This past semester, I flew a drone. I helped set up a virtual reality environment. And I helped print a cup out of thin air. Nice work if you can get it. Working as a research assistant to Dan Pacheco at the Peter A. Horvitz Endowed Chair for Journalism Innovation at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, I helped run the Digital Edge Journalism Series in the spring semester. We held a series of four programs that highlighted the cutting edge of journalism technology. Pacheco ran a session about drones in media; we had Dan Schultz...more »
The Poderopedia platform helps show the relationships among the elite in a country or region, especially in places where power is concentrated in the hands of a few people. After winning the Knight News Challenge in 2011, we launched Poderopedia in Chile last fall, with the goal of mapping who's who in business and politics in our country. We also wanted to offer an open-source version of our platform that would let anyone map relationships in their own communities. Since then, the platform has received a lot of international press coverage, and many Chilean news websites have used Poderopedia... more »
Idea Lab is a group blog by innovators who are reinventing community news for the Digital Age.
Each Idea Lab blogger is a winner of the Knight News Challenge grant to reshape community news.Learn more about the Knight News Challenge »
FrontlineSMS has had a strong connection with environmental issues since our founder had the initial spark of an idea while working on an anti-poaching project in South Africa. We're delighted to share how Een Irawan Putra of KPC Bogor and the Indonesia Nature Film Society used FrontlineSMS in Indonesia to invite the community to help clean up the garbage clogging the Ciliwung River. Community Care Ciliwung Bogor, known locally as KPC Bogor, was founded in March 2009 in West Java, Indonesia to harness the growing community concern for the sustainability of the Ciliwung River in the city of Bogor. We...more »
Data is a buzzword nowadays. Whether it’s sifting Big Data to influence business, or the promise of Open Data to transform government, or Data Analytics winning elections, data is constantly in the news. But one thing that gets glossed over in all the buzz is that data is hard. Really, really hard. One of the hardest parts is cleaning, standardizing, and formatting data in a way that journalists and others can start to work with. These are real challenges faced by newsrooms, and we’re hoping to make some of that a little easier with two new Code Sprints we’re...more »
The aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings demonstrated yet another significant marker for citizen journalism. Felix Salmon, in an excellent post on the Reuters blog, wrote that the manhunt for a suspect in the bombings "in many ways represented the first fully interactive news story." The crisis again demonstrated the value -- and risks -- of citizen reporting via social media. Citizen reporters broke much of the news, though they still needed broadcast media to help spread it. In some cases, citizens were able to capture iconic photos of events. Others were able to tell compelling stories about how the...more »
I work for a civic technology startup in San Francisco, but I'm a small-town native who works daily with small to midsized communities. As such, when I read or hear about the latest "answer" to civic problems, created by a team of geniuses and piloted in one of the largest cities in the country, I'm a little wary. While shining examples of city use of technology like San Francisco and New York City are well worth profiling and learning from, if their solutions don't fit a town of 9,000, the problem has not yet been truly solved. Small communities need...more »
Another busy year has passed since the first School of Data Journalism at the International Journalism Festival in Perugia. Last year, the Open Knowledge Foundation and the European Journalism Centre launched the Data Journalism Handbook, and this year, the two organizations were back organizing the festival within a festival. Here are a few highlights. The School of Data Journalism, Europe's biggest data journalism event, brought together around 20 panelists and instructors from Reuters, The New York Times, Spiegel, Guardian, Walter Cronkite School of Journalism, Knight-Mozilla OpenNews and others, in a mix of discussions and hands-on sessions focusing on everything from...more »
On Greater Greater Washington, Tom MacWright recently wrote a blog entry highlighting the problems of access to the Washington, D.C. Code. There is, first, a legal obstacle: Washington D.C. claims copyright over their laws, which is to say that it is illegal to reproduce them without permission of the city. Then, second, what is perhaps a more significant obstacle: They outsource the maintenance of their legal code. The city of Washington, D.C. long ago started paying WestLaw -- and now LexisNexis -- to turn the D.C. Council's bills into laws. As a result, they now have neither the knowledge nor...more »
Fellowship programs for journalists bring their recipients a certain amount of esteem. But the most obvious benefit of becoming a Fellow is getting the chance to explore ideas for a year outside the cubicle and inside the hallowed halls of a University with ample resources. Twelve journalists and innovators will get that chance at Stanford University in the 2013-14 academic year, thanks to the John S. Knight Journalism Fellowships. The program announced the U.S. recipients this week. meet the fellows Umbreen Bhatti, co-founder, islawmix, Oakland, California. Innovation proposal: A model for drawing on legal academic expertise to produce informed,...more »
Detritivores are creatures that consume decaying matter. Detritivore designs use abundant waste products to make scalable technology solutions. Unlike loftier concepts of zero-waste design such as Cradle to Cradle, Detritivore design accepts that the world is already loaded with discarded and broken technology. Detritivore designers need not create a recyclable or even non-toxic product, since the materials already exist -- we merely try to squeeze out whatever functionality objects may have left. The Public Lab Spectrometry Kit is a detritivore design. It consumes waste products and uses them to search for other, more dangerous wastes. Pipe cutoffs, obsolete webcams,...more »
When we launched Churnalism.com in the U.K. in 2011 it was not, shall we say, well received by some of those in the PR world. "PR industry hits out at Churnalism.com site" read a headline in the U.K. trade paper PR Week. One organization -- SWNS -- even contacted us to object strongly to the press copy based on their OnePoll surveys being highlighted on churnalism.com. We demurred. (You can read about it here.) Ruffling a few feathers was, we thought, a sign we were probably doing something right. The Sunlight Foundation appeared to think the same and got in...more »
I think newspapers, blogs, and magazines should all be doing audio versions. I grew up enjoying and listening to audiobooks and now I don't have the same option for the short form content that I prefer to consume.
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