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:
- Use digital, open-source technology.
- Distribute news in the public interest.
- Fit one of the four categories.
You do NOT need to be a technical maestro (but it helps if you can find one 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.
Your proposal must fit one of the KNC’s four categories:
- Mobile: Seeks projects that use mobile devices to produce, deliver, consume, share and otherwise engage with news. The category reflects the fact that the mobile phone, with 5 billion units in use, has become an important tool for news.
- Authenticity category: Looks for projects that help people better understand the reliability of news and information sources. We’re hoping to identify promising ideas for helping citizens negotiate our oft-chaotic media world. How can we help news users better evaluate the validity and trustworthiness of news and information? How can we better filter and assess the credibility of what we read and watch?
- Sustainability: Considers new economic models supporting news and information. New ways of conducting and consuming journalism may require new ways of paying for it. We’re open to ideas for generating revenue as well as ways to reduce costs.
- Community: Seeks groundbreaking technologies that support news and information specifically within defined geographic areas. This is designed to jump-start work on technologies and approaches that haven’t arrived yet. Unlike the first three categories, submissions in this area must be tested in a geographically designated community.
- A writeup of your proposal. These are not long (a page or two) 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 two weeks before the due date to help firm up your ideas.
- Project rough drafts (one page): April 12
- Final proposal and in-class presentations: April 26