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Knight Prototype Fund invests in 11 new projects that unlock the power of data

On February 23, the Knight Foundation announced the funding for 11 projects that work to unlock the power of data.

Hot on the heels of the Knight News Challenge, the Knight Foundation is continuing to prove their dedication to the world of data by announcing the 11 projects that will receive funding through the Knight Prototype Fund. In fact, nine of the projects were also winners of the Knight News Challenge on Data.

The Knight Prototype Fund supports early-stage media and information ideas with each project receiving $35,000 in funding. Launched in 2012, the fund seeks to, “invite people to experiment, learn and iterate before moving on to the more costly stage of building out a project.” Since 2012, Knight has invested $9 million into the Prototype Fund.

Over the next six months, the 11 teams will be focusing on human-center design training. The teams will then regroup at the end of the six months to share their progress, discoveries and prototypes. As explained by the Knight Foundation, the projects range from making data easier to access, protecting data privacy, and programs to aid in data mining.

Opportunities like the Knight News Challenge and the Knight Prototype Fund demonstrate that the Knight Foundation is solidly rooted in their mission to, “support projects that seek to improve how we create, share and use information essential to communities by providing early-stage funding for experimentation and growth.”

We look forward to seeing how these projects progress over the coming months and how they contribute to using data for good.

Please continue reading for a preview of the 11 selected projects.

Access Missouri by University of Missouri School of Journalism (Project lead: Nathan Lawrence | Columbia, Mo.): Making it easier for journalists and others to access and find accurate, comprehensive and up-to-date information about Missouri legislation, lawmakers and their influencers.

Authenticon by Benetech (Project lead: Collin Sullivan | Palo Alto, Calif.): Supporting digital privacy through a free, open source tool that makes it easier to verify a person’s cryptographic or secure online identity.

Chitram (Project lead: Kavya Sukumar | Washington, D.C.): Making it easier for anyone to create data visualizations through an open source tool that creates animated video snippets of graphs and charts from datasets.

This American Life’s Audioshare Tool by This American Life (Project lead: Stephanie Foo | New York): Helping people share and discover audio stories more easily with a tool that will allow users to easily capture a short selection of a podcast or other audio, convert it into a video with word-for-word transcription, and share it to social media.

One-liner by Institute for Nonprofit News (Project lead: Ryan Nagle | Chicago): Helping newsrooms improve website performance and better understand the privacy implications of third-party services (analytics tools, advertising networks, social gadgets, etc.) through a dashboard that allows them to manage and evaluate these tools.

Open Privacy Project by University of Miami (Project lead: Kim Grinfeder | Miami): Encouraging more transparency around the use of personal data with free tools that provide simple, standardized ways to simplify and visually describe privacy policies thereby informing users how their data is collected, used and protected.

RevEx: A Data Visualization Tool To Find Stories in Millions of Internet Reviews by New York University (Project lead: Enrico Bertini | New York): Helping journalists explore millions of online reviews to create stories about how people interact with professionals, institutions and businesses.

Satchel (Project lead: Beau York | Jackson, Miss.): Making podcasts easier to find through a platform that will allow location-based searches and allow people to share content through an embedded player on social media.

Singularity HUB’s Open Source Virtual Research Assistant for Writers and Journalists by Singularity University (Project lead: David Hill | Moffett Field, Calif.): Helping content creators discover relevant information faster and more efficiently through a tool that will filter data from news feeds, extract information from metadata and keyword use, and condense it into article summaries.

Spectrogram Tool for Public Input (Project lead: Catherine Bracy | Oakland, Calif.): Promoting more representative public decision-making processes through a digital platform that government officials can use as a tool to turn citizen opinion into actionable and more transparent data.

Visible Contracts by ThirdSpace (Project lead: Amanda Levinson | Philadelphia):Making Philadelphia’s procurement data more transparent and easy to understand by using the city’s open data to build online interactive visualizations.


Read The Knight Foundation’s press release here.  

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