Developers Wanted for Knight News Challenge


[The message below is a message from our friends at the Knight Foundation who’ve given us a grant here at the Sunlight Foundation to build tools to put more political data on the web]

You're part of a community doing amazing work on some hugely important issues of government transparency, especially at the state and national level. We're partnering with the Sunlight Foundation and Sunlight Labs in hopes of engaging you in a complementary challenge: bringing your great ideas to cities and other local communities.

The Knight News Challenge is an annual $5-million contest to fund the best ideas for reinventing local news. The contest deadline for 2010 was originally set for October 15, but we extended it to December 15 in large part because we saw an opportunity to partner with more folks like you all. The Knight News Challenge projects meet three criteria: 1) use digital, open-source technology to 2) distribute news and information in the public interest to 3) to a local, geographic community.

In past years, we've already funded projects that are terrific complements to the work done by Sunlight Foundation and Sunlight Labs. For example, take a look at one of our 2009 winners, DocumentCloud (which recently announced a partnership with the Sunlight Foundation). DocumentCloud will allow some of the most robust investigative journalism outfits in the country – organizations like the New York Times, ProPublica, the Center for Public Integrity, the ACLU, and Talking Points Memo – to share, publicize, collaborate on, and crowdsource the documents they're uncovering every day in Freedom of Information Act battles. Or check out the Transparency Initiative we funded in 2008, creating a microformat – hNews – to mark up news stories with metadata about sourcing, geo-location, and more.

Becoming a Knight News Challenge grantee would put you in the company of some of the leading innovators at the intersection of technology and information – folks like Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web and a 2008 Knight News Challenge winner, and Adrian Holovaty, co-creator of the Django programming framework and originator of one of the first Google Maps mashups, which evolved into his 2007 Knight News Challenge award.

We've got the money and the mission. You've got the ideas we'd like to fund. If you're interested, check out our website (the FAQ is a great place to start), and feel free to send any questions to