The Knight News Challenge accelerates media innovation by funding breakthrough ideas in news and information. Winners receive a share of $5 million in funding and support from Knight’s network of influential peers and advisors to help advance their ideas.
Throughout 2012, innovators from all industries and countries are invited to participate in three challenge rounds, each with focused topics on emerging trends.
Round 1 - on networks - is closed, and the winners will be announced June 18.
Round 2 - on data - will be open May 31 - June 21. We’re looking for new ways of collecting, understanding, visualizing and helping the public use the large amounts of information generated each day. Winners will be announced in late September.
Details on Round 3 will available later this year.
Anyone, anywhere can apply for the challenge - whether for-profit start-ups or non-profit ventures. For more information on a variety of topics - from guidelines for for-profits, on intellectual property licensing, open source software and more - visit our FAQ.
Build an open platform connecting search analytics and social networks to create a new breed of real-time, investigative reporting.
This is, to our knowledge, a novel use of site analytics. Homicide Watch DC regularly uncovers stories by turning user behavior into news tips.
(On The Media interview: http://bit.ly/HW_OTM)
Our site visitors form a blind network of silent sources. We get information by watching movement around homicidewatch.org and use that to inform our searches. We’ll also seek partnerships with analytics providers (Google, Chartbeat, Gaug.es, etc) and other focused news sites that could do this kind of reporting.
When a murder happens in DC, it’s rarely a secret. People begin searching names, often before news organizations know what to report.
When people land on HomicideWatch.org, we see their search terms in our site analytics. When we see a name we don’t recognize, we run it through Twitter and Facebook searches, where we usually find a profile filling up with RIP messages. We follow these sources and report the story out of the information they are sharing. This means we often have an ID long before police put out an official statement. When other news organizations are rewriting that press release, we have a rich profile with comments from friends and family.
The team behind Homicide Watch: Chris and Laura Amico. Laura is the founder and editor of Homicide Watch DC. She has driven the practice of reporting from analytics. Her lessons on the practice have been picked up by Poynter and she’s explained the method for On the Media. Chris built the Homicide Watch platform and will lead development of the toolkit. We also anticipate hiring a part- or full-time UX designer.
(Poynter on reporting from analytics: http://bit.ly/PoynterHW)
We use the approach regularly and know the process of using site analytics to find sources and ID victims. The software would be new. We expect to build on top of existing analytics tools, such as Google Analytics, Chartbeat or Gauges.
Our software will log all search terms that bring users to a site; allow text filtering, faceting and grouping of those terms; allow a reporter to search Facebook and Twitter (or other sites) within the same screen; and save the results to a private Storify document, ready to publish.
We hope to offer a hosted version of the software we develop to newsroom customers. This is a product we want for ourselves, which gives us ongoing incentive to develop it, as well.