*UPDATED* Do we do enough to encourage digital media innovation?

It’s been a busy old week so I’m now trawling through 1200+ posts trying to make sense of everything that’s been happening.

Anyway, a couple of posts one I spotted made me wonder what the UK is doing to encourage innovation and experimentation in the media industry.

Firstly, I read about the Knight News Challenge organised by the Knight Foundation (apologies to whoever blogged it – I forget where I first saw it). Now in its second year, the News Challenge is:

"a contest awarding as
much as $5 million for innovative ideas using digital experiments to
transform community news.  Last year’s winners
included a diverse collection of 25 individuals, private and public
entities, ranging from MIT to MTV.  The Foundation plans to invest at
least $25 million over five years in the search for bold community news

And then Jeff Jarvis blogs about the exciting CUNY Networked Journalism Summit which has been made possible by a grant from the MacArthur Foundation.

Where are the Knight and MacArthur Foundations in the UK? And where are the exciting digital projects? I admit I have done no research so they may exist… but if so, where?

As a footnote it is definitely worth plugging a new venture launched by Lloyd Shepherd, Messy Media.

MM is a UK-based blog network providing quality editorial. According to Lloyd:

"We believe there’s a clear opportunity in Britain to
use the blogging format to do proper journalism – to entertain and
inform. Proper design, professional editorial development and a serious
commercial proposition are all part of that."

Good luck, I say. Lloyd’s quote and more besides comes via an interview with Simon Dickson.

 *UPDATED* – More support for innovation announced by Jarvis:

"I’m delighted to announce that I’ve received a $100,000, two-year grant
from the McCormick Tribune Foundation to provide seed funding to news
start-ups developed by students in my course in entrepreneurial
journalism at CUNY’s Graduate School of Journalism. A jury of industry
leaders from the media community in New York – experts in content,
revenue, marketing, venture capital and startups – are speaking with
the class, helping guide students through creating their proposals, and
at the end they will select the projects (if any) likely of success as
sustainable journalistic enterprises and deserving of investment from
the fund. The full announcement is here.)"

Why is the UK equivilent?

Technorati tags: media, digital, innovation, Knight Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, Messy Media


  1. The word ‘interview’ is very generous… more like a snatched cup of Starbucks’ finest. :)

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