Articles by

Nina Zenni

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    In March 2017, Knight Foundation, along with partners Google News Lab and the Online News Association, launched the Journalism 360 Challenge to advance the use of virtual reality and other immersive storytelling approaches in the field of journalism.The open call for early stage ideas drew 800 applicants from around the world.  It showed that journalists are seizing the opportunity to use emerging technology to create fresh forms of storytelling and engage with audiences in new ways. At the same time, innovation in immersive storytelling is taking place across the news media ecosystem. Promising ideas for new tools and methods are being developed by startups, as well as traditional news organizations, local news outlets, universities and public radio.Today we are announcing support for 11 of these projects. Each was chosen for its potential to bolster the collective understanding of how new forms of immersive storytelling can meet the changing information needs of communities and individuals, and strengthen the future of journalism.
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    With the April 10 deadline approaching for the Journalism 360 challenge, here are some tips on how to submit winning ideas for experiments in immersive storytelling for journalism.Each applicant has the chance to receive up to $35,000 for early-stage projects from a $250,000 fund that is supported by Knight Foundation and Google News Labs as part of a partnership with the Online News Association.The fund and the Journalism 360 network were created to help journalists and technologists learn from each other on how to best use virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed reality for storytelling. While this new technology offers a tremendous opportunity for journalists to connect with people in new ways, it also poses many production and ethical questions. We are hoping the ideas will address some of those challenges through experiments with new tools, methods and other promising solutions. As the challenge comes to a close, with applications accepted until April 10 at 11:59 p.m. ET, here are some helpful tips for submitting a strong application.
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    In the year since Knight Foundation’s report at SXSW urged journalists to explore immersive storytelling, we’ve seen an explosion in creativity and a growing need for the field to develop best practices and techniques.That’s why we joined with Google News Lab and the Online News Association to launch the Journalism 360 Challenge, an open call for ideas from everyone from gamers to news organizations willing to experiment and share what they’re learning about mixed reality, virtual reality, augmented reality and 360-degree video.Winning ideas will receive up to $35,000 for early-stage projects that best answer the question: How might we experiment with immersive storytelling to advance the field of journalism?Applications can be submitted March 8 – April 10, 2017.
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    Above: Seattle Public Library, by Rem Koolhaas. Photo by Moody75 via Wikimedia Commons. Knight News Challenge Winners 2016: Libraries from Knight Foundation on Vimeo. Today, Knight Foundation is announcing 14 winners of the 2016 Knight News Challenge on Libraries. Each winner will receive a share of $1.6 million to develop their project to answer the question: How might libraries serve 21st century information needs? Launched in February, the challenge generated more than 600 proposals. The 14 winners are a mix of libraries, nonprofit organizations, academic institutions, small for-profit startups and museums. Five of the winners will receive awards ranging from $150,000 to $393,249. The other nine projects will receive $35,000 each to test their early- stage ideas. This marks the second News Challenge on Libraries for Knight Foundation. The first, which launched in 2014, resulted in 17 projects all working to leverage libraries as a platform to build more knowledgeable communities.
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    Seattle Public Library. Knight Foundation is heading to Orlando this week for the 2016 American Library Association annual conference, where the winners of the recent Knight News Challenge on Libraries will present their projects and members of our staff and people from our network will lead panels on how libraries can better respond to communities in the digital age. For our latest Knight News Challenge, we asked applicants to submit proposals that answered the question: How might libraries serve 21st century information needs? Join us on Saturday, June 25, from 1- 2:30 p.m. ET for presentations from the winners of the Knight News Challenge on Libraries, which will be announced Thursday. These presentations will be followed by a panel discussion on transformation and innovation in libraries. In addition, several winners from the 2014 Knight News Challenge on Libraries have curated a series of panels on both Saturday, June 25, and Sunday, June 26.
