Knight Blog

The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Funding for five new media innovation projects announced at #awesummit

July 23, 2012, 1:57 p.m., Posted by John Bracken and Chris Sopher

Today in Boston, Knight is sponsoring Awesome Summit: Connect, an Awesome Foundation conference focused on rethinking and democratizing philanthropy. (You can follow the conversation via the Center for Civic Media’s blog and on Twitter via #awesummit.)

We became a part of the Awesome Foundation community last year, when we funded the creation of the Awesome Foundation News Taskforce, starting with a project to support media innovation in Detroit.

Today, we announced five new projects with the same theme of media innovation:

SuperPAC App, Jennifer Hollett and Dan Siegel 
SuperPAC App, a project that grew from the MIT Media Lab, is building an app that allows users to quickly capture audio from an ad that's playing on TV or online and fingerprint it. The app then delivers the user information about the ad, including what organization paid for it, where the ad is running and information about the organization funding it. Users can share, comment on and interact with news about the ad.


TheLi.stRachel Sklar (pictured left) & Glynnis MacNicol
Rachel Sklar, creator of Change the Ratio (a project aimed at increasing the presence and success of women in technology and entrepreneurship), is taking her community of leading women to the next level. Sklar and MacNicol are launching TheLi.st, a hub for women in technology that includes a subscription listserve and discussion community, free content and resources for women in the field, and events and convenings on the topic. Knight Foundation is supporting TheLi.st’s work to engage more women in innovation and technology, and to support their rise and success in the space.

These three projects will receive support through our new prototype fund, which offers $50,000 or less to test promising media innovation projects:  

Sourcemap: Farm-to-table school food tracking
Sourcemap will partner with the Food Service Director of the Concord, Mass.  school district to develop a custom version of their source tracking platform, which will engage the public in the evolution of a school meal. The platform will integrate with existing tools, allowing Concord Schools to easily make data public and seek community engagement on its food and process. This custom platform will be open for  any organization can use.

Washington Post: TruthTeller
Existing factchecking projects take hours or days to sort out the truth after something is said. The Washington Post will connect several open video, transcription and search technologies to allow the live factchecking of video and audio streams. They will release and test this multimedia player add-on during the presidential debates this fall.

Wired.com: Wordpress feedback and suggestion module
Building on its experiment posting a story onto Github, where users made dozens of corrections and translated the story into eight languages, Wired.com will develop a Wordpress module allowing simple user feedback, error reporting and translation - all integrated in-line alongside the content. Through this project, Wired aims to provide a more seamless way for users to interact with news organizations.

Later this afternoon John Bracken will be speaking on a panel, “Cooperation, not Calcification,” with Mike Norman from WeFunder, Jeff Raderstrong from Unsectored, Mark Surman of Mozilla, and Alexa Clay.

By John S. Bracken, director of journalism and media innovation and Christopher Sopher, journalism program associate

Related: "Knight Foundation funds new projects for fact-checking and transparency" by Justin Ellis, Nieman Journalism Lab