Knight Foundation–$12 Mil funding for hyperlocal and citizen media services

The Knight Foundation announced the winners of its News Challenge awards today, including grants for projects helmed by Lisa Williams, Jay Rosen, J.D. Lasica, Adrian Holovaty, Amy Gahran, Paul Grabowicz, and Ethan Zuckerman.
It’s exciting to see over $12 million dollars given out to support innovation in participatory journalism and citizen media–bloggers, academics and small non-profits are among those who received grants.
Gary Kebbel, a friend and former news lead at AOL–the behind the scenes guy who did much of the good stuff–has been at Knight for a while, and I’d like to think he’s played a guiding role in all this–Gary’s sense of service, his ability to embrace new ideas and his enthusiasm for innovation look like they have served Knight well in this instance.
Update: Quote of the moment:
“I’m thrilled to announce some huge news: I’ve been awarded a grant by the Knight Foundation, as part of the Knight News Challenge program…..I’ll be founding a Web startup, EveryBlock, that focuses on making local news and information useful. I’ve been feeling the entrepreneurial itch for a while and can’t wait to start hacking on this with a crack team of Web developers.”
Adrian Holovaty, formerly of washingtonppost.com