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February 07 2011

22:42

Marines ask Basetrack to leave amid security concerns

A curious development over at Basetrack this afternoon. (You may remember Basetrack as Teru Kuwayama’s Knight News Challenge-winning project to use social media to tell stories about an American military unit in Afghanistan.) Word from Kuwayama is that they’re being asked to leave the Marine regiment they’ve been working with.

Posting on Basetrack’s blog, Kuwayama wrote: “It was hard to get clarification on why, how or who issued the order…but we’ll keep you posted.”

While praising Basetrack for the work they’ve done to highlight the lives of Marines serving overseas, a memo from the unit’s public affairs officer says they’re asking Basetrack to leave because of “perceived operational security violations.” From the memo:

These concerns are legitimate. Specifically the websites tie in to google maps to display friendly force locations. At this time there has been no official OpSec determination yet and therefore they are being asked to leave and NOT disembedded (disembedding is a formal process that occurs after OpSec determinations have been finalized). RCT 8 Public Affairs concerns lie in the fact that anytime too much information is aggregated in one place in a fashion tying unit disposition and manpower together we have facilitated the enemy.

The news is a surprise to say the least: Kuwayama has spent extensive time embedded with Marines. The about face by the military is more surprising, as Kuwayama told The New York Times last year that the Marines were the ones who asked him to come along to chronicle the lives of soldiers. One of the more remarkable aspects of Basetrack is the collaboration between soldiers and the project’s photographers, a melding that allowed Marines to connect with family and friends back here in the states. (A quick look at responses on Basetrack’s Facebook page shows a mix of confusion, sadness and pragmatism as troops safety is their top priority.) And the integration with mapping tools is one of the most impressive elements of Basetrack’s site.

Kuwayama was a speaker at December’s #niemanleaks conference, where he told the audience about the lengths Basetrack goes to to make sure they don’t release sensitive information. Kuwayama called it a “denial of information” system, that allowed for the military to quickly and easily redact information as needed. We’re reaching out to him to see if we can get more clarity on what exactly this means for Basetrack.

December 21 2010

15:00

Tracking documents, numbers, and military social media: New tools for reporting in an age of swarming data

To conclude our series of videos from the Nieman Foundation’s secrecy and journalism conference, here’s a video of the day’s final session — the Labbiest of the bunch. Our own Megan Garber moderates a set of presentations on new digital approaches to dealing with new data and new sources.

The presenters: John Bohannon, contributing correspondent for Science Magazine; Teru Kuwayama, Knight News Challenge winner for Basetrack; Aron Pilhofer, editor of interactive news at The New York Times and Knight News Challenge winner for DocumentCloud; and Bill Allison, editorial director of the Sunlight Foundation. Below is an embed of the session’s liveblog.

December 15 2010

15:00

#Niemanleaks on Thursday: After WikiLeaks, a flood of new questions

While WikiLeaks’ recent document dumps have answered questions large and small (How many civilians have been killed in Iraq? Does Muammar al-Gaddafi prefer blondes or brunettes?), the organization’s controversial brand of journalism has raised a lot more questions that scholars, working journalists and legal systems around the world are just now beginning to tackle. The Nieman Foundation is hosting “From Watergate to WikiLeaks: Secrecy and Journalism in the New Media Age,” at which speakers ranging from The New York Times’ executive editor Bill Keller to The Washington Post’s Walter Pincus will offer their insight into how the rules are changing.

Here are a few of the questions we’ve seen raised, and where you might begin to figure out some answers tomorrow. If you won’t be in attendance, check back here Thursday morning for the live video stream, or watch #niemanleaks on Twitter.

Is WikiLeaks journalism? What does that mean when everyone can blog, Tweet and share instantly with an audience around the world?

Check out the 2:30 p.m. (EST) panel, “Secrets 2.0: Exploring Entrepreneurial Answers to Journalistic Obligations,” which will feature the Sunlight Foundation’s Bill Allison, Basetrack’s Teru Kuwayama, the New York Times’ Aron Pilhofer and others who are helping answer that question through innovative approaches to what journalism is, while pushing back on the notion of what it isn’t. For example, Knight News Challenge winner Basetrack pairs professional war correspondence with the thoughts and reactions of U.S. Marines and their families, who are also blogging their experiences. The Sunlight Foundation, on the other hand, takes massive data sets and made them more accessible and useful, often leaving it up to the reader to connect the dots in creative new ways.

