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DocumentCloud is a web-based software platform created for journalists to allow the searching, analyzing, annotation and publication of primary source documents used in reporting. It is the only two-time Knight News Challenge grantee. Journalists from newsrooms including the New York Times, ProPublica, the LA Times, the Guardian, PBS, the Las Vegas Sun and other news organizations have uploaded over 1.5 million pages to DocumentCloud as of June 2011.[1] DocumentCloud is built entirely on open source software, and is the originator of several notable open source projects, including Backbone.js, Jammit and Underscore.js.[citation needed]


Knight News Challenge Grant 2009[edit]

DocumentCloud was founded as a non-profit organization by Eric Umansky and Scott Klein at ProPublica and Aron Pilhofer at the New York Times as one of the Knight Foundation News Challenge grantees for 2009. The Knight News Challenge grant was awarded to Umansky, Pilhofer and Klein to build and operate DocumentCloud as an open source-based resource for journalists.[2][3][4]

Knight News Challenge Grant 2011[edit]

Credited as a success for the Knight News Challenge,[1][5] DocumentCloud was once again awarded a grant by the Knight Foundation as part of their 2011 grantees. The 2011 grant is intended to add interactive functionality to DocumentCloud to directly engage document readers for purposes other than mere document reading, with the primary target being annotations by readers.[6]

Merger with Investigative Reporters & Editors[edit]

DocumentCloud merged with Investigative Reporters & Editors, a membership based journalism non-profit, in the summer of 2011 as part of DocumentCloud's search for a stable and sustainable home. As of the merge, Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) took primary responsibility for maintenance and future development of the platform, including DocumentCloud's 2011 Knight News Challenge grant.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Poynter's article on DocumentCloud's merge with Investigative Reporters and Editors
  2. ^ Knight News Challenge: A grant to DocumentCloud promises a data boost for investigative journalism
  3. ^ "DocumentCloud Gets Funding to Create Research Memory Bank in the Sky"
  4. ^ "Times, ProPublica Journos Get $719,500 for DocumentCloud"
  5. ^ Knight Foundation announcement of DocumentCloud and IRE merge
  6. ^ 2011 Knight News Challenge winners

Additional Citations[edit]

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