Knight Foundation Awards $2.2 Million to ProPublica

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation has announced a $2.2 million grant to ProPublica to enable the nonprofit Pulitzer Prize-winning news organization to expand its audience engagement and data journalism activities.

The grant from Knight will boost the capacity of ProPublica's news applications team to deliver engaging data journalism, develop open-source tools, and create opportunities for other news organizations to use data sets to strengthen journalism in their local communities. The organization also will enhance its Get Involved platform, which allows people to participate in the reporting of stories and make story suggestions, integrating the platform more seamlessly with its stories, crowdsourcing efforts, and social media and news applications, and will share best practices around the use of interactive features and news applications to involve users in reported issues.

In addition, the grant will support the two-week Knight-ProPublica Summer Institute in 2016, in which ten to twelve people will be trained in the latest techniques in data reporting, interactive design, and database journalism. Participants will include undergraduates, journalists, and newsroom technologists, as well as graduate students and journalism educators interested in applying algorithms to news gathering and reporting.

"ProPublica's engagement and news apps teams have been leading the way in the use of data, social media, and other powerful tools to engage members of the public in the newsgathering process," said Jennifer Preston, Knight Foundation vice president for journalism. "Through these initiatives, ProPublica will help develop new ways to transform passive news consumers into active participants in information gathering, while introducing a new generation of journalists to new innovations in storytelling."