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#newschallenge: ScraperWiki honoured to be invited to the Knight’s roundtable!

Last Thursday we were very excited to find out that we have been shortlisted by the Knight Foundation for its prestigious #newschallenge competition.

This is a very big deal for us as it is such a highly respected organisation internationally. Over 1600 applications were entered in the first round. This was whittled down in the fourth round to a final shortlist of about two dozen, including ScraperWiki.  Ten to twelve of the semi-finalists will receive awards so the odds are reasonable…

..and what exactly do we plan to do with the money?
Our application is in two parts. The aim is for ScraperWiki to become even more media friendly and to make an impact in the US – by actually being there.

In Part I we want to improve the ScraperWiki platform for journalists directly, by providing: an ability to embargo stories; a ‘data on demand’ request facility; and email alerts that advise on a potential story… plus more.

Part II is about a series of ‘Journalism Data Camps’  that will liberate local, state and federal data. We want to run these across 12 states with the top schools of journalism, and in partnership with a host of wonderful organisations. We plan to work with: Sunlight Foundation, CodeforAmerica, Online News Association, ProPublica, Hacks and Hackers, Hacks for Democracy, Chicago Tribute, The New York Times, IRE, the Center for Investigative Reporting, the Center for Public Integrity and Spot.Us.

…and our very worthy competitors?
The competition is tough and we are pleased to be in the company of organisations like Newscloud, Overview, Recast, The Tiziano Project, and PANDA .  This is not an exhaustive list and we wish everyone the best. We know that the next phase will be very hard as we have to do more to prove our worth but we are up for it at ScraperWiki and we intend to put our best ‘truck’ forward! Game on!

When will we find out if we are good enough?
At the end of June 2011 winners will be announced at the Knight/MIT conference in the US. Needless to say that all fingers and toes at ScraperWiki will be crossed!  Thank you to everyone from our hacks and hackers community who lent weight to our application – your contribution is highly valued. And a big thank you to the KNC judges for all their work reviewing applications and for helping us get this far. Roll on June!

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