The winners of the inaugural Knight News Challenge, a digital journalism contest backed by $25 million in funding by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, announced its winners today. Included among the usual crop of digital academia nerds (MIT, Medill, NYU’s Jay Rosen): Viacom, which was awarded $700,000 to support Knight Mobile Youth Journalist (“MyJos”) in each of the 50 states and D.C. to report weekly — on cell phones — during the 2008 presidential election.
Says Marc Fest, the foundation’s director of communicado: “It is unusual. We made the contest open to anyone, anywhere, including companies, in order to maximize the potential for discovering ideas. The rationale being: the more people are eligible to participate, the more ideas we’re likely to discover.”