Articles by Nina Zenni

  • Article

    46 ideas advance in Knight News Challenge on Data

    October 21, 2015 by Nina Zenni

    46 ideas advance in Knight News Challenge on Data

    This week a set of 18 advisers helped us select a group of semifinalists for Knight News Challenge: Data. We received 1,065 applications, and we are excited to announce that 46 projects (one entry is private) will move forward as semifinalists.

    These projects will have until Monday, Oct. 26, to refine their entries and provide further information for the next set of advisers, who will help us choose the finalists. We will notify finalists on Friday, Nov. 6.

    This was Knight Foundation’s second News Challenge on Data. The challenge, which closed Sept. 30, asked the question: How might we make data work for individuals and communities? We received applications from all over the world and believe these projects demonstrate the ambition, dedication and diversity of organizations and individuals concerned about how data can foster a culture of engagement. Several themes emerged among the applications we received, including civic data mobilization, data literacy and education, data visualization, data for anti-discrimination and diversity, tools for journalists, open data for governments, data accessibility and more.

    While the majority of the proposals we received won’t be moving forward, our commitment to data projects extends beyond this challenge; we are constantly on the lookout for great ideas. Additionally, during the review process we will identify ideas that align with our Knight Prototype Fund, which provides seed funding for people to test assumptions and refine early-stage projects.

    Thanks to everyone who has joined us in making this challenge a success—with a special thanks to our advisers who helped review entries. As we move forward with the refinement stage, we look forward to the review process, learning more about these projects and selecting a group of finalists. Winners, who will share in more than $3 million, will be announced in January. Please follow our progress at knightblog.org, on the challenge platform at newschallenge.org or on Twitter using #newschallenge.

    Nina Zenni is a media innovation associate at Knight Foundation. Email her at [email protected].

  • Article

    47 ideas advance in Knight News Challenge on Libraries

    April 15, 2016 by Nina Zenni

    47 ideas advance in Knight News Challenge on Libraries

    Above: New York Public Library reading room by Alex Proimos on Flickr.

    This week we gathered 18 advisers to help review applications and select semifinalists for the 2016 Knight News Challenge on Libraries. We received 633 ideas (eight of which were private). We are excited to announce that 47 ideas are moving forward.

    During the next phase, we’re asking semifinalists to review three questions for our next set of advisers to review. Each semifinalist has until Friday, April 22, to submit their answers at newschallenge.org and refine their entries based on comments received during the first review phase. The questions are:

    1.     What are the obstacles to implementing your idea, and how will you address them?

    2.     How much do you think your project will cost, and what are the major expenses?

    3.     How will you spread the word about your project? Who are you trying to reach?

  • Article

    Reviewers for Knight News Challenge on Libraries meet in Miami

    May 5, 2016 by Nina Zenni

    Reviewers for Knight News Challenge on Libraries meet in Miami

    Above: Knight News Challenge reviewers meet in Miami. Photo by Rosemary D'Amour.

    Today, the second group of reviewers are meeting in Miami to discuss semifinalists in the Knight News Challenge on Libraries. A combination of library professionals, journalists, researchers and technology experts, these 17 reviewers will help Knight Foundation select a group of finalists.

    This year’s Knight News Challenge offers a share of $3 million to projects that answer the question, How might libraries meet 21st century information needs? The challenge closed on March 21 with more than 600 applications, and we announced 47 semifinalists on April 15.

    We will notify each semifinalist on May 10 whether they have been selected as a finalist. In the following weeks, we will conduct due diligence and in-person interviews with finalists to determine a group of winners.

    We will announce winners on June 21. On Saturday, June 25, each team will present their projects at the American Libraries Association Annual Conference in Orlando. 

  • Article

    Knight heads to SXSW

    March 11, 2015 by Nina Zenni

    Knight heads to SXSW

    Photo from SXSW 2014 by Michael Bolden.

    This post has been updated. 3/13/2015 10 a.m.

    It’s that time of year again, and Knight Foundation is headed to Austin, Texas, for South by Southwest. This year, we have a terrific lineup of events to showcase our current News Challenge and to celebrate our partnerships.