What should we make on all the legal and political pressure being put on WikiLeaks and other news organizations? Should the law dictate how and what is reported, and where do you draw the line on either side?

The “Prosecuted, Banned, Blamed: Reporters Push Boundaries as a Voice of Public Accountability” panel at 10:00 a.m. features a global perspective from current and past Nieman Fellows, including Stefan Candea, who helped map out Romania’s complex web of political and media ownership, as well as fellows from Chile, Cambodia, and South Africa. It will be moderated by the Nieman Foundation’s Stefanie Friedhoff.

For a more local perspective, head to “Whither the Gatekeeper? Navigating New Rules and Roles in the Age of Radical Transparency.” It’ll feature The Washington Post’s Walter Pincus, Clint Hendler from Columbia Journalism Review, Maggie Mulvihill from the New England Center for Investigative Reporting and Danielle Brian from the Project on Government Oversight. It’ll be moderated by Nieman Reports‘ Melissa Ludtke.

So in the end, what’s changed post-WikiLeaks?

The conference’s keynotes will tackle the big question of what changes between media and their sources as those sources can increasingly go direct to the audience with their message. Kathleen Carroll executive editor of the Associated Press, will discuss freedom of information in the digital age at 9:10 a.m., while the Times’ Bill Keller will address secrecy, national security, and the press at 1:15 p.m.

November 30 2010

14:30

From Fighting in Afghanistan to Blogging for Basetrack

ser·en·dip·i·ty [ser-uhn-dip-i-tee] -noun

1. an aptitude for making desirable discoveries by accident.

2. good fortune; luck: the serendipity of getting the first job she applied for.

2007

I'm sweating despite the snow on the ground. I'm at the wheel of my humvee, silently begging the platoon leader on my right to stop the banter that gets us through most long missions. The missions are routine now, a year into a 16-month deployment to Afghanistan, but I still hate this drive. 

A photographer from a national magazine rides with my infantry platoon up into the mountains of Eastern Afghanistan, in the Omna district. At some point during the trip -- as we inch up the vertigo-inducing, narrow switchbacks, hugging a road that ascends three thousand meters from the valley -- the photographer snaps a photo. I don't talk to him at all during the trip.

Going to Omna always made me nervous. Going up was fine, I guess. Coming down involved wearing night vision goggles to navigate a muddy and slick road when there was always something. I wasn't sure if I'd really checked the brake fluid, or changed the batteries in my goggles. A mistake meant my squad would descend the few thousand meters to the valley very fast, for the last time. Oh, yeah, we could also get shot at. I am a bad driver.  

Months later, the photo I never gave a second thought to is published. It shows an Afghan man on a motorbike looking down through the magnificent, scary panorama at the humvees snaking their way up towards Omna from the wide valley of Paktika province. My folks buy a few copies of the magazine for my scrapbook and we all go on with our lives.

2009

I'm behind a desk at Fort Monroe, Virginia, counting the days until I get out of the Army and wondering what I'm going to do after I take off my uniform. I'll go back to college, I guess, but I need something else, some plan, right? I'm well-educated, well-read, and in-shape -- but utterly devoid of any useful skills or qualifications suitable to long-term employment.

I can walk all night through mountains wearing 80 pounds of gear. I can shoot a grenade into a window at 300 meters. I can set up a radio that broadcasts encrypted messages off a satellite. I can speak, read and write some Pashto, an interesting and nuanced language (though my vocabulary contains little poetry and much violence).

"When my three-year enlistment expired in 1967, I was almost completely ignorant about the stuff of ordinary life, about marriage, mortgages, and building a career," Philip Caputo wrote in his Vietnam memoir, "A Rumor of War." "I had a degree, but no skills. I had never run an office, taught a class, built a bridge, welded, programmed a computer, laid bricks, sold anything, or operated a lathe. But I had acquired some expertise in the art of killing. I knew how to face death and how to cause it, with everything on the evolutionary scale of weapons from the knife to the 3.5 inch rocket launcher."

I don't even have a degree. I do have a set of wings showing that I graduated from Airborne School.

I wonder if I could get my old job at Lowe's back, selling toilets.  

My web browser wanders and I end up on Gizmodo, with an article called "Ask a Pro: How to Shoot (and not get shot) in a War Zone." Some photographer is answering questions. I'm skeptical but I read on.

