New and creative projects flow from the Knight-Mozilla News Technology Partnership

Journalism / Article

The Knight-Mozilla News Technology Partnership is starting to produce some very interesting ideas.

I recently browsed through projects proposed by the 60+ participants of the program’s Learning Lab, which is just one aspect of the program that aims to speed media innovation in newsrooms. What I like most about these projects is that they provide concepts that any media organization can use. Some of the ideas could be easily implemented using the resources media organizations already have.  

That’s the case of IncentivEyes, by Cody Shotwell. The idea behind this project is to incentivize readers to engage in the news by allowing them to earn points for the actions they take on a news site. Users would earn points, for example, for reading an article, commenting on it or sharing it with others. By the end of the week the reader could redeem those points for deals, products and services that are advertised on the site. The concept increases engagement and makes both readers and advertisers happy, while creating a source of revenue for news organizations. Watch Cody’s video pitch below.

Mozilla’s News Innovation Specialist, Phillip Smith, has aggregated all the proposal videos into three posts (Post 1, Post 2, Post 3). You can also read summaries of five of the proposals on this 10,000 WORDS post.

Twenty Learning Lab finalists will take part in a five-day hackfest in Berlin at the end of September. At the hackfest finalists will work together to find themes around their projects, merge their ideas and develop code. Newsroom partners will join the finalists and Mozilla at the hackfest, where they will inform learning lab finalists of any challenges they are facing in their newsrooms. This will help both Mozilla and the newsroom partners see how participants think, code and collaborate. The process will help the Knight-Mozilla partnership select the fellows in mid-October. Fellows will be invited to the Mozilla Festival in London, and then on to their newsrooms in December. Dan Sinker, who heads Knight-Mozilla News Technology Partnership, wrote a great update on where they are in the process.

The Knight-Mozilla News Technology partnership is a $2.5 million project, featuring news technology fellowships and innovation contests. We hope the partnership accelerates media innovation in today’s newsrooms by solving their technological challenges, developing new news products and services of the Web. We expect the project to provide knowledge, solutions and open-source products that solve challenges faced by media organizations and are valuable and useful to the whole field.