40 ideas advance in News Challenge on Open Gov

Today we’re excited to announce 40 semifinalists in the Knight News Challenge on Open Gov. We received more than 880 submissions to the contest, which is focused on the question “How might we improve the way citizens and governments interact?”

We received ideas from all over the world, from small projects for public land reuse to ambitious efforts to open millions of public datasets. We think these 40 projects demonstrate the diversity, ambition and general awesomeness of the broader community that’s working toward more open, responsive government.

We hope you’ll look at these entries and add your comments, questions and suggestions. For the next week, until April 5, the semifinalists will be part of our “refinement” phase, where they will add a brief video, respond to community input and give additional detail about their ideas.

Following the refinement phase, we’ll enter a period of offline, private review aimed at selecting the final group of winners, whom we’ll announce June 24 at the Knight/MIT Civic Media Conference in Cambridge, Mass.

While today’s announcement means a great number of proposals aren’t moving forward in the Knight News Challenge, our interest in open government extends beyond this contest. In the months ahead, we’ll be working to support the field through other grants, projects and events. In addition, like last year, this challenge has helped us identify ideas that might align with our Prototype Fund, which supports media innovators taking projects from idea to demo. We’re also thinking about where we want to focus going forward. We’ll be following up with several folks offline to get their insights.  

If you want to stay informed, stay tuned to

Thanks to everyone who’s joined us in the challenge so far. We’re looking forward to the next stages and to continuing the conversation.

By Chris Sopher, Chris Barr and the News Challenge team