Journalism 360° Challenge accepting entries till April 10, winning projects to receive $35,000

Knight Foundation, Google News Lab and the Online News Association (ONA) have partnered to launch an open call for ideas, offering up to US $35,000 in funding to test, refine and build out a project under an initiative called the Journalism 360° Challenge.

The Journalism 360° Challenge is open to anyone – from journalists, technologists, entrepreneurs, gamers, software developers and academics, to news organizations, startups, established businesses, nonprofits and individuals. It is focused on early-stage ideas and encourages “building fast, failing fast and learning from the journey,” and the organizers are looking for projects that will yield lessons and “how-tos” for the field of journalism and encourage reporters and editors to think differently. Proposals should use virtual, augmented, mixed reality or 360° video, discovering new ways to engage audiences and advance the field of journalism.

The application deadline is April 10, 2017 and winners will receive US $35,000 in funding to test, refine and build out a project.

“Virtual, augmented, mixed reality and 360 video are opening new opportunities for journalists to connect with audiences. In a news environment dominated by two-dimensional digital experiences, this technology allows people to interact with their surroundings and takes them places that they would otherwise not be able to go. At the same time they raise important technical and ethical challenges that journalists need to understand and explore,” states the call for applications, adding:

“For this open call, we want to discover ideas that grow immersive storytelling to advance the field of journalism—that inform and encourage news organizations to innovate, experiment and learn. We believe that developing lessons around this emerging area can help journalists extend and deepen their impact.”

“We want projects that use immersive storytelling to fuel innovation and new ideas, while addressing the many open questions facing this nascent industry. We’re not prescriptive in what your project should be. We welcome all kinds of ideas, from new ways to produce and apply the technology, to the workflows, roles and skills required to create better journalism and enhanced storytelling techniques, to promoting ethics, transparency and accountability. We encourage collaboration on projects that will help advance the field. Our focus is not on funding content.”

Winners will be announced in June 2017 with winning ideas all receiving a share of the US $250,000.

Applications can be submitted via the Journalism 360° Challenge website.

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