The guy sounds legitimate, and I see that reflected in his packing list, which features things like zip ties, zip lock bags, tape, and batteries. It doesn't include crazy gizmos or expensive, trademarked, patent-pending outdoor gear worn mostly on New England liberal arts campuses. He has a website, www.lightstalkers.org that serves as a community for other people who travel and work in places that don't have a ministry of tourism. Or tourism. His name is Teru Kuwayama, and yeah, I realize we've seen each other before on the road up to Omna. My platoon leader was from Flushing, Queens and that's one neighborhood over from Teru's. Small world. 

February 2010

After four combat deployments, my brother is killed in a helicopter crash in Germany. I post a note on Lightstalkers mentioning this. I am overwhelmed by the empathy and compassion in the notes I get back. Teru writes:

We didn't know it then, but I was embedded with Matt's platoon in Afghanistan. Only years later, during a random stateside conversation, did we realize that we'd been a humvee apart in a small convoy that snaked it's way through the mountains along the Pakistani border.

In the small world that is LS, I don't doubt that some of us have crossed paths with his brother, or strapped into his blackhawk at some point during the course of those four tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.

all my respect to the Farwell family - and thanks for getting us home to ours.

T   

Teru is now my friend. I go on Facebook and make it official. 

September 2010

I'm in Arkansas, back in college.

Teru is about to go to Afghanistan for some crazy-long project he got a grant for. This project, Basetrack. There are some visa problems. I know some people, and I know the military bureaucracy and the lingo. I volunteer to help. One thing leads to another and pretty soon, over Facebook chat, Teru asks me what my schedule is like in January. Would I like an all-expenses-paid trip to Musa Qala, Afghanistan? He offers me all the MRE's I can eat and says I can borrow some of his body armor. It's a weird conversation. I'm sold. 

Now I'm writing for www.basetrack.org. Monica, our lead writer, and I exchange phone calls and emails daily. She corrects my grammar. I burp and offer to send her cold weather gear and tourniquets. We help each other out. 

Balazs and Tivadar, two photographers from Hungary, travel to Afghanistan with Teru. They suit up and head out with the Marines, carrying iPhones and cameras rather than rifles. At night they come back and curse the satellite phone and its 1995-era uploading speeds. I curse David Hasselhoff being voted off "Dancing with the Stars."

Basetrack continues to grow and evolve. We all learn. Patient phone calls and emails from David Gurman and the rest of the web team help me empathize with what a senior citizen taking a library's "Introduction to Computers" class feels like. They're based in California and Utah. Sadika coaches us on Central Asian geopolitics. She's in D.C. We have a funky little crew. 

We're getting to know some of the Marine's family members via our Facebook page. I do pushups and now add one more for Chesty Puller. This whole thing is new to everyone. It's exciting and I'm glad to be a part of it.

A few years ago on those switchbacks up to Omna, though, I couldn't see all that. I just saw the twists in the road. 

Serendipity.

August 09 2010

13:45

Wikileaks Case Illustrates Need for Compelling Storytelling

We're in the midst of another wartime disconnect, though it's different this time around.

During the Vietnam War, the disconnect was between the government and its citizens. With the publishing of the Pentagon Papers, the press solidified a long-suspected belief that the government, through its spokespersons and the military, was misleading the public about the prosecution of the war.

Because they were published in 1971, the Pentagon Papers were too late to the game, so to speak, to affect public opinion about the war. Yet they helped turn Americans away from their government: Americans knew their government had failed them, and since then, but for times of extreme crisis, Americans haven't trusted their government to make best-interest decisions.

WikiLeaks

Today there is another disconnect, highlighted by WikiLeaks' publication of tens of thousands of documents purporting to show that the war in Afghanistan is going much worse and with much more innocent bloodshed than the government has admitted. Wikileaks frames this documentation similar to that of the Pentagon Papers, claiming that there's dissonance in what the government is saying and what the public now knows.

But there's not.

The disconnect, instead, is entirely within the public. The unsavory work of special forces, the unnecessary death of civilians, the unpalatable role of Pakistan in propping up the Taliban: All of these were already well documented. The public, however, simply didn't know or didn't care. The disconnect is between hearing facts and then feeling compelled to act on them.

