This post was written by Ryan Graff of the Knight News Innovation Lab and originally appeared on the Lab's blog. The Knight Lab recently hosted its third and final Chicago Crime Hack with an event at the Cibola co-working space in Chicago's Pilsen neighborhood. We drew our largest crowd yet, got to meet a ton of new folks, came up with some new ideas, and ate some delicious tamales in the process. It felt to us like a success, but it's fair to say we got better at hosting hacks with a bit of practice. Each of the three events...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 »
Before computers, all document-driven stories started with a big stack of paper. Often, the first task was to organize all that paper, by sorting individual documents into piles by type. This gives journalists a high-level idea of "what's in there" and helps them decide what to read more closely -- and just as importantly, what isn't worth reading. Today a computer can organize your documents for you. That stack of paper may now be a folder full of PDF files, but it still doesn't come with any sort of built-in index or obvious categorization system. This is exactly the problem...more »
There are many problems with using commercial technology platforms to host democratic, social, or activist content and communications. These problems came up in multiple sessions at the recent National Conference on Media Reform. There are also obvious reasons to continue using these platforms (audience reach, most notably), and so we do. Some activist efforts that silo communications on more open, but relatively unknown platforms strike me as irresponsible, if the goal is to reach as many people as possible (but this is a fine line). The more I think about this issue, though, the more I see potential solutions and...more »
So do we, like, have a desk or anywhere we have to show up during the day? This was my last burning question for my Knight Fellowships adviser, Pam Maples, as I prepared to pack up and head to Stanford at the end of last summer. "Nope," was her response. "As we say, you're the architect of your year." And boy, was she right. Here in the Knight Fellowship, I don't necessarily work less than I did at my job. I work different. I work how I want and when I want, normally responsive to my own needs. I'm...more »
I met my baby niece on Sunday morning. She was born late Saturday night. I went to some news sites to grab some screenshots of the things that happened the day she was born, and stopped myself. There were some really bad things happening in the world, Saturday, and every day. Instead, I wrote down that the Red Sox beat the Rays, 2-1. Yesterday was Marathon Monday, Patriot's Day, one of those wonderful Massachusetts-only-and-why-do-they-get-an-extra-day-off days. My niece was home from the hospital, thank God. I had saved Monday, like most Bostonians, as a light at the end of the dark...more »
Here's what we know: At 2:50 p.m. two explosions occurred along on Boylston Street near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Police later detonated a third device further down the street. As of 6 p.m., two people are dead, and nearly 90 injured, according to the Boston Globe. At MIT's Civic Media Center, we have been following along through both broadcast and social media, including the Globe's liveblog and Completure's News Scanner. The Boston Marathon is one of the country's pre-eminent sporting events. It draws athletes and spectators into the beating heart of one of the world's best cities....more »
Low vacancy, so many homeless people, beautiful old buildings, shuttle buses to Silicon Valley ... and warning, I'm going to talk about earthquakes. If it gets scary, stick with me: There's good news at the end, ways to better understand the specific risks facing San Francisco, and some easy places to start. Let's Talk Numbers After the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, 11,500 Bay Area housing units were uninhabitable. If there was an earthquake today, the current estimate (from Spur) is that 25% of SF's population would be displaced for anywhere between a few days to a few years. However, San...more »
The Behavio team is very happy to announce a major version update to Funf, our open-source mobile sensing framework, accompanied by respective updates to Funf's two user-facing components (Funf Journal and Funf In A Box). In the time since our last major version update (Funf 0.3) last year, we've had a chance to see how the framework has been used by developers and end users. In addition, we compiled our own "to do" list of features that didn't make it into the 0.3 release. Our high-level goals for Funf 0.4 were to increase reliability and performance, as well as minimize...more »
Back at the Hacks/Hackers Media Party in Buenos Aires, I announced the creation of Code Sprints -- funding opportunities to build open-sourced tools for journalism. We used Code Sprints to fund a collaboration between WNYC in New York and KPCC in Southern California to build a parser for election night XML data that ended up used on well over 100 sites -- it was a great collaboration to kick off the Code Sprint concept. Originally, Code Sprints were designed to work like the XML parser project: driven in concept and execution by newsrooms. While that proved great for working with...more »
This post was written by Jordan Young of the Knight News Innovation Lab and originally appeared on the Lab's blog. International Women's Day is always inspiring and encouraging. But this past March 8 was even more special. That's the day I found out a project I co-founded, Boxx Magazine, had been chosen as one of the winners of the McCormick Foundation's New Media Women Entrepreneurs (NMWE) grant! Selena Fragassi and I had talked about creating a music magazine highlighting women since our days at Venus Zine in 2010. After watching the documentary "Hit So Hard" in May 2012, Selena and...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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