Knight Blog

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

News Challenge on Open Gov: Submit now, not later

Feb. 19, 2013, 10:06 a.m., Posted by John Bracken

The Knight News Challenge on Open Gov is now open for your ideas. We’ll keep the window open until March 18th at 5 p.m. ET.

In past News Challenges, we’ve received the bulk of applications in the final 24 hours. This year, however, it behooves you not to wait until St. Patrick’s Day to share your ideas. As we described last week, we’re running this News Challenge on a new platform - OpenIDEO. One of our goals with the new site is to facilitate conversations across projects and to build a sense of community. Since we opened our “inspiration phase” last week, more than 100 people have posted and discussed unmet needs and success stories in Open Gov on the site at newschallenge.org.

Related Link

"Answers to the 7 most common News Challenge questions" by John Bracken on KnightBlog

"Tips for submitting an awesome News Challenge application" by Chris Sopher on KnightBlog

We think ideas are better when they’re shared. If you post your idea today, you’ll have 27 days for others to find it, critique it, share it and help you improve it. (As in the past, if for some reason you’d prefer not to share your idea openly, you can submit it to us via email to knc@knightfoundation.org.)

We’ve invited eight people to help us help you get the most out of the News Challenge. They’re tasked with reading entries and helping to improve ideas and make connections. We’ll convene them at the end of March to help us decide a list of semifinalists. We’ve worked with each of them in the past and think the community will benefit from their insights and experience. Say hi when you see them on the site.

The eight are:

 

Please note: The eight readers are not running the News Challenge - if you have questions, complaints or compliments about the contest please contact Chris Sopher or me. These eight will only be discussing entries on the site -  they all have day jobs they’re maintaining.

We look forward to hearing your ideas, helping to improve them and, for some of you, supporting you as you make those ideas happen.

We’ll be hosting virtual office hours at 3 p.m. ET tomorrow, Wednesday Feb. 20. To participate, please follow this link. If you can’t participate via video and are based in the U.S., you can join in via phone by calling 888.240.2560 (if you’re outside the U.S. please call 408.740.7256). Note the meeting ID number is 731 675 489.

To help answer your questions, we’re also hosting in-person events in a handful of cities across the country over the next couple weeks. Here’s what we have scheduled so far. If you’d like to attend one of these events, please contact Chris at cksopher@knightfoundation.org.

Feb . 19 - Boulder, Colo. hosted with the Entrepreneurs Foundation of Colorado
Feb. 20 - San Francisco, hosted by Code for America  
Feb. 21 - Lexington, Ky. hosted with the Blue Grass Community Foundation
Feb. 26 - Chicago, hosted by Open Gov Chicago
March 4 - St. Paul, Minn. hosted by E-Democracy, details TBA
March 10 - Austin, Texas, hosted by The Texas Tribune, details TBA

(We’ll also be holding events in Miami and Philadelphia - details to come.)

As always, stay up-to-date on the latest News Challenge info by following @knightfdn and #newschallenge. You can also check out our FAQ if you have more questions.

By John Bracken, director journalism/media innovation at Knight Foundation

Related: "News Challenge launches with an OpenIDEO twist" by Chris Barr, “Unanswered questions about Open Gov” by Tim O’Reilly, "Back to the future of self-governance: the promise of the Open Gov movement" by Mark Meckler and "The end of the beginning, lessons from open government so far" by Anil Dash and “First steps to Open Gov – getting your ducts in a row” by Susan Crawford