    Here are some of the many places where you can connect with us:

    Knight News Challenge open office hours

    Swing by The Driskill Hotel bar to chat with us about the Knight News Challenge on Elections. This round, we are offering a share of $3 million for the best nonpartisan ideas that answer the question: How might we better inform voters and increase civic participation before, during and after elections? Stop by with your questions and great ideas.

  • Article

    Knight, grantees head to libraries conference to discuss serving communities in the digital age

    June 21, 2016 by Nina Zenni

    Knight, grantees head to libraries conference to discuss serving communities in the digital age
    Seattle Public Library. Knight Foundation is heading to Orlando this week for the 2016 American Library Association annual conference, where the winners of the recent Knight News Challenge on Libraries will present their projects and members of our staff and people from our network will lead panels on how libraries can better respond to communities in the digital age. For our latest Knight News Challenge, we asked applicants to submit proposals that answered the question: How might libraries serve 21st century information needs? Join us on Saturday, June 25, from 1- 2:30 p.m. ET for presentations from the winners of the Knight News Challenge on Libraries, which will be announced Thursday. These presentations will be followed by a panel discussion on transformation and innovation in libraries. In addition, several winners from the 2014 Knight News Challenge on Libraries have curated a series of panels on both Saturday, June 25, and Sunday, June 26.
  • Article

    Knight News Challenge on Libraries opens for applications Feb. 24

    January 9, 2016 by Nina Zenni

    Knight News Challenge on Libraries opens for applications Feb. 24

    We’re at the American Library Association Midwinter Meeting this weekend, where we are announcing that the next Knight News Challenge will open for ideas on Feb. 24. Our question: How might libraries serve 21st century information needs?

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

    In the fall of 2014, we launched our first Knight News Challenge on Libraries. We discovered  a broad range of projects and teams focusing on making libraries more vibrant members of their  communities. For centuries, libraries have been keepers of public knowledge, spaces for human connection, and educators for the next generations of learners. For this challenge, we hope to unearth new ways to advance libraries to meet the needs of their communities and carry these ideals into the future.

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

  • Article

    Join Knight via live stream for civic life conference and News Challenge: Elections winners

    July 17, 2015 by Nina Zenni

    Join Knight via live stream for civic life conference and News Challenge: Elections winners

    Photo courtesy of dronethusiast.com.

    Knight Foundation is headed back to Austin, and this time we’re announcing the winners of the Knight News Challenge on Elections.

    We’ll deliver the news on Wednesday, July 22, during a one-day conference hosted by the Annette Strauss Institute of Civic Life at the Moody College of Communications at the University of Texas at Austin. “Breaking Through: Increasing Civic Participation Before, During and After Elections will feature an impressive lineup of technologists, journalists, government officials and academics who will share experiences and discuss trends surrounding political civic engagement. We will live-stream the invitation-only event at knightfoundation.org/live.

    We will kick off the programming with the News Challenge: Elections announcement at 9:30 a.m. CDT, followed by project presentations from each winner. We received more than 1,000 submissions, which were narrowed to 46 finalists. The winners will receive a share of more than $3 million to research and develop new approaches and methods for better informing voters and increasing civic participation throughout the elections process.

    The challenge opened in February as a collaboration between Knight, the Democracy Fund and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, which each contributed $250,000, and the Rita Allen Foundation, which contributed $150,000. They will be with us in Austin.

    The conference will continue with the following keynote speeches and ignite talks:

    11:15 a.m. | “Engagement Voters: How Do People Really Think?”

  • Article

    Knight News Challenge on Data closes with more than 1,000 entries

    September 30, 2015 by Nina Zenni

    Knight News Challenge on Data closes with more than 1,000 entries

    Photo credit: Flickr user Bob Mical 

    The Knight News Challenge on Data is now closed. Thank you to everyone who submitted ideas and participated in the conversation. We received more than 1,000 submissions. Here’s what happens next.

    Through Oct. 20, we will review the submissions. During the review process, applicants and interested parties may join us and our team of readers to ask questions and provide feedback.

    As a team, we read every application we receive. However, we have assembled a spectacular group of 16 experts in the field to join us as initial readers. The readers will go through each application and advise us as we select the semifinalists. Applicants will be able to interact directly with these readers on our open submission platform. They can be identified at newschallenge.org by the “reader” tag on their profile photos.

    If a project receives feedback or questions on the site, applicants will be notified via email and will have the opportunity to respond and to incorporate any changes into their entry. However, if you choose to edit your application, make sure to do so promptly as there is a chance the readers may never see these changes if you do so later in the review process.

  • Article

    Last-minute tips for applying to the Knight News Challenge on Libraries

    March 16, 2016 by Nina Zenni

    Last-minute tips for applying to the Knight News Challenge on Libraries

    Above: Seattle Central Library by Peter Morgan on Flickr.

    Talking about Knight News Challenge - Libraries at the Library Ideas Drop at SXSW in Austin.

    knc lib

    The Knight News Challenge on Libraries closes at 5 p.m. ET Monday, March 21. Winners will share in $3 million for the best projects that answer the question: How might libraries serve 21st century information needs?

    With just a few days left, here are some tips for submitting the strongest application. 

    • Be clear and concise. The application has five basic questions which should be answered within the 3000-character limit. Please avoid jargon and grant speak, and explain your idea as clearly as possible. Also, be sure to pick a short, clear title and summary.

    • Make it visual. The News Challenge platform allows for additional documents and images to be uploaded with the application. We urge you to take advantage of this option. This could be a photo, a quick sketch (a .jpg, .png, or .gif) or embedded video from YouTube or Vimeo. It does not need to be professionally produced to be compelling.

    • Publish your application early. Although there are only a few days left, publishing your application allows for the community to view your entry, ask questions and provide feedback. The earlier you publish, the more time you have to use that feedback to make edits to your entry. And it also avoids the last-minute bottlenecks or technical problems that can occur.

    • Have someone else review your application. Getting another opinion will help assure you are communicating your idea as clearly as possible. Also, make sure that someone with no knowledge of your field will be able to understand your idea.

    Additionally, here are some answers to questions that have come up during our virtual office hours and meetup over the last few weeks:

  • Article

    Tips for applying to the 2017 Journalism 360 Challenge

    April 4, 2017 by Nina Zenni

    Tips for applying to the 2017 Journalism 360 Challenge

    Photo by Jonas Tana on Flickr

    With the April 10 deadline approaching for the Journalism 360 challenge, here are some tips on how to submit winning ideas for experiments in immersive storytelling for journalism.

    Each applicant has the chance to receive up to $35,000 for early-stage projects from a $250,000 fund that is supported by Knight Foundation and Google News Labs as part of a partnership with the Online News Association.

    The fund and the Journalism 360 network were created to help journalists and technologists learn from each other on how to best use virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed reality for storytelling. While this new technology offers a tremendous opportunity for journalists to connect with people in new ways, it also poses many production and ethical questions. We are hoping the ideas will address some of those challenges through experiments with new tools, methods and other promising solutions.

     As the challenge comes to a close, with applications accepted until April 10 at 11:59 p.m. ET, here are some helpful tips for submitting a strong application.

  • Article

    Journalism 360 Challenge on immersive storytelling closes with more than 800 entries

    April 11, 2017 by Nina Zenni

    Journalism 360 Challenge on immersive storytelling closes with more than 800 entries

    Photo by Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas on flickr.

    The Journalism 360 Challenge on immersive storytelling is now closed. The challenge received 812 entries. Thank you to everyone who submitted ideas and participated in the meetups and information sessions.

  • Article

    Knight News Challenge on Libraries opens for submissions

    February 24, 2016 by Nina Zenni

    Knight News Challenge on Libraries 2016

    Want to learn more about the Knight News Challenge on Libraries?

    Knight’s John Bracken hosted a reddit Ask Me Anything chat on Feb. 29. Learn more here. You can also join us for virtual office hours on Wednesday, March 16, to ask questions and talk with members of our team about the challenge. Apply at newchallenge.org.

    This post has been updated.

    The Knight News Challenge on Libraries is now open for applications. Winning applicants will receive a share of $3 million for a project that answers the question: How might libraries serve 21st century information needs?

