The Knight Foundation annouced the winners of their Community Information Challenge, which will share a total $545,000 of matching funds. For the first time, according to the release, the challenge “prioritized awarding funds to Open Government projects” and those that focus on strengthening local journalism and those that promote government transperancy.
All of the project winners have fairly simple, almost obvious, ideas on how to use digital media, technology, and data based journalism to connect people and causes. Instead of reciting “hyper-local” three times and clicking their heels, these smaller organizations are actually practicing it. The problem with AOL’s Patch, for example, was that they focused on replicating a print model, and even layout!, to the digital landscape. Sometimes innovation is just using what’s in front of you in new ways. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel.