronkite alumni have received funding for innovation projects. Four graduates last week were awarded Knight grants for proposals involving digital newspaper stands, augmented reality apps and interactive news source databases as well as reporting and air quality tools to monitor community health near shale gas operations.

Recipients have included alumni working in diverse newsrooms across the country, including Nora Avery-Page at the Herald and News in Klamath Falls, Ore., Lauren Gilger at ABC15 News in Phoenix, Natasha Khan at PublicSource in Pittsburgh, Kerry Oslund at Schurz Communications in Mishawaka, Ind., Weston Phippen at the National Journal in Washington, D.C., and Brandon Quester at the Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting in Phoenix.

“I have been impressed by our alumni’s tremendous efforts to meet President Ibargüen’s challenge to bring disruption and innovation to journalism,” Cronkite School Dean Christopher Callahan said. “I encourage Cronkite Nation to talk with the leadership at their news organizations and apply for this amazing opportunity.”

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. The foundation believes that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. More information is available at www.knightfoundation.org.