News Challenge Screener Training Day

Part of the yearly News Challenge contest (the $5 million Knight initiative to fund digitally innovative ideas in local news delivery) is to train the esteemed panel of screeners, who will vet applications for the contest.

This year, leading digital innovation thinkers such as Chris Messina, Debi (Mobile) Jones, Jay Dedman, Ryanne Hodson, Brian Oberkirch, Beth Kanter, George Kelly, and Andrew Hyde (smiling gamely below, between David Cohn and Ross Settles) will serve as screeners.

Led by Susan Mernit, yesterday was a full day of training in San Francisco on the online screening tool, the history of the contest and of Knight Foundation, and intense discussion about the role of screener in the contest; now, the News Challenge screening team is ready to begin their work finding the best applications in year three of the News Challenge.

You can submit your application to the News Challenge here. Before submitting, you can work through your idea with expert mentors in the News Challenge Garage, a special site to help applicants refine answers to the application questions before applying to the contest.

As screener Chris Messina Twittered (read: used microblogging service Twitter to ask); “If you had a portion of $5M to promote geo-bounded digital tech to innovate journalism, what would you support?”

Leading social application thinker Clay Shirky responded by Twittering; “I’d spend $5M on raw tech-apache modules, processing libraries etc. give people geo-tools, they’ll find the uses.”

What would you support? Let us know in the comments, and thanks to the News Challenge screeners for helping Knight find the next big ideas in local news delivery.

p.s. The first News Challenge Meetup is at CUNY in NYC next Tuesday. More details in the Facebook invite.