It’s not often that MIT and MTV share honors, but those entities, along with a variety of bloggers and J-schools, will share $12 million in grants as the first-year winners of the Knight News Challenge announced at the Editor & Publisher/Mediaweek Interactive Media Conference and Trade Show in Miami. The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation funded the contest, pledging $25 million over five years to digital journalism efforts. MIT was the biggest award winner with $5 million for its Media Lab and Comparative Media Studies Program, which will use the funds to create a Center for Future Civic Media to develop, test, and study new forms of high-tech community news. A $700,000 grant went to MTV so it can put a Knight Mobile Youth Journalist (Knight “MyJos”) in every state, as well as Washington D.C., to report weekly – using cell phones and other media – on the 2008 presidential election. Other winners are listed here.
Staci adds: Also of note … funded by $1.1 million from Knight, Adrian Holavaty, one of the most talented news developers around, is leaving washingtonpost.com to start EveryBlock, an effort to create open-source apps that will let citizens “learn (and act on) information about their neighborhood.” Lisa Williams, whose Placeblogger we’ve written about, gets $220,000 to make finding hyperlocal news easier. Richard Anderson of Village Soup gets $885,000 to create an open-source of Village Soup’s community news software. Ethan Zuckerman and Global Voices get $244,000. Jay Rosen and J.D. Lasica each get $15,000 while Amy Gahran and Adam Glenn, co-founders of citizen j effort I, Reporter get $90.000.