Articles by Chris Barr and Nina Zenni

  • Article

    14 projects win 2016 Knight News Challenge on Libraries

    June 23, 2016 by Chris Barr and Nina Zenni

    14 projects win 2016 Knight News Challenge on Libraries
    Above: Seattle Public Library, by Rem Koolhaas. Photo by Moody75 via Wikimedia Commons. Knight News Challenge Winners 2016: Libraries from Knight Foundation on Vimeo. Today, Knight Foundation is announcing 14 winners of the 2016 Knight News Challenge on Libraries. Each winner will receive a share of $1.6 million to develop their project to answer the question: How might libraries serve 21st century information needs? Launched in February, the challenge generated more than 600 proposals. The 14 winners are a mix of libraries, nonprofit organizations, academic institutions, small for-profit startups and museums. Five of the winners will receive awards ranging from $150,000 to $393,249. The other nine projects will receive $35,000 each to test their early- stage ideas. This marks the second News Challenge on Libraries for Knight Foundation. The first, which launched in 2014, resulted in 17 projects all working to leverage libraries as a platform to build more knowledgeable communities.
  • Article

    Knight News Challenge on Data opens Sept. 8

    August 26, 2015 by Chris Barr and Nina Zenni

    Knight News Challenge on Data opens Sept. 8

    VP/Media Innovation John Bracken explains the 2015 Knight News Challenge on Data from Knight Foundation on Vimeo.

    The next Knight News Challenge will open for ideas on Sept. 8 with this question:

    How might we make data work for individuals and communities?

    In an increasingly data-rich world, we have new opportunities for people to interact with data and technology in ways that improve society. For this challenge, we want to discover ideas that use data to inform and empower people to make decisions about their lives, their democracy and their communities.

    New technologies and the open data movement have put data in the hands of more people, giving rise to both challenges and opportunities. We want projects that use data to fuel innovation and new ideas, while protecting the rights of individuals and communities. We’re not prescriptive in our approach; we welcome all kinds of ideas from new ways to collect, analyze, present, interpret and share data, to better journalism and data-enhanced storytelling techniques, to ways to promote transparency, security and privacy.

    Challenge winners will receive a share of $3 million in funding to develop their projects.

    Here’s what you need to know before the challenge opens for ideas:

    • We are interested in ideas from anyone, including journalists, startups, civic hackers, and academics, to media organizations, businesses, nonprofits, government and individuals.
    • The challenge will open for submissions on Sept. 8 at 9 a.m. ET and close at 5 p.m. ET on Sept. 30.
    • After the challenge closes, we will review every entry we receive, with help from a team of advisers. We will reach out to semifinalists for more information on Oct. 21.
    • We will notify finalists on Nov 6.  We will announce winners in early 2016.
  • Article

    22 projects win support from Knight Prototype Fund

    August 4, 2015 by Chris Barr and Nina Zenni

    22 projects win support from Knight Prototype Fund

    Photo: Virtual-reality storytelling demo at University of Texas at Austin.

    Today we’re announcing the latest recipients of support from the Knight Prototype Fund. Twenty-two projects will join scores of others who have taken ideas from concept to demo since we launched the fund in June 2012. 

    Check out the full list below, which represents a range of ideas from government, the media, nonprofits, universities, libraries and more. The Prototype Fund serves as our primary tool for funding early-stage media and information projects. The model invites applicants to experiment, learn and iterate before moving on to the more costly stage of building out a project.

    In addition to receiving $35,000 in funding, Prototype Fund projects go through a six-month process that begins with a three-day course in human-centered design, facilitated by LUMA Institute. Building on that training to better develop their projects, the teams gather six months later for a demo day to share their discoveries and developments.  They join an expanding network of innovators seeking to provide better ways to inform and engage communities with the information that is essential to their lives. Some of the projects may eventually receive additional funding from Knight Foundation to help them scale.

    Every quarter we announce a new cohort and invite new applications. We’re looking for U.S.-based organizations with projects that explore media, journalism, civic experience, and data and information needs. To learn more and to apply, please visit prototypefund.org.

  • Article

    Knight News Challenge on Data opens for ideas

    September 8, 2015 by Chris Barr and Nina Zenni

    Knight News Challenge on Data opens for ideas

    Knight News Challenge: Data

    The Knight News Challenge on Data is now open for ideas through 5 p.m. ET Sept. 30. This News Challenge, our 14th, reflects Knight Foundation’s ongoing support for projects that use data for good to inform and empower people to make decisions about their lives, communities and democracy.

    In collaboration with Data & Society and the Open Society Foundations, we are seeking projects that provide an answer to the question:

    How might we make data work for individuals and communities?

    Winners will receive a share of $3 million, and we’re seeking ideas from anyone—journalists, startups, civic hackers, academics, media organizations, nonprofits, governments, individuals and more. The challenge is intended to create opportunities to analyze, collect, present, interpret and share data to increase transparency, enhance privacy and security, and improve journalism and storytelling techniques.

    Here are the main stages of the challenge: