Knight News Challenge 2013

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 create an innovation project to the Knight News Challenge. This project “aims to accelerate innovation in news and information by funding the best new ideas and supporting them with a network of peers and advisors.”

Areas of Focus

You will choose ONE of the five areas below (from the 2012 and 2013 challenges). Further details, links, and past winner examples are available on the course blog:

  • Networks: The Internet, and the mini-computers in our pockets, enable us to connect with one another, friends and strangers, in new ways. Witness the roles of networks in the formation, coverage and discussion of recent events such as the rise of the Tea Party, flash mobs, the Arab Spring, last summer’s UK riots and the Occupy movement. We’re looking for ideas that build on the rise of existing network events and tools – that deliver news and information and extend our understanding of the phenomenon.
  • Data: Tools and approaches that use data in new, civically valuable ways. This might include ways to collect new data no one has gathered before, using data for novel applications in journalism or media, or making it useful or interactive for a new audience.
  • Mobile: For many of us around the world, mobile has become an important tool for learning what’s going on around us, and for sharing details about our lives with friends, neighbors and strangers. So, send us your ideas for harnessing mobile to improve news, information, communities and democracy.
  • Open Gov: Projects will provide new tools and approaches to improve the way people and governments interact. They tackle a range of issues from making it easier to open a local business to creating a simulator that helps citizens visualize the impact of public policies on communities.
  • Health: Innovative ideas to harness information and data for the health of communities. The challenge’s definition of “health data” and “news” is broad, including ideas that range from the public to the personal that: make large datasets useful; help inform communities; encourage healthier lifestyle choices; and engage others in the sharing of useful health data.

You do NOT need to be a technical maestro. You just need an idea that meets the above criteria and a pitch for why it’s worth funding. Past entrants have incorporated SHORT video pitches – this is not required, but you might want to consider it.


  • A name and 200-word (FIRM) description of your proposal (identify which area you’re using and provide a word count). See past proposals on the site for examples. Due: Tuesday, Nov. 19
  • A presentation of your proposal. These, likewise, are not long – 5 minutes max – and use of visual and digital techniques is STRONGLY encouraged. We’ll discuss these in the weeks before the due date to help firm up your ideas. Due: Tuesday-Thursday Dec. 3 & 5
  • Final project proposal. A revised 200-word pitch, a second page explaining how you revised it from class feedback, and a mockup design (paper, online, or video) of what your project might look like. Due: Tuesday, Dec. 10

Full information at:


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