An East London Knight News Challenge Preview

technology / Article

November 5, 2011 by John Bracken


Above: Knight VP for Journalism and Media Innovation Michael Maness on the future of the News Challenge.

Today is Day 2 of Mozilla's "Media, Freedom and the Web" Festival in London. The news Friday was the announcement of the five Knight-Mozilla News Technology fellows; the news today and tomorrow is an amazing array of collaborations, design challengeslabs, hack sessions - even a Science Fair. Represented in the mix are Knight-supported projects including Ushahidi, ScraperWiki, Poderopedia, Zeega, Document Cloud, the MIT Media Lab, PANDA, Frontline SMS and Tiziano.

My colleague Michael Maness will be doing an "Under the Hood of Knight-Mozilla" chat with Dan Sinker, the coordinator of the Knight-Mozilla partnership. There, he is going to talk about our plans for the Knight News Challenge in 2012.

Knight President and CEO Alberto Ibargüen gave a preview in June at the MIT Knight Civic Media Conference, Eric Newton mentioned them last month at the World Editors Forum.  

Michael will address this more today, but here is a preview:

  • Faster: Nine to 12 months is too long to conduct a media innovation contest. We're going to aim to do our 2012 contests in 12 weeks each. 
  • More: We're going to hold three contests in 2012. We're confident that there are enough good ideas and awesome builders out there, and are confident of our ability to find you. 
  • Focused: Two of the contests we'll run will have specific themes. A third will be an open call - we think it's important to keep a window open for ideas that we may not be expecting. 
  • Networked: One of the conclusions from the assessment of the first two years of the News Challenge was that the projects with the greatest access to broader networks, services and advice stand the best chance of success. To that end, we're working to better use the networks we've built over five years of the News Challenge, including the philanthropists, entrepreneurs, journalists, developers and scholars who have helped us with the News Challenge in the past. 
  • Collaborative: We are talking to several potential partners about ways we might work together on one or more of this year's contests.

Michael may have more later in the day. Please stay tuned here, and find us @knightfdn. 

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