    The challenge hopes to uncover projects from librarians and their collaborators as they transform to meet the needs of our communities. Knight Foundation recognizes that libraries are well positioned to build more informed and engaged communities and promote stronger democracies. This challenge is an opportunity to discover new ways the library world can meet the demands of their communities in this increasingly digital world.

    The Knight News Challenge will be open to anyone working in the U.S., including public and private libraries, businesses, nonprofits and individuals. Projects have the chance to receive funding of approximately $35,000 to $500,000 for a grant period of six months to two years.

    Many of the projects we fund through the challenge are those which have some early validation and require moderate to larger investments. However, we expect to fund several projects as prototypes, which will receive $35,000 in seed funding. (In the last libraries challenge, we funded prototype projects from several organizations, such as San Jose Public Library, Make it @ Your Library, and DC Public Library.)

  • Article

    Knight News Challenge on Libraries closes with more than 600 entries

    March 22, 2016 by Nina Zenni

    Knight News Challenge on Libraries closes with more than 600 entries

    Photo Illustration made with images from Flickr users Thomas Hawk and square(tea).

    The Knight News Challenge on Libraries is now closed. We received more than 600 entries and look forward to reviewing them all. Thanks to everyone who submitted their ideas and participated in the conversation around our question, How might libraries serve 21st century information needs? Here’s what happens next:

    We have assembled a group of 18 experts, identified as “readers” on newschallenge.org, to help us review the submissions and select a group of semifinalists. Over the next few weeks, these readers may ask questions in the comment section of your entry, so please stay alert for emails notifying you about their questions.

    On April 15, all applicants will be notified whether or not they have been selected to move forward to the next round.

  • Article

    Join Knight in supporting libraries at the ALA annual conference in San Francisco

    June 25, 2015 by Nina Zenni

    Join Knight in supporting libraries at the ALA annual conference in San Francisco

    San Francisco photo by Michael Bolden on Flickr.

    Knight Foundation is headed to San Francisco this week to talk libraries. We believe libraries can be a platform for digital innovation and community engagement, and what better place for that conversation than the 2015 American Library Association conference being held there through Monday. Over the next several days, we will feature several of our initiatives and our grantees during a series of demonstrations, events and panels.

    Above: John Palfrey discussing his book BiblioTech in Miami.

    Here are some of the ways you can connect with us at the ALA convention:

    Book signing with Knight Board of Trustees Chair John Palfrey for his new book, “BiblioTech: Why Libraries Matter More Than Ever in the Age of Google”

    Following the general opening session, Knight Foundation’s booth will open by continuing the conversation on the future of libraries with a book signing from John Palfrey, a noted author, founding chair of the board of the Digital Public Library of America and head of school at Phillips Academy, Andover.  Please stop by and receive a free copy of “BiblioTech” signed by Palfrey, Friday, June 26, from 5:30-6 p.m. | Moscone Center, South Hall, Booth No. 3731

  • Article

    Last-minute guide to applying to the Knight News Challenge on Data

    September 28, 2015 by Nina Zenni

    Last-minute guide to applying to the Knight News Challenge on Data
     

    The Knight News Challenge on Data is open through 5 p.m. ET Sept. 30 for your ideas on how to make data work for individuals and communities. It’s your chance to share in more than $3 million.

    With less than three days left, we want to provide you with some answers to commonly asked questions during our most recent virtual office hours. (You can also check out our FAQ and application tips and newschallenge.org)

    What are you looking for in the “description” field?

    This is your opportunity to explain what your project is, what you hope to achieve and why your project is innovative. There are no restrictions on what you can and cannot mention in this section. Just remember to be as clear and concise as possible. We are looking for applicants who can explain their projects in laymen’s terms.

    What do you mean by “innovation”?

    We believe that innovation can stem from any type of organization, whether you are a small startup, nonprofit, established organization, for-profit, individual, government entity or university. We are more interested in the idea itself at this stage. Here are some thoughts from Knight President Alberto Ibargüen on the work we do.

    What level of technical detail is needed at this stage of the application process?

    At this point, we are not requiring an extensive explanation of the technology behind your project. However, it is important to say why your project is innovative. Whether your technology is being used in an innovative way or if the technology itself is innovative, that is worth noting. In the next phase of our review, we ask semifinalists for more detail regarding the technology and intended users.