Wednesday roundup: NPR ads respond to voices; Knight backs development efforts

• NPR introduced voice recognition–enabled ads this week on its smartphone app in an attempt to connect its nearly one million mobile listeners with sponsors, Adweek reports. The 15-second audio spots ask listeners to say "Download now" or "Hear more" after hearing an ad that sparks their interest. • The Knight Foundation has awarded a joint grant to the nonprofit newsrooms Voice of San Diego and MinnPost to help them develop plans to grow membership. The two-year, $1.2 million grant will be divided evenly between the news operations, who will collaborate on using membership data more effectively. Nieman runs down how the sites will use the grant. Continue Reading

Knight Foundation, INN partner on $1M innovation fund

The Knight Foundation and the Investigative News Network (INN) are teaming up to award $1 million in microgrants for innovation at public media and nonprofit news operations. The INNovate Fund is one of several initiatives totaling $5 million that Knight has planned in response to its 2013 in-depth study of nonprofit news sustainability. Knight will provide the funding, while INN will manage the two-year grant program and select recipients. Online applications will open March 1 and are open to all nonprofit and public media news organizations. Successful applications should meet three criteria, according to INN CEO Kevin Davis. Continue Reading