[Wikimedia-l] [Wikimedia Announcements] [PRESS RELEASE] Wikimedia Foundation named Knight News Challenge winner

Matthew Roth mroth at wikimedia.org
Thu Jan 17 16:20:45 UTC 2013

(This press release is also available online at:

Wikimedia Foundation named winner of Knight News Challenge

$600,000 in Knight Foundation funding supports innovation across
Wikimedia mobile initiatives

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - January 17, 2013 - The Wikimedia Foundation was
named a winner in the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation's Knight
News Challenge for its efforts to expand and improve Wikimedia's
mobile projects. The Wikimedia Foundation is enhancing the Wikipedia
mobile experience and making it easier to access Wikipedia,
particularly for readers in developing countries.

As mobile technology is increasingly the primary opportunity for
billions of people around the world to access the Internet, the
Wikimedia Foundation is working to remove the two biggest hurdles to
access free knowledge: cost and accessibility. The News Challenge
grant will be utilized in four areas:
*Improving the way that users experience our mobile platform on feature phones;
*Expanding Wikipedia Zero, which gives mobile users free access to
Wikipedia on their phones;
*Developing features to improve the mobile experience regardless of
how feature-rich the device is, including new ways to access Wikipedia
via texting;
*Increasing the number of languages that can access Wikipedia on mobile.

The Wikimedia Foundation is one of eight mobile projects to receive a
total of $2.4 million today through the Knight News Challenge, which
accelerates projects with funding and advice from Knight's network of
media innovators. A full list is at knightfoundation.org.

"Knight Foundation's funding will support us making the mobile version
of Wikipedia easier to use, as well as enabling us to expand Wikipedia
Zero, our project with mobile operators that lets their customers
access Wikipedia for free," said Sue Gardner, Executive Director of
the Wikimedia Foundation. "I'm very happy Knight has chosen to support
us; it's an important affirmation of our mobile work."

Knight Foundation, the nation’s leading funder of journalism and media
innovation, is committed to promoting democracy by supporting informed
and engaged communities. Founded by newsmen John S. and James L.
Knight, the foundation launched the Knight News Challenge in 2007 to
find the next generation of innovations that help communities get the
information they need.

"Wikipedia has helped define the way that people collaboratively
create content. Making the site available to more people across the
world will help foster and spread that culture," said John Bracken,
director for journalism and media innovation at Knight Foundation.

The $600,000 News Challenge grant is for two years and follows a
general support grant of $250,000 that Knight Foundation awarded to
the Wikimedia Foundation in December 2012.

The Wikimedia Foundation and the other winners of the challenge will
present their projects via live Web stream at 12:30 p.m. ET/ 10:30
a.m. MT Friday, January 18 at knightfoundation.org/live, from a
gathering on the future of mobile at Arizona State University. (Follow
#newschallenge on Twitter.)

About the Wikimedia Foundation


The Wikimedia Foundation is the non-profit organization that operates
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. According to comScore Media Metrix,
Wikipedia and the other projects operated by the Wikimedia Foundation
receive more than 483 million unique visitors per month, making them
the fifth-most popular web property world-wide (comScore, November
2012). Available in 285 languages, Wikipedia contains more than 24
million articles contributed by a global volunteer community of
roughly 80,000 people. Based in San Francisco, California, the
Wikimedia Foundation is an audited, 501(c)(3) charity that is funded
primarily through donations and grants.

Press contact
Jay Walsh
Senior Director, Communications
Wikimedia Foundation
Tel. +1 415-860-8166
jwalsh at wikimedia.org

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. The foundation believes that democracy thrives when people
and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit
knightfoundation.org or newschallenge.org

Press contact
Andrew Sherry
VP for Communications, Knight Foundation
Tel. 305-908-2677
sherry at knightfoundation.org

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