Tag Archives: knight news challenge

Quicker, smaller, more transparent: What Knight should do next? #JCARN

This month’s Carnival of Journalism is about “driving innovation” – in the wake of the end of the Knight Foundation’s News Challenge five year run, among other things. Here’s my take:

Driving innovation needs to be quick

Any innovative idea needs to be able to deploy and iterate quickly – and any scheme to fund innovation needs to support that.

Having been through the Knight News Challenge three times, and reached the final shortlist twice, I was struck each time by how much changed in the online world between the initial submission and final award: If an internet year is worth 4.7 normal years, this process was taking over 3 ‘years’ in internet time. So much changed during that period that by the time I had reached the second or third stage, I wanted to re-write the whole thing.

In contrast, when I entered Channel 4’s 4iP fund (far from perfect, but certainly faster), the time from application to approval was swift. This allowed us to spend a few months working with the funders in addressing the issues the project raised (in Help Me Investigate’s case, largely legal ones) and still being able to start work before the Knight awards had even been shortlisted.

Why the difference? Perhaps because of the next point. Continue reading

So, what did you put in for the Knight News Challenge?

Last year I had surprising success with the Knight News Challenge, making the final shortlist of 29 before the winners were announced.

This year I’m at it again, with Help Me Investigate.com – a platform for ‘open source investigative journalism’, to be actively piloted in Birmingham, UK, but usable by anyone in the world. You can vote for it here, and read more about it.


Once you’ve done that, any ideas, useful articles or funds you could suggest would be very much welcomed.

Dave Cohn in the Spotlight

Alex Gamela talks to Dave Cohn, founder of the non-profit, crowdfunding journalism project Spot.us, winner of a Knight News Challenge grant, and a suggested new model for the news business. On the eve of launching the Spot.us official website, Dave told OJB how he is putting his ideas into practice, and his views on the current state of journalism.

Four months after winning the KNC grant, Dave Cohn is a happy man. He started with a wiki where he presented and tested the different sides to his project, and he quickly managed to fund three stories. Now it is on its way to fund a fourth one. All of this even before having an official website. Continue reading

Crowdsourcing + investigative journalism = ? (help make it happen)

Following my research into investigative journalism I’ve been thinking about its future. One path clearly lies in tools of crowdsourcing and community being applied to local investigative journalism. It’s not a new idea, but it’s not happening nearly enough. So here’s the twist I’ve put on it as I seek to get funding to test it out: hand over the agenda to your public, and you have a potentially bigger, and more committed, workforce. Continue reading

Help make ‘5Ws+H’ happen

I felt so strongly about the Five W’s and a H that should come *after* every story that I pitched an idea based on it to the Knight Foundation. It’s called the ‘Conversation Toolkit’, and it’s through to the second round of the Knight News Challenge. Think it sounds like a good idea? Have any improvements? Want to help make it happen, or test it out? Then log on to the idea wiki at http://bidideas.pbwiki.com/conversationtoolkit (password: idea) and add what you can, or contact me directly.

Here’s the text so far: Continue reading

The Knight News Challenge – a penny (or several billion) for your thoughts

Valerie Kirshner has asked me to spread the word about the Knight News Challenge – here’s the info:

“It is open to community-minded digital news innovators worldwide — journalists, software designers, bloggers, and students of any age.

“This competition is sponsored by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, who fund excellence in journalism and freedom of expression worldwide. They are offering up to $5 million this year alone to winning participants. It’s something that can really change a person’s life.

“Applications will be closing Oct. 15.”

Here is a link with all the information you need. Also see http://www.ojr.org/ojr/stories/070604colombo/ and http://journalism.wikia.com/wiki/Knight_News_Challenge

And even if you don’t enter, help improve the entries by visiting the Read & Comment page of the site.