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Inaugural Meetup: Knight News Challenge Info Session

Info Session on the Knight News Challenge: Millions in Funding for News Projects.

For Hacks/Hackers Atlanta's inaugural event and ONA Atlanta's second event, come learn about the Knight News Challenge, a grant competition for open-source news and information projects in geographic communities that gives away up to $5 million a year and has helped launch startups like Adrian Holovaty's Everyblock and David Cohn's In last year's awards, the News Challenge received over 2,300 applications and gave out 12 grants totaling $2.74 million. Anyone can apply -- domestic, international, individuals, companies, for-profit, non-profit. This also doubles as a social/networking event, with doors opening at 6:00 p.m. and casual presentation/info session starting at 6:45ish p.m.

Come ask about past projects, common mistakes, and what trends the Knight News Challenge has seen. Jennifer 8. Lee, a reviewer and consultant with the Knight News Challenge, is coming down from New York for this event and will answer questions about the competition, which launched Oct. 25 with a deadline of December 1. She will also discuss the technicalities of the contest -- including the open-source requirements, timelines and different funding mechanisms. Other Knight News Challenge grantees will be on hand to answer questions, share tips on why they won and talk about how their projects are going: Ian Bogost, videogame researcher and Digital Media professor at Georgia Tech who won a grant just this past year for "The Cartoonist," a project that will develop a free tool that creates interactive, cartoon-like current event games ("the equivalent of editorial cartoons") and G. Patton Hughes, publisher of who won a blogging grant in 2007 detailing how a hyperlocal news and social media site can thrive as an advertising-funded entity.

If you haven't worked on your application yet, or even if you hadn't thought of applying until now, don't worry: the initial application process takes only about 20 minutes and was designed to keep you from wasting a lot of time if the Knight Foundation isn't interested (only once Knight thinks your idea shows promise, will they ask you to write a full proposal). So there's no excuse not to apply in the next two weeks, even if you only have a germ of an idea!

This event is free on Knight, plus free appetizers will be served! There will be a cash/credit card bar. Parking above Rí Rá is free for the first two hours if you get your ticket validated.

Bio boilerplate: Jennifer 8. Lee is a journalist who is focused on investments in the frontiers of news and information in communities. She helps organize Hacks/Hackers NYC and spearheaded the crowdsourced journo-tech glossary, which has been translated into Arabic and French. She worked for nine years as a reporter for the New York Times and is the author of "The Fortune Cookie Chronicles," a book on Chinese food in America which led her to speak Mandarin on The Colbert Report. NPR has called her a "conceptual scoop artist," in part because her story that popularized the concept of the "man date."

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  • A former member
    A former member

    A very successful first outing. I enjoyed meeting people with so many different backgrounds working towards a similar goal. The Knight News Challenge presentation was very helpful too. Let's keep the group growing.

    November 23, 2010

  • Brian

    Great group of minds in the room. Many intelligent people with a good vibe and a willingness to engage in conversation

    November 23, 2010

  • Mathilde P.

    Here's the link for the International Women Media Foundation's grants: It would be really awesome to see lots of women applying to both the IWMF and Knight News Challenge grants. Two birds with one stone!

    November 11, 2010

  • Mathilde P.

    So excited that Karyn Lu will be joining us too! Although not part of the "official" lineup, Karyn & Lila King won a New Media Women Entrepreneurs grant in 2008 for Echo, a public art and civic journalism project. The NMWE grants are similar to the International Women Media Foundation's grants, which also have a fast approaching deadline (11/30). Karyn has said that she'd be happy to chat with anyone who wants to find her at the event and discuss what her application was like in more detail.

    November 11, 2010

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