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.
1. What do you propose to do?
Partisans.org is building a robust interactive, social navigation system that visually maps editorial, political, and news information across the web.
2. Is anyone doing something like this now and how is your project different?
Many have built debate maps and aggregators for news. Partisans.org differentiates by combining ideological filters, social input, and a user-focused design that softly disrupts the filters to expose counter viewpoints.
3. Describe the network with which you intend to build or work.
The Partisans.org application joins ideas across networks. Does an article on WSJ connect to something at Times of India? Then we’ll connect them, highlight the value of the conversation and its political influences. iOS, Android, Word Press, Djanga, and Drupal are current targets for web app and module development.
4. Why will it work?
The key is to give users control over their data filters and then softly interrupt those filters with unexpected content. Understanding how to gently interrupt is vital. Interruption must not just expose users to new content but do so in a way that interests them and encourages active consumption and engagement.
Partisans.org commits itself to user-centered design that evaluates how to make certain the visual and interactive elements of the system are both useful and appealing to the user. Additionally, a social component will provide rich context to the filter allowing users to create new connections across the web.
5. Who is working on it?
Michael Trice has 15 years of experience working in the fields of communication and usability for universities and Fortune 500 companies. In 2009, he served as a Fulbright scholar to the Centre for Digital Citizenship in Leeds.
Alex Hudson was previously a Fulbright scholar to the United Kingdom, based at the University of Oxford. Alex is an experienced PHP programmer and leads web and mobile app development.
Prajwal Ciryam has served as Executive Director of a health care development non-profit and on the steering committee of Health Care for All Illinois. Prajwal is an experienced Python programmer.
6. What part of the project have you already built?
Internal beta testing of a filtered aggregator that traces news, editorial, and blog content from sites across the web has begun. The system currently considers meta data key words, author, publication source, links, comments, publication date, language(s) of publication, and comment value in organizing and connecting the articles. Comment value is a coding system developed by Michael Trice and adapted from methodology he previously used in published research.
The user-interface is in iterative development for the web facing. Currently the interface allows for users to change between filters and supports some basic rating functions.
7. How would you sustain the project after the funding expires?
Partisans.org would use funds from its other revenue positive divisions to support operational costs. We believe the value of the new mapping tool outweighs its research and development cost. Once developed, the servers and support costs will be supported through the company’s additional revenue streams and software licenses.
Requested amount from Knight News Challenge: $50,000
Expected amount of time required to complete project: 9 months
Total Project Cost: $80,000
Name: Michael Trice
Country: United States