Challenge phases Main content User comments Share challenge Challenge activity feed Footer links

The Challenge


How might we improve the way citizens and governments interact?

Challenge Brief

The next Knight News Challenge, which opens Aug. 19, will offer a share of more than $2 million for innovative ideas to harness information and data for the health of communities.

Read more in this blog post.

Knight Foundation has named eight projects as winners of the Knight News Challenge on Open Gov, awarding the recipients more than $3.2 million for their ideas. View winners announcement

In many ways it’s easier than it’s ever been to learn about and interact with the institutions and communities around us. But there’s a long way to go. How can we make the places we live more awesome through data and technology? How can we make public information more relevant and useful?

The Knight News Challenge accelerates media innovation by funding breakthrough ideas in news and information. Winners receive a share of $5 million in funding and support from Knight’s network of influential peers and advisors to help advance their ideas.

The idea of open government has had a rather winding journey—from the first datasets opened to the public, to apps for reporting potholes, to open systems that track the movement of disease across the world. Dedicated groups of talented people have attempted everything from opening IRS data locked in millions of PDFs to collectively writing legislation online. Some projects have succeeded; many more have failed. But collectively we have more information than ever before about what works, what does not, and what we should try in pursuit of more open and productive interactions between citizens and our governments.

This News Challenge is an opportunity to accelerate promising ideas and trends. Our definition of “open government” is broad, and ranges from small projects within existing structures to ambitious attempts to create entirely new ones. To use an architectural analogy, we’re interested in everything from putting a new coat of paint on the house to razing the house and replacing it with a geodesic dome.

Through this contest, we hope to help extend the spirit of open gov and to catalyze partnerships between hackers, civic innovators, governments, journalists and others. We also want to drive more open government wins in local communities, particularly beyond big cities. And we want to reinforce the idea that the promise of open government cuts across ideological, demographic and geographic lines. 

For questions and more info, contact Christopher Sopher @cksopher or at cksopher[at]

Our Challenge Administrators

Chris's profile photo Chris Barr "Knight Media Innovation + Art/Design Nerd"
Christopher's profile photo Christopher Sopher "Open government, media innovation, storytelling. Oh wait, this is supposed to be an actual quote?"

Comment on the Brief

If you'd like to leave us your thoughts on this brief, tell us what you think. Be sure to also take part in the challenge.

Join the conversation and post a comment.

March 23, 2013, 05:41PM
How might we improve the way citizens and governments interact?
Always keep alternatives open. An open time space for situations where there is no answer at the moment and also keep the continue going when there is nothing rational found to avoid wasting time. On the goverment side you might need different/more/new situation solvings ready who need more time. On the citizen side it is not always acceptable that they can follow the complexity of goverment and that they see the situation at the moment of their situation they are in emotionally or rationally, what doesn't mean the goverment can be blind for that and can work in simpel solution(s) for everyones situation, so they know that they are helped and heard wich is the basic core of the goverment service to the citizens. If needed keep for the future different offices open that incase unpreparedness of dealing with overpopulation or new unseen situations that they can guide that through and a healthy flow of citizens can move on with their life without beeing bother by it. And ofcourse always stay in realistic reality of when there are not enough hands to help that that is the real situation to be continued on, instead of walking on the wrong foot or sleepwalking forwards. When needed use actions for improvement when not needed save time and let us not see problems that are not there.
March 07, 2013, 07:14PM
Love this, as I am always trying to go beyond our direct metropolitan area: "... particularly beyond big cities."


Forgot my password?

New user? Sign up!