The second round of the Knight News Challenge is underway, and it’s not too late to formulate your innovative ideas into 500 words for a chance to win a share of $5 million in funding. The first round of the challenge, which focused on networks, is already closed. Winners will be announced on June 18. But the second round, which focuses on data, will be open for another two weeks. The challenge used to be a once-a-year happening, but now there are three rounds a year in order to “more closely match the pace of innovation.”
In an age where there is increasing availability of data from the government, various organizations, and the general populace, the challenge is looking for ways to make data more actionable. This includes the collection of “new data no one has gathered before, using data for novel applications in journalism or media, or making it useful or interactive for a new audience.” As Michael Maness, VP of journalism and media innovation at the Knight Foundation said, “Data alone doesn’t provide the whole story.” Luckily for innovators, the challenge’s definition of news is broad: “Any data idea that helps provide communities with vital information” is fair game, and it doesn’t matter if the idea is individual, non-profit, or for-profit.
Visit their Tumblr to submit ideas by answering eight questions, and to browse current submissions for inspiration. They include ideas for personal media-diet management, visualization of the budget crisis data, and a platform for community-centric data. Having a look at the winners from last year might also offer inspiration and insight into what it takes to win. Successful entries will be announced in September.