Knight News Challenge

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.

Truth Teller

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1. What do you propose to do? [20 words]

Truth Teller — a mobile and desktop news application that captures, analyzes and fact checks events and speeches as they happen.

2. Is anyone doing something like this now and how is your project different? [30 words]

Crowd-sourcing and fact-checking are not new. But doing both in real time, through existing social networks, is unprecedented and would profoundly alter what leaders say and what people know.

3. Describe the network with which you intend to build or work. [50 words]

The application would convert political speech to text that could be parsed in real time to determine semantic intent and context that would be compared to the news organization’s data and Wikipedia with an algorithm to determine a level of truth. The truth level of the speaker’s sentence would be displayed on the live video as soon as the sentenced finished with a link to access the data that determined the truth level. Reaction from Twitter would also be displayed.

4. Why will it work? [100 words]

One of the biggest complaints about political coverage is that it allows untruths to go unchecked. This instantly dices the rhetoric and calls out statements that do not reflect reality. News organizations attempt to do a lot of this now manually. This would be an instant value in the newsgathering space and also add a real-time journalism layer to the increased world of in-the-moment news productions. For the mobile app build, it is convenient, immediate, simple and sharable and would reach corners of the world where other live streams may not be available to be checked.

5. Who is working on it? [100 words]

A cross functional team at the Washington Post that could expand, if needed, with funding.

  • Cory Haik, Executive producer, news innovation

  • Steven Ginsberg, National Political editor

  • Yuri Victor, UX Director

  • TJ Orentzi, Senior social media editor

6. What part of the project have you already built? [100 words]

The Post currently has a strong fact-checking brand on our site (, and we already do crowd-sourced fact-checking around live events (, though these are manual and not in real time. We have seen success with engagement on these productions. The Post is committed to stretching this into a real-time, crowd-sourced and programmatic entity.  

7. How would you sustain the project after the funding expires? [50 words]

The Washington Post would use Truth Teller for its own production and reporting purposes and would sustain the infrastructure of the product. But it is also envisioned as a tool to help journalists and others improve democracy across the country, and we would distribute it as widely and cheaply as possible.

Requested amount from Knight News Challenge:


Expected amount of time required to complete project:

Six months to a year

Total Project Cost:

Name: Cory Haik
Twitter: @coryhaik
Organization: The Washington Post
Country: USA

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    submission by our colleagues here...Post. Click through
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    Washington Post. Well worth the read
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    Some really intriguing...Challenge - here’s one:
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    We have an idea and we need your help to make it a reality. We want Knight to help fund a project that would take...
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    So here’s a nifty idea that I’m working on along with some other Post people. Be a friend, reblog this.
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