886 applications in News Challenge on Open Gov: What’s next

The submission phase of the News Challenge on Open Gov ended Tuesday. (We extended the deadline by a day when the our servers collapsed under a flood of traffic we saw on Monday).

We ended up with a total of 886 submissions including some sent to us privately. RELATED LINK

Here’s what happens next. (Also, see Chris Barr’s post last month on how we’re organizing this News Challenge).

  • Feedback, through March 29. We’re asking anyone interested in this topic to comment on and ask questions about the ideas on the site. If you have submitted, check out the feedback and, if you want, edit your submission. You’ll get an e-mail notification any time someone comments on your entry or replies to a comment of yours. (Side note: the ‘applause’ feature is not a factor we’ll use in reviewing submissions.) Next week, we’ll huddle with the eight readers who are helping us by reading submissions and engaging on the site. By the end of that week, we’ll have a set of semifinalists who will enter the Refinement stage.
  • Refinement, March 29 – April 5.  On March 29, we’ll announce which applications will move on to the Refinement stage as semifinalists. We expect there to be about 50 projects in this group. During refinement, we’ll ask semifinalists for more detailed information, for a budget, and to describe their projects in a 30-second video.
  • Evaluation, April 5 – June 10. On April 16, we’re gathering a group of advisers to help us narrow the 50 semifinalists to a smaller group of finalists. This is a process we’ve done since the start of the News Challenge, and following it we’ll interview the finalists and recommend to our trustees a group of winners. This part of the process will not be public.
  • Announcement, June 24. We will announce the winners at the MIT Knight Civic Media conference.

As the Feedback phase begins, several people have highlighted applications that have caught their eye, including  2012 winner Emily Jacobi (who tweeted out her seven favorite Challenge submissions),  Open Plans; and

You can track where the challenge is by following the pill-shaped banner atop the News Challenge site.

By John Bracken, director/journalism and media innovation at Knight Foundation