Announcing key collaborators and details of Knight News Challenge: Health

Last month at the Civic Media Conference at the MIT Media Lab, we announced health as the theme of the next Knight News Challenge. Today we have the details: the collaborators we’ve brought together, the question we’ll be asking and our timeline.

The Knight News Challenge: Health will focus on the question: “How can we harness data and public information for the health of communities?” Related Links 

Data: Why we care” by Esther Dyson

For the first time, we are collaborating with other organizations on a News Challenge.  They’ve already worked with us on the selection of the theme. Now they are helping us spread the word about the challenge and discuss how data and information can lead to healthier communities. You’ll see them on the road with us at in-person events across the country over the next seven weeks and as commenters and readers at

  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is the country’s largest philanthropy devoted solely to health. They’ve helped lead the health innovation community for decades, and know what it takes to create successful projects on everything from prevention to health policy.
  • California HealthCare Foundation funds innovations that improve quality, increase efficiency and lower the cost of care. Their local roots match our desire to focus this contest on creating tangible benefits from data and information for real people. Through its Free the Data initiative, CHCF supports government efforts to release more health data and invests in tools to help meet the growing demand for these data.
  • Clinton Health Matters Initiative, an initiative of the Clinton Foundation, is working to institute small changes that will improve health in big ways. By working with everyone from school-age children to seniors, the Health Matters Initiative is implementing disruptive solutions to leverage technology and digital innovation to help advance health and wellness at the national and community levels.
  • Health Data Consortium is a collaboration between government, nonprofits and private sector groups working to put open health data to good use. Their programs and events, like the Health Datapalooza are building a community of entrepreneurs, data scientists and health practitioners around the country focused on improving health and care.

We will launch the challenge Aug. 19 with an “inspiration phase,” where we ask for everyone—from health entrepreneurs to journalists to community groups and residents—to share the opportunities and challenges they’re facing in their work and lives, which data and public information might help address. Those inspirations will inform the contest and help guide our review of submissions.

We’ll accept submissions to the News Challenge: Health from Sept. 3 to Sept. 17. Anyone in the United States or abroad, from an individual to a nonprofit to a company, may apply with an idea that touches on the challenge question. All entries received during that period will receive consideration to win a share of more than $2 million. You can find more details about applying, and the contest rules, here.

We hope to see you Aug. 19 at to share your inspirations and ideas. As we did with the last News Challenge, we’ll do in-person events across the country. Stay tuned for details. In the meantime, you can hit us up on Twitter @knightfdn using #newschallenge, or via e-mail at cksopher(at)

By John Bracken, director of journalism and media innovation at Knight Foundation, and Chris Sopher, journalism program associate at Knight Foundation.

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