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.
2011 News Challenge entries on Tumblr
Over the weekend, we stopped accepting entries in the Knight News Challenge on networks.
The challenge closes with more than 1,000 applications - a number higher than we expected. About two-thirds of those were submitted in the last 48 hours of the contest, which was expected.
Among the applicants are some recognizable names, as well as ideas from people you may not have heard about before, such as PressLab Uganda, Project W, CASH Music and the Open Watch Project. Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) submitted five entries, besting former News Challenge winner and current MIT Media Lab student and Knight Mozilla fellow Dan Schultz, who only managed to submit four times.
Most - or 88% - were posted on our Tumblr. Through March 29, you’ll be able to comment and like the ideas you see there. The five applications that receive the most support will move into a second round of consideration, along with 95 or so others.
The challenge on networks is more competitive than in years past. This year, we’re running three contests, which means that instead of 12-15 winners per contest, we plan to select four or five. As a result, we will only be funding about
.05% .5% of applications before us. (By comparison, last year Harvard admitted 6.2% of the applicants to its freshmen class.)
An inherent part of our job is to say “no” more often that we say yes, and we’ll be doing a lot of that in April. And we’ll do our best to make sure that the four or five projects that we unveil in June will be the strongest in the bunch. But it’s safe to assume that among the projects we will decline are some great ideas from some awesome people. That’s quite a resource - more than 1,000 projects, 9/10ths of which can be accessed and commented on by anyone. Our hope is that at least some of those will be improved, accelerated and actualized as a result of public discussion over the next couple of weeks.
Here are our plans from now until June 18, when we’ll announce the winners at the MIT/ Knight Civic Media conference.
This week, we begin reviewing the applications. (And, of course, you can read most of them, too.) We’ve enlisted about 20 field leaders to serve as readers with us. (We’ll share their names at the end of the process.) Each application will be read at least twice, many will be read three times, some will be read more. By early April, we will select about 100 proposals for a second round of review. As I mentioned earlier, included among those 100 will be five projects that you will help to select through your Tumblr likes and re-blogs. We’ll also be following #newschallenge discussions on Twitter. In mid-April, we’ll convene a smaller group of reviewers at our offices in Miami to help us select a group of ten or so finalists. Knight staff will spend the rest of April interviewing and conducting due diligence on that group. We’ll propose a group of winners to our board of trustees at its next meeting in mid-June.
Thanks to everyone who applied, and to everyone who has contributed to the public discussion. I look forward to following what you have to say in the coming weeks, and that you’ll help to ensure that we have five awesome project up on that MIT stage in June.
By John Bracken, director/Journalism and Media Innovation at Knight Foundation
Choose how to get news and tips about applying for the Knight News Challenge:
• Follow us on Twitter #newschallenge
• Like us on Facebook
• Join us on Google+