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.
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.
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 →
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 →
“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.