Published by Richard on
Last night I attended a presentation by Susan Mernit (Twitter) about the Knight News Challenge, an initiative by the Knight Foundation to promote democracy and discourse through innovative digital (and social) media projects. My notes on the presentation, which I first heard of through my employer, comprise only the 4 elements that the screeners look for in filtering out the good proposals for grant consideration:
- it must be innovative, groundbreaking or new in some way. Not going to just do community journalism based on blog software. Failure is an option: Knight thinks that if half the projects don't fail, they're not trying hard enough.
- it must be an open source project, not just code, but the lessons and value of project have to be scalable and replicable. You can commercialize the project, but something needs to be documented and exportable.
- it must serve the public interest. Newspapers dying because of the web, but also because of corporitization. Knight intends to promote democratic discourse through the program. The project needs to make people more informed citizens.
- it must serve a specific geographic community. It can be a test-bed for a wider project, but the test-bed must happen in a real place, with the possibility of exporting to other places.