Today marks the start of submissions for the 5th annual Knight News Challenge, which offers up to $5 million in funding to winners that offer, “innovative ideas that develop platforms, tools and services to inform and transform community news, conversations and information distribution and visualization.”
This year’s contest is broken into four categories; Mobile, Authenticity, Sustainability and Community, which is a change from previous years. Past winners have included Spot.us, which offers crowd-funded local news, and Ushahidi, the crowdsourced crisis mapping project, among many others.
“The use of new categories are an effort to harness and accelerate the entrepreneurial energy we are seeing in the field,” John S. Bracken, Knight Foundation Director of Digital Media was quoted in a press release. “We have incorporated what we have learned over the first four years of the News Challenge to focus this year on four key issues.”
Initial contest entries for the first phase of the incredibly competitive competition start today and ends December 1, 2010. Entries that get through the first stage are then asked to submit more detailed proposals, and then the Knight Foundation (which funds the contest) chooses winners and awards the funding. Non-profits, individuals and businesses can all apply, though the committee generally prefers at least two co-founders.
Last year, 12 winners were chosen, totaling $3 million in funding. For updates, follow the Knight Challenge on Twitter.