Thus opens a space for WikiLeaks and those like 2010 Knight News Challenge winner Teru Kuwayama, a photojournalist trying to break through the shield of indifference by embedding himself with Marines in Afghanistan to tell stories that Americans will -- must -- pay attention to. As he told journalism.co.uk recently:

We've been in Afghanistan for a decade now, and yet the vast majority of Americans have a very limited sense of what we're doing there. That means we [the media] haven't been doing a very good job. We're now in a situation where our press is in serious decline, at a moment when our nation is escalating a war with tremendous costs. That means the public gets even more disconnected from its military, at a time when it should be the most concerned. I can't tell people what to think about this war, but I believe very strongly that they should be thinking about it.

What the WikiLeaks episode illustrates isn't that the American government is lying. Rather, it's that we're bad at hearing and processing the truth. We need more compelling methods of journalistic storytelling -- whether Wikileaks' data-and-PR-intense version or Kuwayama's intimate photojournalism -- in order to engage the public, even or especially when engagement is actually enlistment of the public to do more work for itself.

This post also appeared on the Center for Future Civic Media blog.

July 27 2010

14:37

Another wartime disconnect

We're in the midst of another wartime disconnect, though it's different this time around.

During the Vietnam War, the disconnect was between the government and its citizens. With the publishing of the Pentagon Papers, the press solidified a long-suspected belief that the government, through its spokespersons and the military, was misleading the public about the prosecution of the war.

Because they were published in 1973, the Pentagon Papers were late to the game, so to speak, to affect public opinion about the war. Yet they helped turn Americans away from their government: Americans knew their government had failed them, and since then, but for times of extreme crisis, Americans haven't trusted their government to make best-interest decisions.

Today there is another disconnect, highlighted by Wikileaks' publication of tens of thousands of documents purporting to show that the war in Afghanistan is going much worse and with much more innocent bloodshed than the government has admitted. Wikileaks frames this documentation similar to that of the Pentagon Papers, claiming that there's dissonance in what the government is saying and what the public now knows.

But there's not.

The disconnect, instead, is entirely within the public. The unsavory work of special forces, the unnecessary death of civilians, the unpalatable role of Pakistan in propping up the Taliban: all of these were already well documented. The public, however, simply didn't know or didn't care. The disconnect is between hearing facts and then feeling compelled to act on them.

Thus opens a space for Wikileaks and those like 2010 Knight News Challenge winner Teru Kuwayama, a photojournalist trying to break through the shield of indifference by embedding himself with Marines in Afghanistan to tell stories that Americans will--must--pay attention to. As he told journalism.co.uk yesterday:

We've been in Afghanistan for a decade now, and yet the vast majority of Americans have a very limited sense of what we're doing there. That means we [the media] haven't been doing a very good job. We're now in a situation where our press is in serious decline, at a moment when our nation is escalating a war with tremendous costs. That means the public gets even more disconnected from its military, at a time when it should be the most concerned. I can't tell people what to think about this war, but I believe very strongly that they should be thinking about it.

What the Wikileaks episode illustrates isn't that the American government is lying. Rather, it's that we're bad at hearing and processing the truth. We need more compelling methods of journalistic storytelling--whether Wikileaks' data-and-p.r.-intense version or Kuwayama's intimate photojournalism--in order to engage the public, even or especially when engagement is actually enlistment of the public to do more work for itself.

[Edited to include a correction from David Chandler on the extent to which (even less than I'd originally argued) American opinion on the Vietnam War was affected by the Pentagon Papers.]

June 21 2010

17:00

Knight News Challenge: How will Marines use new social media rules to tell the story of Afghanistan?

The U.S. Marine Corps lifted its ban on social media tools like Twitter and Facebook earlier this year. One Knight News Challenge Winner, Teru Kuwayama, wants to chronicle what that new policy means, and perhaps even change the way the U.S. receives and consumes news about war.

Kuwayama is a photojournalist who has spent the last nine years photographing Afghanistan as a freelance journalist. (He spent this last year at Stanford as a Knight Fellow.) His idea is an outgrowth of his experiences documenting the war and his frustration with the coverage that results from quick embed stints by professional journalists. The opportunity for Marines to use new tools to share information has the potential to give the public a better understanding of an important story. At the same time, he hopes to set up an infrastructure for reporters to connect better with the military, improving stories before they go out, and giving soldiers a chance at feedback.

I spoke with Kuwayama about his plans for the $202,000 grant. He says he departs for Afghanistan this September, joining the 1st Battalion, Eighth Marines (hence the name of his project, One-Eight) for the duration of their tour, which should last seven months, but could extend up to a year. He’ll rotate in other journalists during the project for shorter periods. He expects those reporters will also produce work for their own outlets. Kuwayama is still working out some questions around his project — like to what extent he’s documenting how the marines are using social media, versus fostering that use, or repackaging their content for the public.

