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.

Sub-Saharan Blue God

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1. What is your project? [1 sentence]

We aim to partner with grassroots level NGO’s in Sub-Saharan Africa that work with water related issues to crowd source information and stories to create a bottom-up editorial approach to develop content by professional visual storytellers into an mobile application for phones and tablets containing a closed social network and multifaceted stories.  

2. How will your project use mobile tools and approaches? [2 sentences]Crowd sourced content will be in gathered via cellphones in various mediums (text, audio, photography and video) and live discussion promoted via a network on the topic across countries. In the long run we aim to develop an iPad application that hosts multiple layers of interactive content on water that is prominently aimed at European and American audiences and incorporates a utility function that allows them to donate directly to selected grassroots level NGOs in Sub-Saharan Africa. 


3. Who will use it and why? [1 sentence] Local and international developmental organizations as well as those affected by water issues as a information resource, communication tool and data collector. 

4. Please list three ways they would learn about your project. Website, local community networks via NGO’s and social media incorporation. 

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

We believe that forming multiple partnerships and strong inter continental relationships enables us to utilize the power of the web and mobile devices in Sub-Saharan Africa to further journalism and development action and are three experienced content producers in the DRC (Felix Masi), South Africa (Simone Scholtz) and Davina Jogi (Zimbabwe). We have partner together with Mo’Ana Multimedia in London who consists of a  Photographer, Filmmaker, Coder and Designer to produce innovative and dynamic image content for a variety of organizations and clients. 


6. What part of the project have you already built? [1-2 sentences, feel free to include links] None

7. What does success for your project look like? [1-2 sentences] Within the first phase we would like a functioning application with a closed social network on water issues based on a pilot project in South Africa, Zimbabwe and the DRC. 

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

Seed money to develop the pilot project in terms of the time and travel expenses of content creators to create the content and build relationships to develop the pilot study. Funding to create the technology neccesiry for the website as well as the mobile application that functions across mobile platforms. 

Additional details:
Please list who is on your team:

 Simone Scholtz, is a South African freelance multimedia and photojournalist based in Cape Town.

Felix Masi is a Kenyan-born independent Multimedia photojournalist/filmmaker, founder of Voiceless Children.    

Davina Jogi, is a photojournalist from Harare, Zimbabwe.

Andrew Aitchison (director Mo’Ana Multimedia) is an award winning independent documentary photographer working on social, environmental, cultural and political issues as both commissioned & personal projects.

Jason P Evans (director and co-founder) has worked in the broadcast media industry in the UK for over 10 years as a Director, Producer and Cameraman. 

Expected number of months to complete project: 12
Estimated Project Cost:
Name: Simone Scholtz
Email address:
Organization [if applicable]:
City: Cape Town
Country: South Africa
How did you learn about the contest? Google