Guardian News & Media has announced a $2.6 million grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation in support of an innovation lab that will develop and create new approaches to delivering news and information using mobile technology.
The funding will enable the U.S. outpost of the media company to assemble a multidisciplinary editorial and production team that includes designers, developers, and reporters and embed it within its news operations. With mobile audiences today accounting for more than 50 percent of the Guardian's daily traffic, the lab will work to create new ways of bringing stories to life on smaller screens, investigate ways of engaging readers in breaking news, and explore the challenges faced by journalists in the mobile age. The team will operate autonomously and create original content but will also have access to stories and resources from the main Guardian newsroom. In addition to detailed metrics, any new tools, story forms, or ways to source stories will be made available to the field.
"We're delighted to have been awarded this grant by Knight Foundation, which underlines the Guardian's reputation as a pioneer in developing new ways of using digital journalism to tell stories and engage with our readers," said Guardian News & Media editor-in-chief Katherine Viner. "The innovation lab will sit at the heart of our U.S. newsroom, and will draw on the collective expertise of our team, led by Guardian US editor Lee Glendinning, in order to do things differently in the mobile space. We’re also really excited to be sharing our results in an open environment, so others can learn from our experiments and get involved in the conversation about mobile journalism."