Knight Blog

The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Winners in Knight News Challenge: Networks

June 18, 2012, 1:35 p.m., Posted by John Bracken

Four months after opening the Knight News Challenge on networks, I’m happy to announce the six winners. We selected them after reviewing 1,100 applications over the last three months.

For us at Knight, the fun part starts now. Over the next month, we’ll sit down with each of the winners to ask one question: “How can we help?” In fact, we’ve already started. Each project has different needs, but we’re talking with each of them about how to measure their progress, how to better communicate their work and how to handle back office tasks such as accounting and hiring.

Without further ado, the six winners of the Knight News Challenge on networks:

Behavio (formerly known as Funf):
Nadav Aharony, Alan Gardner, Cody Sumter
$355,000 program related investment
Behavio will enable users to collect and anonymously share data from their mobile phones. It will collect data such as video, movement, location and available light. Users can then analyze, visualize and draw insights from that data.  

My colleague Elizabeth Miller interviewed Nadav, Alan and Cody after they won the News Technologies Accelerator Competition that Knight Foundation sponsored at SXSW earlier this year. Some of what Nadav told Elizabeth highlights the open approach that we found appealing. “We intentionally give the freedom of configuration to the user and hope that they’ll tell us what works and what doesn’t,” said Nadav.

Felipe Heusser, Jeffrey Warren
$360,000 grant
PeepolTV will build an interactive collection of every livestream on the planet, searchable by map, tags, semantic analysis and other attributes. The project aims to help users document events as they take place, for example by tracking a protest through a collection of livestreams shown on a map of the area.

In an email, one of our external reviewers called PeepolTV a “big, ambitious project” that could become “a channel guide for the entire Internet...having a directory to find out what's live on the web right now would be invaluable."

Last yearJeffrey Warren and Felipe Heusser took home $2,000 for winning second prize in the MIT Knight Civic Media Conference Collaboration Contest. This year, their project (originally called Streaming Screaming) will receive a $360,000 grant.  Warren is a co-founder of 2011 News Challenge winner Public Laboratory; Felipe is an Ashoka fellow and a Berkman fellow at Harvard and founder of Fundación Ciudadano Inteligente.


Knight Prototype Fund: building and testing new ideas to push media innovation forward

June 18, 2012, 1:30 p.m., Posted by Mayur Patel & John S. Bracken

Today we’re excited to announce the Knight Prototype Fund, which will help entrepreneurs, journalists and tinkerers of all kinds build and test new ideas that push media forward. Prototype grants will offer $50,000 or less of funding over a shorter time cycle than our normal grants.

The cost and time requirements of quickly testing projects—particularly digital ones—continues to fall, and we’re working to adapt our grantmaking to the speed of that innovation. The prototype fund is a key component of that work. We’ll have several dozen prototype projects active at once, and we’ll work closely with each project to measure its progress. As successful projects emerge, we’ll help them find the next stage of financial and programmatic support they need to scale.

The scope of the fund is broad, and we’re interested in applications from anyone and everyone with an idea in journalism and media innovation. The Knight Prototype Fund application can be found online (updated link 6/28/12).

Visualizing the News Challenge on Networks apps

June 18, 2012, 12:17 p.m., Posted by Matt Stiles

KnightBlog is sharing data visualizations from this week's MIT-Knight Civic Media Conference, focused on "The Story & the Algorithm." For more, follow #civicmedia and @knightfdn today and Tuesday.

Knight Foundation received roughly 1,000 applications for the Knight News Challenge on networks The applications came throughout the challenge period, which stretched from Feb. 27 to St. Patrick’s Day, March 17.

But most came during the closing days.