[See update below]
Twitter chatter tells me that people are eager for News Challenge news. Here's an update on where things stand:
- We expect to email applicants our decisions over the next few days, beginning tomorrow.
- Early last month we met with about two dozen outside reviewers. We described the purpose of the News Challenge and what we're looking for, the essence of which is described in the Knight News Challenge FAQ.
- Since then, the reviewers, led by Maria Thomas, have gone over the applications. Each application has been read at least twice, many three times, and some more than that.
- The News Challenge has garnered more good ideas than Knight Foundation can fund. As a result, we'll be turning down hundreds of good ideas-- many from accomplished innovators.'Among the 1,641 applications, there some clear "Nos" and some clear "Yes's", but most have required a great deal of thought. This has been the toughest part of the process and we're using these few extra days to consider fully all the proposals.
- In the past, we've offered applicants the chance to see our reviewers' comments and we intend to do so this year, too.
- For those who don't make it to the second round: we don't have the capacity to respond to each of you individually, at least not immediately. I hope you'll understand that a decline from us is not a comment that your idea is bad. Rather, we're only able to advance a relatively few ideas, the ones we feel are the most innovative and thus hold the most promise.
- Those selected to move onto the second round will have the rest of January to complete a full proposal. We'll ask you to extend the brief statements made in the first round into a more detailed description of your idea and your plan for executing it.
- Out of that group, the reviewers will recommend a smaller number of finalists to Knight Foundation staff. Staff will then conduct due diligence and recommend a final slate of winners to the Knight Foundation board of trustees at its June 20 meeting. The board will make the final decisions.
- I want to again thank the applicants for taking the time to share the ideas, the commenters for lending their opinions, and the outside reviewers for taking the time, during a busy time of year, to lend us their expertise. (We'll be sharing the list of reviewers when the process closes.)'We're excited by the ideas we've received and look forward to the chance to dive deeper and to eventually help bring some to fruition.
[Update: We're going more slowly then I expected when I published this post last week. I'm sorry for the consternation that the delay has caused some of you, but we want to make sure we get it right, and thus are taking a bit more time then we expected.'To clarify: if you have not yet received a notification from us, it does *not* mean that your project has not been accepted-- nor does it mean your project has moved onto the second round. ]