Media innovators test early-stage ideas with Knight Prototype Fund

by IJNet
Jan 23, 2014 in Miscellaneous

An app that helps Detroit residents use data about their city; a data-mining tool for reporters following breaking news; and a mobile app that will verify social media content are among the winners of the latest round of the Knight Prototype Fund, a competition that gives US$35,00 in funding to media and information projects in their early stages.

The Prototype Fund, launched in June 2012, allows innovators to test their ideas before developing a full-fledged project. In this round, the competition also provided training in project planning and human-centered design.

Previous Prototype Fund winners from the journalism and media world include the Washington Post's Truth Teller app and the OpenGenderTracking Project.

The 24 winners of this round highlight the “growing role of designers as community problem solvers, focused on improving civic life and tackling challenges facing their own cities and neighborhoods,” explains a Knight Foundation press release.

Among the winners:

Argos makes “news content easy to digest by building a design-driven news platform that aggregates and analyzes news stories and creates concise news backgrounders, including insights and connections regarding specific stories.”

Bocoup will conduct a survey and create a guide with best practices for mobile data visualization.

Civic Ninjas is "an application to help the public identify and visualize meaningful local health data through an accessible, fun interface inspired by Sunlight Foundation’s Sitegeist.”

Data Driven Detroit wants to inform the public and address “important community issues by developing an interactive tool that helps Detroit residents discover and use relevant data about their city.”

Keepr is "an open source data-mining tool for journalists to track breaking news stories, so they can easily find quality news sources.”

MoNeCa Core will make it easier “to capture community-generated news by creating an open source code library to capture multimedia content by citizen journalists in mobile apps.”

!nstant is a "mobile app designed to verify and provide context to breaking news on social media so that the public is given a more accurate and clear picture of news stories.”

The Center for Rural Strategies will test an approach “to generate data-driven, localized news stories that media and other organizations in rural U.S. counties can use to produce local stories.”

University of Missouri is “developing a system to collect and report noise data to better track problems of noise pollution in Columbia, Missouri [in the U.S.], that will be informed by community hacking events and prototype tests.”

Vizzuality is “building an open source tool that allows journalists and other users to quickly turn data, maps and other content into interactive stories for online publication.”

Zago is “seeking to make newsrooms more efficient by building a mobile app that will allow secure data sharing between reporters and their newsrooms.”

You can see the full list of winners in this press release and learn more about the fund on the Knight Foundation blog.

The Fund accepts applications every three months. The next deadline is Jan. 31, 2014. You can apply here.

Photo: CC-Licensed, thanks to DaNieLooP on Flickr.