October 15, 2014

INNovation Fund Round 2 Winners Announced

Encino, Calif., October 15, 2014 -- The Investigative News Network has announced eight winners of the second round of its INNovation Fund grants, for a total of $226,020. The fund was established with the support of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to spur business innovation and experimentation in nonprofit newsrooms that are focused on audience engagement and long-term sustainability.

"This second round of INNovation grant winners reflects our continued emphasis on business experimentation in the nonprofit and public media space that is both replicable and scalable in the future," says Kevin Davis, CEO & Executive Director of the Investigative News Network.  "Whether its a speaker’s bureau, a film festival or a social network for content syndication, each of these new projects has the potential to generate impact and benefit for the entire nonprofit news sector."

The eight finalists were chosen from a pool of 48 proposals, each describing the project, the goals, projected results, and explanation of how the money would be used. The chosen projects vary from event journalism to mobile app development, most with the aim to increase audience reach and engagement.

"Each of the winners has already taken important steps towards business development and newsroom innovation—putting them on a path to sustainability," said Marie Gilot, Knight Foundation program officer for journalism. "The INNovation Fund will help build on that momentum further allowing them to test and experiment with new tools to grow revenue and engage audiences."

The eight winners are:

100Reporters -- http://100r.org/ -- $35,000 to launch an Investigative Film Festival in Washington, DC, focusing on films about investigative journalism or investigative journalists.

Carolina Public Press -- http://www.carolinapublicpress.org/ -- $25,000 to organize a series of in-person News Exchange events to reach potential readers, subscribers and policymakers in 18 rural Blue Ridge mountain counties.

Citizens Campaign -- http://www.thecitizenscampaign.org/ -- $35,000 to launch a Community Day in Paterson, NJ to heighten interest in the Paterson Press, their local online investigative news outlet.

High Country News -- https://www.hcn.org/ -- $30,000 to expand HCN University, partnering with colleges and universities nationwide to integrate HCN’s content into science, economics and environment courses.

inewsource -- http://inewsource.org -- $28,404 to create one ‘virtual voice’ content syndication and distribution program among up to 90 community news outlets in the San Diego area.

The Lens -- http://thelensnola.org/ -- $7,500 to expand a Speakers Bureau to bring the Lens reporters face-to-face with current and potential subscribers in New Orleans.

The Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism -- http://wisconsinwatch.org/ -- $35,000 to organize a series of ‘Art + Journalism’ forums/fundraisers statewide, showcasing their stories on water issues with representative sculpture which will be auctioned.

WKAR-AM/FM/TV -- http://wkar.org/ -- $30,116 to develop a mobile app around their long-running ‘Off the Record’ public affairs show to attract more viewers ages 18-29.

More in-depth information about each grantee and project is available at http://innovation.inn.org/innovation-fund

This is the second of multiple rounds of the INNovation Fund. Applications for the next round will open March 2, 2015.


About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation: Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit www.knightfoundation.org.

About the Investigative News Network: The Investigative News Network is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit membership organization dedicated to advancing excellence and sustainability in the nonprofit investigative and public service sector. INN was founded in 2009 to help the increasing number of nonprofit newsrooms produce and distribute stories with impact, achieve cost efficiencies by pooling resources, and develop new revenue streams to become sustainable businesses.  For more, visit www.InvestigativeNewsNetwork.org or follow us on Twitter @INN.


Investigative News Network

Kevin Davis


818 582 3903


Knight Foundation

Anusha Alikhan


305 908 2646