Get Money for Your Killer News Idea
Since my blog is read by a lot of people who work in digital news, I would like to invite everyone to submit good ideas to this year's Knight News Challenge. All entries must be in by 11:59 p.m. on November 1, 2008, which means there are only 24 days left. You can submit your application at http://newschallenge.org/
The Knight News Challenge is an annual contest that awards $5 million for innovative ideas that develop platforms, tools and services to inform and transform community news, conversations, and information distribution and visualization. The criteria are:
Digital – Your idea uses digital technology (computers, the internet, cell phones, that sort of thing).
Innovative – Your idea is new and original. It’s different from what people have done before. You are, in some way, breaking new ground.
News/information – Your idea is about giving people access to what they want to know.
Timely – Your idea delivers news or information while it’s still fresh.
Community-building – Your idea helps create a sense of community among some group of individuals.
Limited geographic area – Your idea affects people in a specific area, which could be as big as a state or province, or as small as a city block. (If your idea is national or worldwide in scope, it must work at a regional level.)
Open Source – The inner workings of what you create will be visible to the world, so that others can take it and improve upon it.
ALL CRITERIA are applied to EVERY application, so if you have an idea I suggest you read it over once for every rule above and make sure that your idea and application fit within the scope of the contest -- especially the "limited geographic area" requirement. You would be surprised at how many people don't do this.
Think the odds are stacked against you? The bar is very high (last year there were 3,000 entries and 16 winners), but if you have a killer idea you stand a chance.
I can speak from experience here. A year ago, I entered this contest along with my colleagues -- Mary Lou Fulton and Justinian Hatfield -- from The Bakersfield Californian. We had an idea for making it possible for anyone to be a local print publisher without any money, design skills or even content. To our surprise and delight, that idea, Printcasting, was one of the 16 winners, and we're on track to launching phase 1 next March.
Now for a few caveats. I'm a screener for this year's entries, which means that if I know you I will need to recuse myself from reviewing your application. I also may not be the one to screen your app, as they're assigned randomly.
Finally, if you have a good idea and want feedback from me, as a screener I'm not allowed to provide any. However, everyone is encouraged to post their ideas first at the News Challenge Garage (http://garage.newschallenge.org/). You can request a mentor who will review your application and help you make it better. When you feel it's ready, post it at http://newschallenge.org. Note that you only have once chance at that point, so make it count!
Good luck!Technorati Tags:
knight news challenge, news