National Association of Broadcasters, With Fresh Funding, Expands Innovation Contest

After a successful first year, the National Association of Broadcasters is giving a boost to its PILOT program, whose aim is to support local broadcasters in serving their communities. The Knight Foundation is giving the association a grant to expand the innovation challenge.

The National Association of Broadcasters is doubling down on innovation.

With the help of a new Knight Foundation grant, NAB is investing in broadcast technologies for local news as part of its PILOT innovation initiative, which started earlier this year. (Three winners were selected in the first PILOT Innovation Challenge; they received cash prizes to help fund their projects.)

The $200,000 grant from the foundation enables NAB to double its investment in the effort, which aims to better serve local communities and draw younger audiences to broadcast news. With the PILOT program, the association is making a bet that technology can help keep those younger audiences interested. The contest is focused less on fully formed new ideas and more on those that are just a glimmer.

“We want people to give us their best ‘back-of-a-napkin’ ideas,” the PILOT website states.

Of course, a napkin can go only so far—eventually, to build an idea, you need money. That’s where the contest comes into play.

“Local broadcasters serve their communities in a variety of ways, and the landscape continues to evolve. Our goal is to inspire and support new ideas for local broadcasters serving those communities,” said John Clark, PILOT’s executive director, in a statement. “We’re delighted to have Knight Foundation’s support in continuing to push the industry forward with new perspectives, ideas, and innovations.”

Knight Foundation Vice President for Journalism Jennifer Preston echoed the sentiment.

“With the National Association of Broadcasters’ leadership, we hope to uncover ideas to advance this goal, and create a stronger network of broadcast news innovators who care about local issues,” she said.


Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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