Challenge Fund for Innovation in Journalism Education – Years Three and Four

Building on a successful 2014 collaboration with the Online News Association and its funding partners, the Challenge Fund for Innovation in Journalism Education seeks to help journalism educators better prepare students to meet 21st-century information needs. The micro-grant contest encourages universities to create teams to experiment with new ways of providing news and information. Each group receives $35,000 for “live news experiments” that create opportunities for journalism schools to collaborate with newsrooms, researchers and other professionals to produce innovative local news for a digital audience. During the first cycle, the fund supported 22 projects, including: a series by the City University of New York and the New York Daily News that resulted in a federal investigation into the New York City Housing Authority on health conditions in public housing; and an account published by Georgia News Lab student reporters in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that uncovered millions of dollars of squandered federal HIV grant money by a county health program. The Challenge Fund is supported by a collaborative that includes the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Democracy Fund, Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation, the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, the Scripps Howard Foundation and the Rita Allen Foundation.