Innovation Projects

April 25, 2010

(Note: You received this assignment some time ago, but I thought it’d be helpful to have in one place as things come due this week)

We have spent this semester applying new tools to the news and exploring a number of innovations in communication. Now it’s your turn. You will submit an innovation project to the Knight News Challenge. This project “seek(s) innovations that use new or available technology to distribute content in local communities,” and it offers $5 million in awards. The rules are:

  1. Use digital, open-source technology.
  2. Distribute news in the public interest.
  3. Test your project in a local community.

You do NOT need to be a technical maestro (but it helps if you can find some to work with). You just need an idea that meets the above criteria and a pitch for why it’s worth funding – the Knight money will cover development and promotion. Past entrants have incorporated SHORT video pitches – this is not required, but you might want to consider it.


  • A writeup of your proposal. These are not long but must be detailed and fit the KNC criteria. See past proposals on the site for examples.
  • A presentation of your proposal. These, likewise, are not long – 5 to 10 minutes – and use of visual and digital techniques is STRONGLY encouraged. We’ll discuss these a week before the due date to help firm up your ideas.

Due dates:

  • In-class presentations: April 27
  • Final proposal: April 27 (at the start of class)
  • Knight proposal due date: Fall 2010 (specific dates not yet posted, so you’ve got plenty of time to clean it up after the semester ends!)

Full information here:

FAQs answered at: