Last May, I went on vacation (picture on blog with my son Liam) right after being announced as a Knight News Challenge winner at the Interactive Media conference in Miami. I never got around to sharing the good news on DoWire.
I am one of their “idea bloggers” and will start sharing a big idea a month to bridge the world of online citizen engagement with citizen media and online news. I am joined by a stellar cast of winners all focused on local e-goodness.
E-democracy often focuses on original conversation, engagement, and expression that makes the news, while the goal of “citizen media” seems to be the generation of the original news. I see an egg and chicken opportunity. Media – big and small – are often ideal hosts of e-participation activities and depending upon the country or political culture, the best leader of such efforts (often shorter-term that leverage free publicity). Governments themselves and NGOs make the best e-democracy project hosts for long-term endeavors particularly as you move from expression and news to engagement and problem-solving or advocacy, but funding remains quite scarce.
The Knight Foundation asked me to pass along their announcement about the next round of funding for 2007. Why don’t you stick something in? (If you’d like to collaborate with E-Democracy.Org, let us know as well: firstname.lastname@example.org )
Here it is:
It’s time to enter this year’s Knight News Challenge, which awards big money for innovative ideas using digital experiments to transform community news.
The contest is run by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Last year’s winners won awards ranging from $15K to $5 million.
Winning projects included:
* Open-source software that will let citizens find public information about their neighborhoods.
* Young journalists covering the 2008 presidential election on cell phones, for cell phones.
* Online games to inform and engage players about key issues confronting New York City.
* Digital newscasts for Philadelphia’s immigrant community distributed through a new citywide wireless platform.
Anyone worldwide can apply at: www.newschallenge.org
Enter the contest, and please forward this.