Knight News Challenge

The Knight News Challenge accelerates media innovation by funding breakthrough ideas in news and information. Winners receive a share of $5 million in funding and support from Knight’s network of influential peers and advisors to help advance their ideas. The first round of 2013, which opens in February, will invite innovators from all disciplines to focus on tools for open government. In 2012, three challenge rounds, each focused on an emerging trend, drew more than 2,500 entries.

Challenge 1 - on NETWORKS: Winners were announced June 18.

Challenge 2 - on DATA: Winners were announced Sept. 20.

Challenge 3 – on MOBILE: Winners were announced Jan. 17.

Anyone, anywhere can apply for the challenge - whether for-profit start-ups or non-profit ventures. For more information on a variety of topics - from guidelines for for-profits, on intellectual property licensing, open source software and more - visit our FAQ.

Customizable citizen reporting tool for publishers powered by n0tice

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1. What is your project? [1 sentence]

A white-label citizen reporting tool that local publishers and bloggers can brand and distribute to their communities at no cost.

2. How will your project use mobile tools and approaches? [2 sentences]

The product will be built for both iOS and Android devices using the n0tice software and web services. The branded app will enable end-users to report local observations using text and images that get geotagged and then redistributed via RSS and APIs to the n0tice web site, the media brand’s web site, WordPress blogs, social networks or anywhere else that is suitable.

3. Who will use it and why? [1 sentence]

Local media and hyperlocal bloggers will use it because they want to facilitate citizen journalism in their area and improve local democracy as a result.

4. Please list three ways they would learn about your project.

1) The primary outreach channel would be through the n0tice marketing campaigns which will focus on locally topical issues. For example, we could engage people in a campaign to “Take Back Your Neighborhood” and partner with local media and influential community leaders. We will help those partners release and distribute their branded n0tice app to their users and followers and then build on that momentum to encourage other partners to do the same.

2) Being closely associated with The Guardian means we could get some mainstream coverage and distribution to raise awareness of the service.

3) Lastly, we could use traditional marketing, such as viral social media outreach and both the Apple and Android app stores.

5. What connections have you made, or will you make, with others [communities, organizations or networks] about your project? [2 sentences]

We already have deep connections and in some cases contracts in place working with various local media and publishing advocates in the UK including Talk About Local which convenes a large network of hyperlocal publishers in the UK, Digital Editors Network at University of Central Lancashire, Media blogging networks including, and the Guardian Professional Media Network.

Outside the UK we are close to sources such as Street Fight magazine for the hyperlocal community in the US, Source Fabric - open source software development in Europe, UclanMade project for entrepreneurial journalists in Turkey, and the Guardian US team in New York.

6. What part of the project have you already built? [1-2 sentences, feel free to include links]

We have built and released the n0tice citizen reporting app for seeing and sharing news near you:, and we have an HTML5 mobile web site. Neither initiative has sufficient white-label branding capabilities or customization options sought by the independent publishers we have spoken to about the ‘my app’ concept.

7. What does success for your project look like? [1-2 sentences]

Through a self-serve process any partner can quickly customize and then release an iPhone and an Android app that they own and control with little to no technical resources or out of pocket costs.

8. What resources do you need to succeed? [1-2 sentences]

We can iterate on the current software and infrastructure that powers n0tice, but we will require 2 mobile developers and 2 web developers for approximately 3 months to develop and release this new white label solution. The resources are available and could begin work on short notice.

Additional details:
Please list who is on your team:

The team behind this proposal has previously launched successful initiatives for new forms of collaborative journalism tools - most notably the open journalism toolkit They are also recipients of this year’s Google IPI award for, a peer-based collaboration platform for storytellers. They are:

Matt McAlister (, is the Director of Digital Strategy at the Guardian Media Group. He began his online media career in Silicon Valley marketing Internet software in 1994. He then spent nine years at IDG leading the online businesses at The Industry Standard, Macworld and InfoWorld magazines. He joined Yahoo! in 2005 in the platforms division where he led several open strategy initiatives such as RSS, social media and the developer network. In 2008 he joined the Guardian in London to establish the Open Platform. Matt is now building new businesses at the Guardian including - an open platform for active citizens - and - a peer-based collaboration platform for storytellers.

Sarah Hartley ( is an active journalist and blogger with an extensive background in community publishing having previously launched the innovative Guardian Local pilot and the Guardian Media Group’s online/mobile noticeboard platform She is a regular speaker and writer on the subjects of hyperlocal publishing, the future of journalism and community engagement.

Daniel Levitt ( is the lead software developer on the Guardian’s n0tice project and co-founder of Contributoria. He has worked on several special projects for the Guardian and Rewired State, including the Guardian’s recipe search engine based on his WhatCouldICook web site and the Guardian’s WordPress plugin for the Open Platform.

Expected number of months to complete project: 3 months
Estimated Project Cost: $100k
Name: Matt McAlister
Twitter: @MattMcAlister
Email address:
Organization [if applicable]:
City: London
Country: UK
How did you learn about the contest? Blogs and twitter

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