Future Tense is a collaboration among ASU, Slate magazine and the New America Foundation that explores how emerging technologies affect policy and society.

Winners of the Knight News Challenge: Media Focus on Education, Human Rights

By David Sydiongco

Most efforts to capitalize on the rapid rise of mobile platforms often focus on smartphone experiences in first-world markets. But the safe bet for your average Western tech goliath ignores where mobile development matters the most: the developing world, where phones are cheap, basic, and a valuable source of communication for millions of people for millions of people.

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation hopes to help change this. Last week, the foundation awarded a total of $2.4 million in funding to eight mobile ventures dedicated to informing and engaging communities. Many of the winners of the Knight News Challenge: Mobile shared the common focus of aiding communities in developing nations through mobile innovations.

On Friday, at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University, the challenge winners presented their projects before an audience of their peers. (Disclosure: Arizona State is a partner with Slate and the New America Foundation in Future Tense.)

Some of the most interesting projects focused on community building through fostering education and public advocacy. For instance, Wikimedia’s entry aims to increase the developing world’s access to Wikipedia’s wealth of information. “Knowledge is power. Education is the most
Source: Future Tense Blogs  

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