by Anika Anand
The Knight Foundation is asking anyone to submit ideas focused on improving how citizens and government interact, and the Miami-based organization is committing $5 million to the winners of the Knight News Challenge on Open Gov and another news challenge it will hold later this year.
Hundreds of different competitions to spur innovation for entrepreneurs get held each year, and the Knight Foundation has held its share of them—a total of nine different "news challenges." In its latest effort, it's taking a noteworthy approach by running the competition more like a hackathon, inspiring conversations and debate on the ideas presented.
"We're trying to add additional value," saidChristopher Sopher with the Knight Foundation. "It's not just about dropping the idea in the mail slot and waiting to hear back a few months later."
Today is the first day to submit an idea for the Knight News Challenge on Open Gov. This follows a five-day-long "inspiration" period where anyone could log onto the News Challenge website and post obstacles, solutions and existing projects as part of a giant brainstorm of ideas. The "thought starters" could form the basis for an idea that someone else proposes, the website says.
Using a platform called OpenIDEO, Knight collected 176 different "inspirations." They include suggestions like creating a local government microblogging platform where government spending regularly updated and press conferences that would allow citizens to vote on what questions should be answered of a candidate during elections.
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 www.knightfoundation.org.