Knight Prototype Fund supports INN, ‘This American Life’ projects

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The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation announced funding Tuesday for 11 projects, including $35,000 each to This American Life and the Institute for Nonprofit News.

The grants come from the foundation’s Prototype Fund. TAL will use its grant to develop an audio-sharing tool, which would aim to broaden the reach of audio stories. Users could spread via social media segments from podcasts and radio shows, converted to videos with transcriptions.

According to a tweet by project lead Stephanie Foo, a TAL producer, the tool “enables audio fans to be able to easily clip audio into short, shareable snippets.”

The INN project, One Liner, would be a service to help newsrooms evaluate third-party services, such as analytics tools, advertising networks and social gadgets.

According to an INN post, the One Liner prototype will consist of a research tool listing common third-party services and providing information about each; a configuration dashboard that walks users through the service’s setup process without leaving the dashboard; and a web service that delivers a single line of code users can add to their site to load their specified services and configurations. (Current is a member of INN.)

Knight launched the Prototype Fund in 2012. It invites teams to experiment before spending significant capital to build out projects. Teams will test their ideas over the next six months before meeting for a demo day to share their findings.

Many of the Prototype Fund projects seek to use data to make content “easier to discover, explore and visualize,” according to a Knight press release.

Knight has invested $9 million in the Prototype Fund.

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