Gary Kebbel is the Journalism Program Director at Knight Foundation.
During a panel at last week's Interactive Media Conference, I realized that many of the projects funded by the Knight News Challenge have the potential to work with one another to create a project that none of us has yet imagined.
For instance, Tish Grier was explaining how people can use Placeblogger.com, a site that organizes the blogs about place, to learn more about their own communities or ones they wish to visit. And David Cohn was talking about how his Spot.us project used microfunding and crowd-sourcing to pay for local investigative reports. (So far, in 24 weeks of operation, 23 reports have been funded.) Dan Pacheco demonstrated how easy it is to create a "Printcast," or personalized niche publication, at printcasting.com. (About 10 minutes from creation to printout.)
But while they were talking, the thought occurred to me: How cool would it be if a blogger indexed in Placeblogger.com submits a proposal to Spot.us that gets funded, and then he or she prints and distributes it via Printcasting?
On June 17 Knight Foundation will announce the 2009 winners of the Knight News Challenge. Each year, as more winners are announced, we increase the chances of a new project emerging from the discussion and cooperation of all the winning projects. Knight Foundation hopes that a project none of us has imagined will ultimately be the result of the ones we have funded.