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    Above: Knight News Challenge reviewers meet in Miami. Photo by Rosemary D'Amour. Today, the second group of reviewers are meeting in Miami to discuss semifinalists in the Knight News Challenge on Libraries. A combination of library professionals, journalists, researchers and technology experts, these 17 reviewers will help Knight Foundation select a group of finalists. This year’s Knight News Challenge offers a share of $3 million to projects that answer the question, How might libraries meet 21st century information needs? The challenge closed on March 21 with more than 600 applications, and we announced 47 semifinalists on April 15. We will notify each semifinalist on May 10 whether they have been selected as a finalist. In the following weeks, we will conduct due diligence and in-person interviews with finalists to determine a group of winners. We will announce winners on June 21. On Saturday, June 25, each team will present their projects at the American Libraries Association Annual Conference in Orlando.��
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    Above: New York Public Library reading room by Alex Proimos on Flickr. This week we gathered 18 advisers to help review applications and select semifinalists for the 2016 Knight News Challenge on Libraries. We received 633 ideas (eight of which were private). We are excited to announce that 47 ideas are moving forward. During the next phase, we’re asking semifinalists to review three questions for our next set of advisers to review. Each semifinalist has until Friday, April 22, to submit their answers at newschallenge.org and refine their entries based on comments received during the first review phase. The questions are: 1.     What are the obstacles to implementing your idea, and how will you address them? 2.     How much do you think your project will cost, and what are the major expenses? 3.     How will you spread the word about your project? Who are you trying to reach?
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    Photo Illustration made with images from Flickr users Thomas Hawk and square(tea). The Knight News Challenge on Libraries is now closed. We received more than 600 entries and look forward to reviewing them all. Thanks to everyone who submitted their ideas and participated in the conversation around our question, How might libraries serve 21st century information needs? Here’s what happens next: We have assembled a group of 18 experts, identified as “readers” on newschallenge.org, to help us review the submissions and select a group of semifinalists. Over the next few weeks, these readers may ask questions in the comment section of your entry, so please stay alert for emails notifying you about their questions. On April 15, all applicants will be notified whether or not they have been selected to move forward to the next round.
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    Above: Seattle Central Library by Peter Morgan on Flickr. Talking about Knight News Challenge - Libraries at the Library Ideas Drop at SXSW in Austin. The Knight News Challenge on Libraries closes at 5 p.m. ET Monday, March 21. Winners will share in $3 million for the best projects that answer the question: How might libraries serve 21st century information needs? With just a few days left, here are some tips for submitting the strongest application.  Be clear and concise. The application has five basic questions which should be answered within the 3000-character limit. Please avoid jargon and grant speak, and explain your idea as clearly as possible. Also, be sure to pick a short, clear title and summary. Make it visual. The News Challenge platform allows for additional documents and images to be uploaded with the application. We urge you to take advantage of this option. This could be a photo, a quick sketch (a .jpg, .png, or .gif) or embedded video from YouTube or Vimeo. It does not need to be professionally produced to be compelling. Publish your application early. Although there are only a few days left, publishing your application allows for the community to view your entry, ask questions and provide feedback. The earlier you publish, the more time you have to use that feedback to make edits to your entry. And it also avoids the last-minute bottlenecks or technical problems that can occur. Have someone else review your application. Getting another opinion will help assure you are communicating your idea as clearly as possible. Also, make sure that someone with no knowledge of your field will be able to understand your idea. Additionally, here are some answers to questions that have come up during our virtual office hours and meetup over the last few weeks:
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    Want to learn more about the Knight News Challenge on Libraries? Knight’s John Bracken hosted a reddit Ask Me Anything chat on Feb. 29. Learn more here. You can also join us for virtual office hours on Wednesday, March 16, to ask questions and talk with members of our team about the challenge. Apply at newchallenge.org. This post has been updated. The Knight News Challenge on Libraries is now open for applications. Winning applicants will receive a share of $3 million for a project that answers the question: How might libraries serve 21st century information needs? The challenge hopes to uncover projects from librarians and their collaborators as they transform to meet the needs of our communities. Knight Foundation recognizes that libraries are well positioned to build more informed and engaged communities and promote stronger democracies. This challenge is an opportunity to discover new ways the library world can meet the demands of their communities in this increasingly digital world. The Knight News Challenge will be open to anyone working in the U.S., including public and private libraries, businesses, nonprofits and individuals. Projects have the chance to receive funding of approximately $35,000 to $500,000 for a grant period of six months to two years. Many of the projects we fund through the challenge are those which have some early validation and require moderate to larger investments. However, we expect to fund several projects as prototypes, which will receive $35,000 in seed funding. (In the last libraries challenge, we funded prototype projects from several organizations, such as San Jose Public Library, Make it @ Your Library, and DC Public Library.)