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Online News Association Invites Applications tor Challenge Fund for Innovation in Journalism Education

  • March 02, 2018
  • May 03, 2018

The Online News Association is accepting applications for its $1 million 2018 Challenge Fund for Innovation in Journalism Education competition.

The goal of the challenge is to "hack" the journalism curriculum using customized versions of the teaching hospital model. To that end, the fund will support the efforts of universities to partner with local news organizations and explore new ways of providing information to their communities.

Winners will receive up to $35,000 in grants in support of their local news experiment and be invited to compete for up to $100,000 in additional prizes for best project and evaluation.

In 2018, the challenge will focus on four areas:

1) Diversity: Experiments in this category should focus on underreported or underrepresented communities and might involve unique coverage of these communities or the internal structure of project teams.

2) Technology: Experiments in this category should focus on innovative tools designed to advance digital storytelling or engage audiences through technology.

3) Community Engagement and Civic Participation: Experiments in this category should focus on stories or ideas that identify issues of public concern or involve the community in the storytelling and news gathering process. Experiments focused on outside-the-box ways to engage audiences as part of the story also will be considered.

4) Building Trust: Experiments in this category should focus on processes or ideas that build trust between communities and news organizations, or that improve the flow of accurate information.

The competition is open to teams made up of educators, students, researchers, media professionals, technologists, and designers with an interest in providing local news coverage and investigating issues of interest to their community. Endorsements from the dean or program director are encouraged but not required. In addition, the ability to obtain matching funds is considered in project selection but not required.

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