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Head of Journalism Foundation Says Newspapers Need to
Reinvent Themselves in Digital Age

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Rather, he sees mass circulation newspapers evolving into specialty or niche publications, as advertising revenue continues to decline and new forms of communication emerge to inform people about developments in their communities. Leading the charge into this brave new world of journalism, the Foundation launched the “Knight News Challenge” last year. The Foundation expects to grant $25 million over five years to organizations, institutions, and individuals who grasp the historic opportunity to use technology to revitalize the Fourth Estate. Among the recipients in the first year:

There’s MTV, which will use young people — one from every state and the District of Columbia — to cover the 2008 presidential election and file weekly video and text reports to cell phones. This project appeals to network president Van Toffler, L’83 because it mobilizes his audience and plays to his strategy of developing content for multimedia platforms. There’s Richard Anderson, who will use his grant to develop an online publishing system called VillageSoup, which will provide open source software to anyone interested in launching a local news Web site. And then there’s a project at MIT, where three technology gurus plan to create the Center for Future Civic Media, seen as a model for community news experiments and political action.
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