Open Government: Launching Knight News Challenge 2013

By John Wells

Ahead of taking formal applications, an “inspiration phase” has been launched for the 2013 Knight News Challenge. Some $5 million of Knight Foundation funding will be announced in June for innovative projects around Open Government. Amid much talk (and much tech) focused on more open, transparent, connected governments – as well as the emergence of the 58-nation Open Government Partnership – this Challenge program aims to enable projects that in the broadest sense foster better communication in support of the Open Gov movement.

We hear from Chris Sopher, Project Manager for the 2013 Knight News Challenge, about the Challenge goals and how the inspiration phase will help potential participants to shape their submission ideas through a new online space developed with OpenIDEO.

What are the ideas in Open Government that can help build the field, can help explore new ideas, new approaches to trying to engage people in Government or inform them about what’s happening in their community in a new way?

The Knight News Challenge is international and open to submissions from governments and public sector agencies as well as civic innovators, private sector and non-profit organisations. If you’re considering a pitch, don’t miss this episode!

Chris Sopher is project manager on Knight Foundation’s Journalism and Media Innovation team. He has written and spoken around the world about young people’s engagement with news and civic life through his project Younger Thinking.

Prior to Knight, Chris researched digital media and public policy at the Emerging Media Research Council and helped found the national college mentoring nonprofit Strive for College. He earned a bachelor’s in public policy analysis from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is a Morehead-Cain and Truman Scholar.



About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit