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KDMC Indie Journo Alum Is Knight News Challenge Grant Winner

Teru Kuwayama, a fellow in the inaugural Web Publishing for Independent Journalists Workshop, is among 12 new media innovators to share in $2.74 million in grant funding from this year's Knight News Challenge competition. Kuwayama was awarded a $200,000-plus share of the funding.

The Knight News Challenge competition, which is in its fourth year, is designed to encourage the development of innovative uses of digital technology aimed at helping to transform news and information sharing. The international contest is sponsored by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The foundation reported that it received 2,364 entries to it future-of-news contest.

Kuwayama's project, One-Eight, is an online reporting center that will track the deployment of the 1st Battalion, 8th Marines, throughout their Afghanistan tour. The timeframe of the online news center's coverage will coincide with the period leading up to and beyond the time when US forces are scheduled to begin their withdrawal from Afghanistan. One-Eight will combine original reporting in the form of photography, video, audio and text from an embedded network of reporters in Afghanistan, aggregated news and analysis about wider regional issues, and user-generated content from the Marines themselves.

In his application to the KDMC Indie Journo workshop, Kuwayama described his One-Eight project as an exercise in independent reporting, and also as an experiment in the use of “off-the-shelf” media products that are available to the public.

Kuwayama is the second Indie Journo workshop fellow to receive grant funding for a news project. Last month Janice Rombeck received a J-Lab New Voices grant for community her news site, NeighborWeb.