June 16 2010

18:30

Announcing the 2010 Knight News Challenge winners: Visuals are hot, and businesses are big winners

They started out last year as a crowded field of hopefuls from around the world, each dreaming of a chance to perform under the big lights. Over months, their numbers dwindled as the level of competition rose; each successive round brought new disappointment to those eliminated and new hope to those left in the running. And now, whittled down to an elite few, they’re ready for the global stage.

Okay, I’m giving myself a yellow card: So maybe the World Cup isn’t the perfect metaphor for the Knight News Challenge. But the News Challenge is the closest thing the future-of-news space has to a World Cup, and while this year’s 12 winners — just announced at MIT — won’t be forced to battle each other for global supremacy, they do represent the top of a sizable pyramid of applicants — nearly 2,500 in all. You can judge for yourself which ones are Brazil and Germany and which are New Zealand and North Korea.

I’ve got information on all the winners below, but first a few observations:

Visuals seem to be this year’s theme: lots of projects about things like mapping, data visualization, video editing, and games inspired by editorial cartoons. Just one winner focuses on the business-model end of the equation (Windy Citizen’s real-time ads).

— This year’s new grants total $2.74 million. That’s up from last year’s total of $1.96 million, but still down substantially from the really big checks Knight was writing in the first two years of the News Challenge ($11.7 million in 2007, $5.5 million in 2008). The number of grantees is also up a bit from 2009 but well below earlier years (26 in 2007, 16 in 2008, 9 in 2009, 12 this year).

But that doesn’t necessarily mean that Knight’s overall commitment has decreased over time. Many of its grants are distributed over multiple years, so some of those early commitments are still being in force.

— Despite extending this cycle’s application deadline in part to encourage more international applicants, the winners are quite domestic — 11 American winners out of 12. In 2008, there were six international winners, and last year there were two projects that, while technically based in the U.S., were internationally focused — Ushahidi and Mobile Media Toolkit. (You could argue that this year’s One-Eight should count as international, since it’s about covering Afghanistan, but through collaboration with the U.S. military. And while Tilemapping will focus on Washington, D.C., a version of its software was used after the Haiti earthquake.)

That said, the deadline extension was also about reaching out for other kinds of diversity, and that happened in at least one way: Knight reports that nearly half of this year’s winners are private companies, up from 15 percent in 2009. That’s despite Knight’s elimination of a separate category for commercial applicants last cycle.

Below are all the winners — congratulations to one and all, and my sympathies to the thousands eliminated along the way. In the coming days, we’ll have profiles of all of the winners and their projects. In the meantime, for context, you can also read all we wrote about last year’s News Challenge and what we’ve written so far about this cycle.

CityTracking

The winner: Eric Rodenbeck of Stamen Design

The amount: $400,000

The pitch: “To make municipal data easy to understand, CityTracking will allow users to create embeddable data visualizations that are appealing enough to spread virally and that are as easy to share as photos and videos. The dynamic interfaces will be appropriate to each data type, starting with crime and working through 311 calls for service, among others. The creators will use high design standards, making the visuals beautiful as well as useful.”

The Cartoonist

The winner: Ian Bogost of Georgia Tech and Michael Mateas of UC Santa Cruz

The amount: $378,000

The pitch: “To engage readers in the news, this project will create a free tool that produces cartoon-like current event games — the game equivalent of editorial cartoons. The simplified tools will be created with busy journalists and editors in mind, people who have the pulse of their community but don’t have a background in game development. By answering a series of questions about the major actors in a news event and making value judgments about their actions, The Cartoonist will automatically propose game rules and images. The games aim to help the sites draw readers and inspire them to explore the news.”

Local Wiki

The winner: Philip Neustrom and Mike Ivanov of DavisWiki.org

The amount: $350,000

The pitch: “Based on the successful DavisWiki.org in Davis, Calif., this project will create enhanced tools for local wikis, a new form of media that makes it easy for people to learn and share their own unique community knowledge. Members will be able to post articles about anything they like, edit others and upload photos and files. This grant will help create the specialized open-source software that makes the wiki possible and help communities develop, launch and sustain local wiki projects.”

