Greetings from Bangladesh where for the past week I have been witnessing the amazing work of the Rising Voices grantee, Nari Jibon. You can read the latest project updates from Nari Jibon and the other 15 projects by subscribing to our new RSS feed, which includes all of the project blogs.
While the next Rising Voices grant competition is still several months away, there are two other funding opportunities for citizen media projects based around the world that are just now getting started. First is the Journalism Fellows program sponsored by the Knight Foundation and Ashoka. Over the next three years 30 journalism fellows “will receive three-year stipends allowing them to focus full-time on their efforts to provide lasting, visible, systemic change in the way journalism works or the way society sees journalism.” This is an excellent opportunity for individuals in the Rising Voices community who have innovative ideas to improve the quality and sustainability of journalism in their communities and countries. Applicants must be nominated. Those nominations can be sent via email to Keith Hammonds at firstname.lastname@example.org. Before sending anything off, I would recommend having a look at Ashoka's selection criteria.
The other big opportunity, which many of you will remember from last year, is the Knight News Challenge. This is when the Knight Foundation gives US$ 5 million in grants to projects that “improve local online news, deepen community engagement, bring Web 2.0 tools to local neighborhoods, develop publishing platforms and standards to support local conversations or innovate how we visualize, experience or interact with information.” That is a lot of money. And last year's batch of winners shows that the Knight Foundation is committed to funding projects outside of the United States. This year you will be able to receive mentoring and feedback on your proposals by submitting them to the Knight News Challenge Garage. In fact, I have already given some feedback on a project proposal from Malawi that wants to translate and publish content in indigenous languages and encourage discussion around that content. If you upload a proposal to the Knight News Challenge Garage, make sure to let us know. I'm sure that many people in the RV community would be happy to offer their constructive criticism. Final applications for the News Challenge are due by November 1. This year's contest even has its own Twitter page.
I wish you all the best of luck.
Have a great weekend!