Ed note: It's a good thing when places soften their rejections with compliments. If the idea's pitched elsewhere in the future, they can truthfully claim that the Knight News Challenge called it "a good idea."
Dear [name redacted],
Thank you for your recent application [project title removed] for funding through the Knight News Challenge. We have reviewed your request, and unfortunately, we must decline your application at this time. Even though you submitted a good idea, it does not meet the specific requirement of using the latest innovations in technique to inform communities.
Because there are thousands of application and only a few of them advance, we are able to choose only the most innovative ideas. These are new kinds of technologies or techniques, usually things we have never heard of before.
Please understand this does not reflect on the quality of your work. This is an extremely competitive contest. Even good applications can be declined. This particular contest can select only a tiny fraction of the most promising, innovative applications that expand digital news and information in defined geographic communities.
You can read more about the Knight News Challenge here: http://www.newschallenge.org
If you have other ideas that fall within the guidelines for the News Challenge, we encourage you to submit them.
We appreciate the value of your work and wish you success in attracting support from other sources.
Knight News Challenge Staff