Grant boosts Wikimedia move to phones

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A statement from the Wikimedia Foundation revealed that some 250 people have been 'blocked or banned' after being found to have carried out "non-neutral editing" of pages.

San Francisco - The group behind Wikipedia on Thursday won a $600,000 (R5.4-million) Knight Foundation grant to improve access to the communally compiled online encyclopedia from mobile phones.

Wikimedia Foundation was among eight News Challenge winners awarded a total of $2.4-million for projects ranging from turning basic mobile phones into radio stations to helping newsrooms manage content sent by people on the move.

“In 2013, the number of Internet-enabled mobile devices is expected to be greater than the number of computers for the first time,” said Knight vice president for journalism and media innovation Michael Maness.

“These eight Knight News Challenge projects, and the innovators behind them, are helping to stretch the ways people around the world are engaging with information and using it to shape their communities.”

Wikimedia won the grant to expand and improve Wikipedia's availability for free on mobile phones, particularly in developing countries.

“Wikipedia has helped define the way that people collaboratively create content,” said Knight Foundation director for journalism and media innovation John Bracken.

“Making the site available to more people across the world will help foster and spread that culture.”

News Challenge winners will discuss their projects in a broadcast streamed online at knightfoundation.org/live on Friday beginning at 12:30pm New York time (20:30 GMT). - Sapa-AFP

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