Congratulations to the Knight News Challenge Winners!

Posted by CorinneRamey on May 16, 2008

Two organizations in the MobileActive community were recently awarded Knight News Challenge Grants, given annually to fund "innovative digital projects around the world." There were 16 awards given in all to projects that use digital and open source technology to provide public-interest news.

Bev Clark, the co-founder of, was awarded the largest grant in the Challenge for Freedom Fone, a way to distribute news and independent media:

Freedom Fone will provide a voice database where users can access news and public-interest information via land, mobile or Internet phones... Independent radio station content will be broadcast, along with frequently updated audio reports created specifically for Freedom Fone.

MobileActive wrote about Freedom Fone's companion project, DialUp Radio, which uses the same software. The project will be conducted in Zimbabwe.

Dr. Joel Selanikio of DataDyne won a grant for a project aimed at designing news feeds for low-end mobile phones. He writes, in his project description:

This project will make it easy for significantly cheaper models to select and receive news feeds, expanding the news universe for those whose only digital device is a cell phone. Users, particularly in areas where Internet access isn’t affordable, will be able to receive news via text messaging.

For more on DataDyne, see the report Wireless Technology for Social Change: Trends in NGO Mobile Use.

Congrats to both Joel and Bev!

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