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.
Humanize conflict by convening opposing groups to playfully interact around their shared interests, which we identify using social network API’s.
We are unaware of any attempts to use Social Network API’s to inform strategies that deepen democracy by finding common ground for groups in conflict to build relationships.
Our first pilot project will utilize the world’s largest network of local groups, Meetup.com, to identify the shared interests of its 90,000 members that support the Tea Party or Occupy Wall Street. The Meetup API enables us pull this data for any group that organizes through its platform.
Despite residing on opposite sides of the political spectrum, supporters of Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party share much in common. Unfortunately, the combination of divisive media coverage and insular social networks encourage members of the two groups to see one another as extreme caricatures of the political position rather than fellow citizens with legitimate concerns about our country’s future. By bringing these two groups together around their shared non-political interests we create safe spaces where they meet one another as regular people, and build a foundation for the honest political dialogue that is critical for a functional democracy.
The principle organizers are Mike Norman and Tad Hirsch. Mike is a former youth organizer and MIT MBA who founded Knight funded SoChange.com and is currently a Web Of Change Fellow. Tad is Assistant Professor of Design at the University of Washington with over a decade of experience creating technologies for advocacy and community development including the Knight funded Freedom Fone. Several collaborators including Jake Brewer - Fission Strategy, Marianne Manilov - Engage Networks, Gibran Rivera - IISC and Lawrence Lessig’s RootStrikers will ensure access to target communities and successful event design.
Working with Meetup.com API developers, we have developed software that identifies Meetup users affiliated with the Occupy and Tea Party movements. We have created a dataset representing approximately 90,000 Tea Party and Occupy members, as well as their interests and geographic locations. We are currently mining this dataset to identify areas of common interest for members in every American city or town with significant populations of both movements. This data will guide decisions about the themes and localities of the events that form the backbone of this project.
The project is designed to create value as a stand alone experiment whose results will determine the need for follow-on funding. If it is as successful as we anticipate, we have identified several foundations and corporate sponsors who would be interested in funding an expansion.