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Digital experiments in community news

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, a Miami-based organization that supports journalism, is launching The Knight News Challenge for the second year. The contest is open to anyone, anywhere in the world, to come up with ideas on digital experiments that can transform community news.

The contest is awarding as much as $5 million this year to fund the ideas, which can use digitally delivered news and information to enhance physical communities and improve the lives of people where they live and work. I wrote about the first contest in May, which concluded with grants to 25 individuals and private and public entities ranging from MIT to MTV.

Although there is a category for commercial applications, most entries must share the software and knowledge created. This year the contest's web site will allow entrants to invite public comment that will help improve their entries. An entry form and more details are available at newschallenge.org. Applications will be accepted through Oct. 15. The foundation plans to announce the winners by the spring of 2008.

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