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Knight Foundation and VICE Launch Fund to Train Journalists in Innovative Storytelling

Together, the partners have put $500,000 towards the Knight-VICE Innovators Fund at the City University of New York’s Graduate School of Journalism.

by VICE News
Dec 2 2014, 8:35pm

Photo via Tow Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism

In an effort to support journalists around the globe as they pursue challenging and difficult-to-report stories, VICE Media has announced a partnership with the Knight Foundation that will bring about the launch of a new initiative to train journalists in innovative reporting and storytelling techniques.

Together, the partners have put $500,000 towards the Knight-VICE Innovators Fund at the City University of New York's (CUNY) Graduate School of Journalism, with the aim of helping journalists advance their storytelling techniques to target a new audience hungry for innovation in news reporting.

"To engage the next generation of news consumers on important issues around the world, we need to tell stories in new ways while maintaining a commitment to strong, quality reporting," Knight Foundation Vice President for Journalism Jennifer Preston said while announcing the fund during the Knight Innovation Award ceremony in Manhattan on Monday.

According to Preston, the initiative aims to help spread the immersive style of storytelling that VICE has become known for. Sarah Bartlett, the dean at the CUNY Journalism School, said the program was committed to mixing traditional values of journalism with innovative storytelling techniques.

"We are thrilled that this new support from VICE and Knight will enable us to train more journalists to push harder at journalism's frontiers and engage audiences more deeply," Bartlett said.

During the program, VICE co-founder Shane Smith also received the foundation's Innovation Award, which honors individuals bringing fresh perspectives and voices to journalism. Smith was presented with $25,000 and a matching sum to put towards a media startup. He chose to give the money to the Afghanistan-based investigative reporting nonprofit organization PAYK.

During his speech, Smith said the work the organization was doing in Afghanistan is "tremendous." PAYK pursues in-depth news coverage, while also providing security training for journalists.