Eight mobile ventures win $2.4 million in funding

Eight media innovation ventures received a total of $2.4 million today as winners of the Knight News Challenge: Mobile.

The challenge, one of three launched in 2012 by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, accelerates projects with funding and advice from Knight’s network of media innovators. For the third round, Knight Foundation sought ideas that harness mobile technology to inform and engage communities.

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

The winners include:

Wikipedia: Will develop new tools to allow people to access articles and knowledge via text message in multiple languages.

WITNESS: Helping newsrooms authenticate photos and videos by creating an app that automatically stamps the content with identifying information, including the location where it was taken.

Digital Democracy: Enabling residents of the Peruvian Amazon to document the effects of mining and oil drilling by creating a mobile tool kit they can use to collect and share data.

RootIO: Piloting software that will connect basic mobile phones with a transmitter to turn them into micro community radio stations. The effort is being tested in Uganda.

Abayima: Creating an app that turns a SIM card into a storage device for news and information, allowing journalists and others to safely transfer information when communication networks are compromised or disabled.

Textizen: Expanding the ways governments can collect citizen input by enabling it through text. Piloted through Code for America, Textizen works by placing survey questions in physical places like parks and bus stops where residents will encounter them and can text in their opinion.

TKOH: Creating a more natural tool for recording oral histories with an app that prompts people to tell stories when they see pre-selected photos or videos.

Cafédirect Producers’ Foundation: Connecting small farmers in developing countries with advice and feedback via a platform through which they can ask questions and have them quickly answered by farmers in other communities.

Find out more about the winning mobile projects during the 12:30 p.m. ET/ 10:30 a.m. MT Web stream on Friday, Jan. 18 at knightfoundation.org/live,