WindyCitizen’s Real Time Ads

The winner: Brad Flora of WindyCitizen.com

The amount: $250,000

The pitch: “As a way to help online startups become sustainable, this project will develop an improved software interface to help sites create and sell what are known as real-time ads. These ads are designed to be engaging as they constantly change showing the latest message or post from the advertisers Twitter account, Facebook page or blog. Challenge winner Brad Flora helped pioneer the idea on his Chicago news site, WindyCitizen.com.”

GoMap Riga

The winner: Marcis Rubenis and Kristofs Blaus

The amount: $250,000

The pitch: “To inspire people to get involved in their community, this project will create a live, online map with local news and activities. GoMap Riga will pull some content from the Web and place it automatically on the map. Residents will be able to add their own news, pictures and videos while discussing what is happening around them. GoMap Riga will be integrated with the major existing social networks and allow civic participation through mobile technology. The project will be tested in Riga, Latvia, and ultimately be applicable in other cities.”

Order in the Court 2.0

The winner: John Davidow of WBUR

The amount: $250,000

The pitch: “To foster greater access to the judicial process, this project will create a laboratory in a Boston courtroom to help establish best practices for digital coverage that can be replicated and adopted throughout the nation. While the legislative and executive branches have incorporated new technologies and social media, the courts still operate under the video and audio recording standards established in the 1970s and ’80s. The courtroom will have a designated area for live blogging via a Wi-Fi network and the ability to live-stream court proceedings to the public. Working in conjunction with the Massachusetts court system, the project will publish the daily docket on the Web and build a knowledge wiki for the public with common legal terms.”

Porch Forum

The winner: Michael Wood-Lewis of Front Porch Forum

The amount: $220,000

The pitch: “To help residents connect with others and their community, this grant will help rebuild and enhance a successful community news site, expand it to more towns and release the software so other organizations, anywhere can use it. The Front Porch Forum, a virtual town hall space, helps residents share and discuss local news, build community and increase engagement. The site, currently serving 25 Vermont towns, will expand to 250.”

One-Eight

The winner: Teru Kuwayama

The amount: $202,000

The pitch: “Broadening the perspectives that surround U.S. military operations in Afghanistan, this project will chronicle a battalion by combining reporting from embedded journalists with user-generated content from the Marines themselves. The troops, recently authorized to use social media while deployed, and their families will be key audiences for the online journal steering, challenging and augmenting the coverage with their feedback. The approach will directly serve the stakeholders and inform the wider public by bringing in on-the-ground views on military issues and the execution of U.S. foreign policy.”

Stroome

The winner: USC Annenberg’s Nonny de la Peña and Tom Grasty

The amount: $200,000

The pitch: “To simplify the production of news video, Stroome will create a virtual video-editing studio. There, correspondents, editors and producers will be able to upload and share content, edit and remix with friends and colleagues — all without using expensive satellite truck technology. The site will launch as eyewitness video — often captured by mobile phones or webcams — is becoming a key component of news coverage, generating demand for supporting tools.”

CitySeed

The winner: Arizona State’s Retha Hill and Cody Shotwell

The amount: $90,000

The pitch: “To inform and engage communities, CitySeed will be a mobile application that allows users to plant the ’seed’ of an idea and share it with others. For example, a person might come across a great spot for a community garden. At that moment, the person can use the CitySeed app to geotag the idea, which links it to an exact location. Others can look at the place-based ideas, debate and hopefully act on them. The project aims to increase the number of people informed about and engaged with their communities by breaking down community issues into bite-size settings.”

StoryMarket

The winner: Jake Shapiro of PRX

The amount: $75,000

The pitch: “Building on the software created by 2008 challenge winner Spot.us, this project will allow anyone to pitch and help pay to produce a story for a local public radio station. When the amount is raised (in small contributions), the station will hire a professional journalist to do the report. The project provides a new way for public radio stations to raise money, produce more local content and engage listeners.”

Tilemapping

The winner: Eric Gundersen of Development Seed

The amount: $74,000

The pitch: “To inspire residents to learn about local issues, Tilemapping will help local media create hyper-local, data-filled maps for their websites and blogs. Journalists will be able to tell more textured stories, while residents will be able to draw connections to their physical communities in new ways. The tools will be tested in Washington, D.C. Ushahidi, a 2009 Knight News Challenge winner, used a prototype after the earthquake in Haiti to create maps used to crowdsource reports on places needing aid.”

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