Foundations Offer $1M To Fight Fake News

The Knight Foundation is teaming up with the Democracy Fund and the Rita Allen Foundation to pony up a million dollars to help the public navigate through a dizzying stream of misinformation to find solid news.

The effort comes as trust in the media is being undercut by the White House and "fake news" has become a term of artifice, as it were.

The foundations have put out an "open call" for ideas on how to "improve the flow of accurate information" and, in the process, "build trust in quality journalism.

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Knight points to a Gallup poll from September that found trust in the mass media had reached a new low.

The contest is open to "technologists, journalists, designers, teachers, researchers, and others who are eager to develop ideas to help ensure all people have access to accurate information."

Among the areas it is interested in getting "prototype" plans for include the use of algorithms, separating fact from fiction, and bridging ideological divides.

Knight and company are not wasting any time. Applications are due April 3, with the winners announced in June.

They plan is to award up to a million dollars in grants averaging about $50,000 each.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.