Knight-Mozilla Initiative: Challenges Launch in One Week

On April 25, the Knight-Mozilla News Technology Partnership (aka “MoJo”) will open its 2011 News Innovation Challenge. With the launch around the corner, we wanted to remind people of our vision for the challenge and share an overview of dates and information on how to get involved.

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Read on for the details, but make sure to follow @knightmozilla on Twitter and sign up for our community list to stay up to date with the challenges.

An opportunity to shape the future of news technology

We believe that the open web can enable a new kind of journalism—through which people around the world are informed and engaged like never before. News should be delivered across languages, across platforms, across devices. News should put the reader at the center of the story, and stimulate real-time discussion about stories that matter.
More info on Phillip Smiths blog…

Knight and Mozilla are running a web app challenge process with this in mind. Designers, web developers and news developers will enter ideas response to these challenge statements:

  1. Unlock video: How can new web video tools transform news storytelling? (April 25th)
  2. Beyond Comment Threads: How can the open web reinvent online interaction with news. (May 9th)
  3. Blow our minds: What’s the next killer app for news? (May 23)

During the first round, entrants will simply submit rough ideas or napkin sketches. Winners of the first round go on to build protoypes, attend a news innovation workshop in Berlin or even take on a full year paid fellowship to build their apps.

The idea with these challenges: speed the pace of news innovation. By combining journalism with the culture of the open web, we think we’ll get there faster.

An opportunity to make a name for yourself in news innovation

The challenge we are launching next week is the first step towards this end, and every participant will play an important role in building the partnership by sharing their ideas. Responding to one or more of our challenge statements will give you and your ideas a new platform – a chance to build your network of support and get the attention of the news hacker community.

Plus, a number of MoJo community members will be selected to become Knight Mozilla News Fellows.
We’ll place 5 paid fellows in 2011, and 10 more in 2012.

The Fellows are folks we recognize as leaders, and will be placed inside newsrooms at:

  • Al Jazeera English
  • BBC
  • The Guardian
  • Zeit Online

We have pulled together a great panel of experts to review challenge submissions and pull out the most promising ideas. These folks are always on the lookout for people with talent, ideas and dedication to excellent journalism and innovation, and ways to get those people into leadership positions. And lots of news organizations will be scanning the talent that our challenges attract. In other words, newsrooms scooping up the best and brightest from our candidate pool could become a problem!

Get involved!

The online challenge process starts on April 25, 2011 and runs for six weeks. Join the community mailing list or follow us on twitter if you want to be alerted when the challenges open next week.

Throughout the challenge cycle, and for the rest of the year, we’ll be working hard to create spaces where good ideas can flourish. Join us at global meetups in more than 12 cities, where you can meet like-minded people, collaborate on challenge submissions, and have some beer.

First meetup is in Cambridge, Mass on May 2, 2011.