The winners of the inaugural Knight News Challenge, a digital journalism contest backed by $25 million in funding by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, announced its winners today. Included among the usual crop of digital academia nerds (MIT, Medill, NYU’s Jay Rosen): Viacom, which was awarded $700,000 to support Knight Mobile Youth Journalist (“MyJos”) in each of the 50 states and D.C. to report weekly on cell phones during the 2008 presidential election.
Says Marc Fest, the foundation’s director of communicado: “It is unusual. We made the contest open to anyone, anywhere, including companies, in order to maximize the potential for discovering ideas. The rationale being: the more people are eligible to participate, the more ideas we’re likely to discover.”