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Posts Tagged ‘knight news challenge’

3 Takeaways From the Knight News Challenge ‘Lessons Learned’ Report

KNClessonslearnedreportThe Knight News Challenge released a report this week on “Lessons Learned,” from past projects. The report, completed in a collaboration with Arabella Advisors, uses survey and interview data with 2010-2011 winners and is a great resource for anyone looking to submit a proposal for the next challenge — or anyone thinking of starting a news focused project in their newsroom.

Some takeaways:

1) Figure out what kind of manpower you need. You can mix full time staff with volunteers, but you definitely need a dedicated, paid, group of people to be focused on the project all of the time. Passion is always a plus. We all have a passion for journalism and innovation, so much so, that it’s kind of a boring trait to have. But nothing gets people motivated like being compensated fairly for their time. Think about this in the newsroom: you want more interactive data visualizations. You can’t just ask someone to do it in their free time if you’re serious about increasing the use of them on your site. You need to give someone more money to launch that project or hire another team member.

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Knight News Challenge Winners Focus on Open, Available, and Secure Internet

knight2-262x193Today the winners of the first Knight News Challenge of 2014 were announced. This round, the theme was about strengthening and maintaining an open internet. The nineteen winners will all receive grants; nine of them receive $200-$500 thousand each, while the other ten receive $35,000, and the chance to participate in the Knight Prototype Fund, where they will develop their ideas fully, or as John Bracken, who oversees the fund for the Foundation, puts it, “get the ideas out of their heads.”

This News Challenge garnered over 700 “ideas” somehow centered on the rather general idea of “strengthening” the web. Interestingly, all of the winners have similar goals around internet privacy, security, open access, and journalism. Three of the winners center around public libraries and internet access. Bracken says a few patterns started to emerge. Read more

Solutions Journalism Network Wins Knight Foundation’s News Challenge Grant

SJNThe Knight Foundation announced the winners of their News Challenge this week at the Clinton Health Matters conference in La Quinta, California.

Seven projects won a total of $2.2 million dollars to carry their project through and also receive “human centered design training” at the Luma Institute this month. Each News Challenge has focused on a different theme, and this year it was health.

Michael Maness, VP of Journalism and Media Innovation, says the theme of health came about after analyzing the results of previous challenges and projects: Read more

Knight News Challenge Winners Make Courts, Local Government More Accessible

Anyone who’s ever tried to follow a court case, interpret a legal document or even obtain one in some jurisdictions, knows how difficult it can sometimes be, even for the dogged journalist determined to see what’s in those dockets. Those legalese-filled decisions and depositions are gold mines of information and stories, but they’re often out of reach or understanding of the average person. This week alone the Supreme Court of the United States this week alone handed down major judgments invalidating parts of the Voting Rights Act and bans on gay marriage, to name a few of the decisions released. How many other court cases out there are setting precedents in your state and community? Chances are you don’t know, or even more likely, don’t know how to know. Figuring out what’s on the docket, where things stand and what they mean … well, who has time and the skills for that? Enter Oyez Project. Now, thanks to funding from the Knight Foundation, the group that has long brought clarity to SCOTUS proceedings can take it down a level, so to speak, and expand its interpretations to state supreme courts and federal appellate courts.

Oyez is one of eight projects aimed at opening up government data and resources that received a combined total of $3.2 million in funding in the latest Knight News Challenge contest. While not all of them are, strictly speaking, related to news, they are all related to making government more transparent and easier to understand and work with. That’s the goal most journalists aim to achieve as well. Here’s a brief glimpse of this round’s winners, announced this week:


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WaPo Launches ‘Truth-Teller’ to Fact-Check in Real Time

Ever hot on the heels of politicians, straightening the fact from the fiction, the Washington Post has decided to take their methods to real-time reporting with their new system, Truth Teller. Funded by a prototype grant from the Knight News Challenge, Truth Teller is a mobile and desktop app that will be able to record, transcribe and show disputed facts and statistics in real time for everyone. Although still in its nascent stages, the end result would be an app that simultaneously transcribes speeches obtained via video (or, ideally, a live feed), recognizes citations of data or popular keywords, and matches them with fact-checked information from the WaPo staff. It’s not only the cutting edge of fact-checking journalism — it has the capacity to change the way people consume their political media. Read more

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